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Solitaire Rules and Gameplay

Solitaire is a card game that you play by yourself. You only need a standard deck of 52 cards to play, so it's a great game to play when traveling alone or just when you are bored and want something to do.

There are a lot of different types of solitaire you can play. On this page we will describe how to set up and play a game of Klondike Solitaire.

Game Rules

Setting Up the Cards for Solitaire

The first thing to do is deal out the cards into seven columns (see the picture below). The first column on the left has one card, the second column has two cards, the third has three cards. This continues for the rest of the seven columns including seven cards in the seventh column. The top card in each column is turned face up, the rest of the cards are face down.

The remaining cards go face down in a single stack called the stock pile. You can start a new stack, called the waist stack, by turning the top three cards of the stock pile over.

The Object of the Game in Solitaire

The goal of the game is to move all of the cards to the "foundations" these are four additional stacks of cards. At the start of the game these stacks are empty. Each stack represents a suit (hearts, clubs, etc). They must be stacked by suit and in order, starting with the Ace, then the 2, 3, 4,…..ending with the Queen and then King.

Playing the Game of Solitaire

Cards that are face up and showing may be moved from the stock pile or the columns to the foundation stacks or to other columns.

To move a card to a column, it must be one less in rank and the opposite color. For example, if it was a 9 of hearts (red), you could put an 8 of spades or clubs onto it. Stacks of cards may be moved from one column to another as long as they maintain the same order (highest to lowest, alternating colors).

If you get an empty column, you can start a new column with a King. Any new column must be started with a King (or a stack of cards that starts with a King).

To get new cards from the stock pile, you turn three cards at a time face up into the stack next to the stock pile called the waist stack. You can only play the top card off the waist stack. If you run out of stock cards, turn the waist stack over to make a new stock pile and start again, pulling the top three cards off, turning them over, and starting a new waist stack.

Other Variations of the Game of Solitaire

There are lots of variations of solitaire. Here are a few ideas for you to try:

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