Solitaire Games

Solitaire games are different ways of playing cards by yourself. Here we list ten solitaire variations for your consideration:

La Bella Lucie

This was the first Solitaire game I learned — by watching my grandmother play over and over again. For this game you need a standard 52-card deck. Deal the whole deck in 17 fans of 3 overlapping cards each and place the last card to the right of the 17th fan. Foundations are built from Ace to King, following suit. You can build a suit among the fans. The top card of each fan is available to play to the foundations or to another fan. You can move only one card at a time. Empty spaces are not to be filled. When there are no more possible moves, pick up all the cards, shuffle and redistribute in fans of 3 cards each. You can redeal twice for a total of three deals in all.


Klondike is the most recognizable form of solitaire. The player shuffles the deck and sets down seven piles of face-down cards–one card in the first and each succeeding pile one card higher than the previous one. The top card in each pile is turned face up, and the player then turns over the remaining cards in the deck. If any card is one rank lower than a face-up card and of an alternating color, it may be placed on top of that card. Face-up aces may be used to create a new pile, one for each suit, to which the player may add other cards of the same suit in order. The object is to work through the entire deck until the player has one pile for each suit.


In Golf, the player shuffles the deck and lays out seven piles of five cards each, face-up. He then turns up one card from the remainder of the deck and sets it aside as the foundation. The object is to get all of the cards from the seven piles onto that foundation before the player can draw through the remainder of the deck.


For this game you need a standard 52-card deck. Shuffle and place all the cards face up in four lines of 13 cards per line. Discard the 4 Aces. The empty spaces left by the Aces will be filled with a card one rank higher and of the same suit than the card placed to the left of the empty space. Empty spaces to the right side of a King cannot be filled. If the first space of the row is empty, only a “2” can be placed in it. When you cannot move more cards, take all the out-of-sequence cards, shuffle and redeal, leaving one empty space between a Two or a suit sequence. If there is no “Two” at the beginning of the row, leave an empty space and being dealing from the second space. You can play up to 2 redeals for a total of 3 deals in all.


Start Canfield by shuffling the deck and setting 10 cards aside to form a reserve. The next four cards are drawn and set down as the basis of four separate piles called tableaus. A fifth card is drawn and placed above the four piles to serve as the foundation–three other foundations will be built from the same card in the other three suits. The object is to get every card into the foundation piles, ranked sequentially in order.


Spider entails two decks of cards, which the player shuffles together. He then deals 10 columns of cards, each with the top card facing up. Face-up cards can be moved on top of any other card of the same suit ranked one higher. If you move a face-up card from the top of a pile, turn the highest face-down card up. If you have a complete suit of cards ranked sequentially from king to ace, you can set it aside. The object is to set two copies of all four suits aside in this manner.

Monte Carlo

With Monte Carlo, the player shuffles the deck and lays out 25 cards face up in five rows of five, forming a square. He can remove cards in pairs, provided they are of the same rank and side-by-side or with touching corners. Empty spaces are refreshed from the remainder of the deck. Play continues until all 52 cards have been removed or the player becomes stuck.

Forty Thieves

Forty Thieves is a two-deck game. Shuffle both decks together and lay out forty cards in ten tableau piles, four cards to each pile, face up and fanned down. Keep the remaining cards in your hand. There are also eight foundation piles and a discard pile, which start out empty. Top cards of tableaus and the discard pile are available. The tableaus build down in suit; any available card may be played to an empty tableau. The foundations build upin suit from the Ace to the King. Whenever you wish, deal a new card from the hand onto the discard pile. The goal is to move all cards to the foundations. The rules state that you can move only one card at a time.


Begin with the complete deck in your hand. Make piles by dealing out cards face up in a row, left to right, one card to a pile. Any pile can be picked up and moved onto the pile to its left, or the pile third to its left, provided the top cards of the piles match in either suit or rank. You must move entire piles, never partial piles. When you move a pile in the middle of the row, leaving an empty space, just shift all the other piles in to fill it. The goal is to finish the game with all the cards in one pile. There are no rules about when you must deal, or when you must move piles. When dealing, lay out as many new cards as you feel like working with. Then move them about until you’re out of moves, or until you think you’d profit from dealing a few more new cards. If you like, you may lay out all 52 cards at once, then study the layout until you find the best possible solution.

Sir Tommy

A quick and easy game for people who want a quick and dirty version of Solitaire. For this game you need a standard 52-card deck. The foundations are built from Ace to King regardless of suit. You have four empty spaces to place cards from the deck when convenient. Take one card at a time from the deck and place it in one of the four columns. Once you’ve placed a card, it cannot be moved to another column. The top card of each column can be played to the foundations. Empty columns can be filled only with cards from the stock. Traditionally, there are no redeals.

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