The Solitaire game is one of the most popular card games worldwide. The pre-installed solitaire games on early versions of Windows have contributed to its popularity. Depending on the cards revealed, the course of the game can be quite complicated or quite simple. However, it can also happen that it is not possible to finish the game because there is no chance for the next move.

Starting point: The correct setup of the cards

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At the beginning of the game seven longitudinal rows are formed. Only the top card of each row is turned over or visible (see illustration „Solitaire Game“). With the remaining 24 cards you form a hidden pile, from which you turn over individual cards when no more moves are possible in the longitudinal rows. Furthermore, above the seven longitudinal rows you will find four empty fields on which the cards should be stacked in the correct order.

When is Solitaire won?

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The aim of the game is to correctly arrange the cards on the four empty fields according to suit (hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs). Each stack starts with an ace and is completed with the king. The correct order is as follows: Ace-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-jack-queen-king. When all four stacks are complete, the game is won. If no more cards can be added, the game is over, but not won.

In the related game Spider Solitaire, these four stacks do not exist. Here you have to put the cards in the correct order already in the longitudinal rows. When a row is complete, the cards that formed the row must be removed from the playing field and placed next to the playing field as a completed stack.

Permitted moves

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In Solitaire Classic, you may place a card – either from the face-down pile or a face-up card from another row – on a face-up playing card from another row. Please note that this card has to have a different color/suit and a lower number than the card on top. It is also allowed to move whole rows from one long row to another, provided the order is correct.

Example 1: If there is a black spade 5 card on top, you may place a red heart or diamond 4 on top of it. After that follows another black spade or clubs 3, and so on.

Example 2: If there is a black spade 5 card on top, it is allowed to lay on this row: Red 4 – Black 3 – Red 2 – Black Ace

If you place cards from one long row on top of another, the row from which you took the card(s) becomes free. This means that this row consists of face down cards only. In this case the top card must be turned over.

If a long row is empty, you may place a king or a row beginning with a king on the empty row. To win the game, the four stacks must be formed according to suit and in the correct order. Each stack starts with one of the four ace cards and ends with the corresponding king.

Example: Ace of Hearts – 2 of Hearts – 3 of Hearts – 4 of Hearts – 5 of Hearts – 6 of Hearts – 7 of Hearts – 8 of Hearts – 9 of Hearts – 10 of Hearts – Jack of Hearts – Queen of Hearts – King of Hearts

How is the deck of face-down cards used?

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If it is no longer possible to move cards under the longitudinal rows, use the deck of face-down cards. There are two variations of the game:

1.) one card is turned face up

2.) three cards are turned face up

In the first variant, only one card, the top card of the stack, is revealed. If you do not find a use for it, put it back at the bottom of the stack and turn over the next card from above.

In the second variant, the standard variant, three cards lie face up next to the stack on top of each other. The uppermost or the third card may be moved, whereas the other two cards may not be moved. If you could use the top card, it is possible to use the next card face up and so on. However, if you cannot use the top card, you may turn over three additional cards.

If you have turned all cards face up, you can simply start over again. However, it is important not to shuffle the cards again.

Game rules for Spider Solitaire and Freecell

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Solitario Spider

Spider Solitär

Spider Solitaire differs from the classic solitaire in that there are no four piles of cards to arrange the cards by suit and in the correct order. So you have to arrange the cards in the right order already in the rows. Once they are in the correct order, you can remove the row that makes up the pile from the board.

Carta Blanca

Carta Blanca

In Freecell, on the other hand, there are the four empty spaces for arranging the playing cards of each suit. Different from the classic solitaire are the four extra spaces where you can place cards temporarily. Also, all cards are face up from the beginning and there is no pile of face down cards.