Solitaire is a very popular card game that seems to have been with us forever and can be played by all ages providing hours of fun. All this game requires is a standard deck of playing cards and a table top to lay them out. It is called by many names, the other popular choice is Patience and there are hundreds of variations to this game but in this article we will explain the most widely used variation and at the bottom briefly talk about some of the other variations.
To play the game you will need a standard deck of playing cards, these will need the Jokers removing and they are then shuffled before setting them out. Aces always count as low and the cards then progress in numerical order followed by Jack, Queen and King in that order. The suits have no ranking priority and are just separated by their colours initially.
Seven columns of cards are dealt out in the first row, the second row consists of six cards which are dealt from the right hand side on top of the first row. The rows continue to be placed deducting a card each time until the bottom row consists of just the one card.
The bottom card of each column is turned face upwards and these are now classed as usable cards and are involved in the play.
The remaining cards are left in the pile and are used once the columns can be played no more.
The object is to finish with four bases of cards, each base is started by the Ace of each suit and the cards are placed on top of the Ace in numerical and ranking order so that each base is completed when the King is placed on top.
The cards can be moved across the columns if they follow down in numerical order from another card and are the opposite suit colour.
For example, if one column has a black three showing and another column has a red two showing then the red two can be placed onto the black three, once the two has been moved the next card in the column is turned face up and comes into play.
If a column has a run of cards and there is a card in play on a different column that they can fit onto, all of the run of cards are moved onto that column.
If a column is emptied then any King that is showing face up can be moved into the space to start the column up again.
If an Ace is turned face up, they are removed from the columns to start your bases, once a base is started any cards from the same suit that follow in numerical order can be added to that base.
Once you have played as many moves as you can on the columns and can play no more you take the remaining cards and bring these into play. Some players turn these over one at a time, others turn every third card over and the card that is shown can now be played on the columns or the bases if they fit. If the displayed card does not fit anywhere then the next card or third card is used from the pack.
The object of the game is to finish with four complete bases, all of the cards in the columns will have been used up and all of the remaining cards in the pack will also have been used. There will be times when you cannot complete the game, this will happen more times that not and there is nothing you can do to change this, it is just the way that the cards have been dealt out.
This version of Solitaire can be found in countless forms on the internet, Microsoft even include it in their standard Windows game folders. The online version is played just the same as with using a conventional pack of cards.
Another popular version is known as Clock patience. Here all of the cards are dealt out in 13 piles of four cards. They are arranged with 12 piles in a circular fashion to represent a clock face and each pile corresponds to the numbers on the clock. The thirteenth pile is placed inside the circle and is used for any Kings turned over during play. The game is started by turning over a card on the middle pile and whichever number is turned over is placed next to its pile on the circle or if a King is turned over, the middle pile, and a card is turned over on that pile until all of the cards have finished in their piles or you cannot go any further.
Several books have been written purely for Solitaire card games and these are worth buying as they give you loads of different options for playing the game.