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How To Play Solitaire Online?

Playing cards splayed out on a table

Think back to when you were a kid looking for something to do. If there was a family computer around, there is likely one game that you played over and over again… the ever-faithful, Solitaire. For many, Solitaire was the game for passing time, whether with a handy deck of travel cards or on your desktop computer.

But things have changed a little since then. Solitaire is just as fun, but you have way more options. Not only are there different types of Solitaire to choose from, but you can now play Solitaire on your phone, with added features, and the chance of winning money in the process. Intrigued yet? Read on.

Types of Solitaire

Almost as soon as Solitaire was invented, people started adapting it to make it more interesting, complex, and creative. If you have a couple of card decks laying around, it’s worth trying out these different versions of Solitaire.

1. Klondike

This is the version that you are likely to know and love. It takes its name from a region in Canada where it came from. We will cover more of the rules of Klondike Solitaire later in this article, but the key points are that:

  • It requires only one deck of cards.

  • Cards are dealt into seven columns (called the tableau) face down except for the last card which is shown.

  • Each of the seven columns has an extra card than the previous column, from one card in the first column to seven cards in the last column.

  • Sequences are built in descending order in the tableau from King to Ace with alternating colors.

  • You pull new cards from the stockpile.

2. Spider

Spider is the most popular two-deck form of Solitaire and is a little bit more tricky to complete. Here’s what you need to know:

  • It requires two decks of cards.

  • Cards are dealt into eight columns (like the eight legs of a spider).

  • There are no ‘foundations’ on which to build your matches.

  • You can choose to use more than one suite in the game to make it more challenging.

  • Some forms of the game stipulate that the player must draw a card for every column if a new card is drawn.

3. Freecell

Freecell is similar to Klondike in many ways but includes a few quirks that make it a bit easier to complete:

  • It only requires one deck

  • There is no stockpile to draw from as all cards are dealt

  • There are four empty spaces (free cells) between columns that you can use to build sequences

  • All cards are dealt facing upwards

4. Bonus - Pyramid

Here’s one more bonus version of Solitaire that you probably haven’t heard of. Pyramid Solitaire is named after the shape in which the game is built. It looks funny, but is hard to crack:

  • Only one deck of cards is needed.

  • Twenty-eight cards are dealt into the shape of a pyramid.

  • Cards are dealt facing forwards.

  • The aim of the game is to deconstruct the pyramid by matching cards to total up to thirteen (e.g. 9 +4).

  • Kings are valued at 13 and each card under it is valued a point less (i.e. Queen = 12).

Solitaire basics

You may be a bit rusty on how to play Solitaire but never fear, let’s have a quick refresher.

Solitaire is a simple card game that can be played with multiple decks or just one depending on the style you like to play. The aim of the game is to place the cards in the correct sequence according to their suit and number.

How to play Solitaire

Let's focus on the most popular form of Solitaire, Klondike. The game begins with twenty-nine cards dealt between seven columns (the tableau). Each column gains a card starting with 1 card in the first column with the last card in the column facing upward. The remaining cards after dealing are kept face down in the stockpile. Four empty spaces (the foundations) are left which is where the sequences will be built starting from the Ace up until the King of each suit.

The rules

  1. A lower-value card can move on to its next higher-value card of an alternative color. For example, a 6 of hearts (red) can move onto a 7 of clubs (black).

  2. A card can move into its suit’s foundation pile if it is the next card in the sequence starting from Ace. For example, a 3 of spades can be placed on top of a 2 of spades in the foundation pile.

  3. A card can be drawn from the stockpile and added to either the tableau or its suit’s foundation pile.

  4. Only a king and any cards placed in sequence below it can be moved into an empty tableau column.

Traditional vs online solitaire

Here’s where things get interesting. You won’t always have a deck of cards on hand, or the space to lay out a full Solitaire game, but you will always have your phone on you. More than being convenient, playing Solitaire online added some interesting features that take the traditional game to another universe. Let’s compare:

How traditional Solitaire works?

How online Solitaire works?

You will need a deck of playing cards to play

You can play the game whenever and wherever you want on your phone

You must set up the cards according to the game rules

The game board is pre-set, all you have to do is start

You play against yourself

You can play against yourself or other gamers from across the US

Completing the game is a reward in itself

You can choose to play for real money

You can take as long as you want to complete the game

Games are timed at three minutes per game

If you’re ready to reinvent memory lane with a legit online Solitaire game, you should try Solitaire Clash by AviaGames. Otherwise challenge yourself with an alternative version to what you know. Solitaire is timeless and a great way to take your mind off of adulting while still keeping your mind sharp.