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Free online solitaire

Start playing unlimited online games of classic solitaire for free. No download or email registration required, meaning you can start playing now! Our solitaire game is the fastest loading version on the internet, with no ads. It’s mobile friendly too, so you can play anywhere.

With Solitaired, you can:

  • Play as many games as you like
  • Undo moves
  • Track how many moves or how much time it takes to win
  • Create a free account to save games for later play, and to keep track of total moves and time played for each game
  • Switch to work mode, so you can play solitaire at work

How to play our solitaire game

On Solitaired, you can play classic solitaire, sometimes called Patience or Klondike solitaire. The goal of the game is to create four foundations, each based on their suite color, and ordered numerically starting with the Ace at the bottom and ending with the King at the top.

The foundations are placed in the top row, next to the stockpile, which is on the far left. In the example below, you’ll see that two of the four foundations have so far been created. The Ace in the Spaid pile is the first card placed in that pile. In the diamond pile, the Ace has already been placed there, and then followed by the Two of Diamonds. To complete the Diamond pile, you’ll need to place then place the Three of Diamonds, followed by the Four of Diamonds, etc., until the foundation is complete with the King at the top.

Once all four foundations are created, you win the game of solitaire. Cards are moved to the Foundation from either the Stock or the Tableau.

Solitaire foundation

How to use the tableau when playing solitaire

You can place cards in the Foundation pile from the Tableau, which is the series of 7 columns beneath the four foundation piles.

Solitaire explanation

Starting the game, each of the seven columns in the tableau has a different number of cards. The first tableau column has one card, the second column has two cards, the third column has three cards, etc., and the last column has seven cards. The last card in each of the tableau columns is flipped over so you can see the card. Only the last card in each tableau column, or the card flipped over from the stock pile, can be moved to the foundation.

You can freely move any face up cards within the tableau. Cards that are eligible for movement must end up on top of a card that is of the next highest value after it, as well as the opposite color. In the example below, you can see how the Three of Hearts can be moved on top of the Four of Clubs. As you move cards within the tableau, the last face down card is then flipped over revealing more cards, which can eventually be moved to the foundation or elsewhere in the Tableau. You’ll see below as the Three of Hearts is moved, the Queen of Hearts is found.

You can move a group of cards in the Tableau, and not only individual cards. Below, you’ll see how both the Queen of Hearts and Jack of Clubs can be moved on top of the King of Spades.

You also have an opportunity to move kings into any spaces created by the full removal of cards from a Tableau column. This process can be important as it can help you unearth more cards from the Tableau, helping you win the game.

In the example below, you’ll see how the first column in the tableau is empty, as that card has either been moved to the Foundation or another part of the Tableau. In that empty Tableau column, the King of Spade, Queen of Heart, and Jack of Club can all be moved there together. This reveals a new card from the column they were moved from, progressing the game. Alternatively, in the same example, you can move the King of Clubs from the Stock pile to the empty Tableau column.

How to use the stock pile when playing solitaire

At the beginning of the game, all the cards that are not dealt into the Tableau are then part of The Stock, which is the group of cards face down on the top left.

Cards can be taken from the Stock one at a time, and are placed individually next to it face up. Once placed face up, cards are “active” and can be placed onto any available foundation or into the tableau. For example, if there is an Ace of Diamonds in the foundation, and a Two of Diamonds is drawn from the stock pile, it can then be placed on top of the Ace of Diamonds. In the graphic below, a Nine of clubs in the stock pile can be moved on top of a 10 of diamonds in the tableau.

If a card taken from the Stock can not be placed in either the Tableau or the Foundation, another card can be moved from the Stock on top of the card that could not be placed, which is now considered inactive and part of the “waste.” You can continue to draw cards from the Stock until it’s exhausted, at which point all the waste cards are again placed facedown in a new Stock, which you can then start drawing cards from again.

Winning solitaire

As you move cards among the Tableau or from the Stock, you are “building.” All these movement methods can be used and recycled continuously until primary goal or completing all four foundations is complete, or a stalemate occurs. In the latter case, the game terminates because there are no longer any viable movement options on the Tableau or in the remaining Stock pile.

On Solitaired, we keep track of how long it takes you to win a game and the total moves you make. As you get better, you can challenge yourself by completing games faster or with less moves.

How is a solitaire game setup?

After a 52-card deck is shuffled you’ll begin to set up the Tableau by distributing the cards into seven columns face down, with each new card being placed into the next column.

The Tableau increases in size from left to right, with the left-most pile containing one card and the right-most containing seven. As an example, this means the first seven cards will create the seven columns of the Tableau. The eighth card distributed will go into the second column, since the first column already has its one and only card.

After the piles are complete, they should be cascaded downwards such that they form a “reverse staircase” form towards the right. Ultimately, you will have seven piles, with the first pilie containing one card, the second pile containing two cards, the third pile containing three cards etc. Only the last card in each of the Tableau columns is flipped over face up so you can see it’s suit, color and value. In our soliaire game, this is automatically done for you!

All leftover cards after the foundations are created become the “Stock,” where you can turn over the first card.

Important Solitaire Terms

The following terms show up across most popular solitaire gameplay modes. You should familiarize yourself with these terms even if you only intend to play Klondike solitaire because each term’s in-game mechanics may influence how you approach the game in the first place. These terms will also allow you to understand solitaire strategies more effectively because professional players use them with great frequency.

Stock

In the context of solitaire, stock (called the “talon” in some game modes) refers to the cards left over after setting up the Tableau for a round. These cards are usually kept facedown, with cards being withdrawn from the top of the deck and placed in the “waste” pile unless the player can apply the newly revealed card to their foundations.

Depending on the rules of the chosen solitaire mode, the stock can sometimes be remade by taking all cards from the waste pile and flipping them back over. At that time, the new stock may be shuffled if the game mode allows for it.

Waste

Also known as the “heap” or the “discard pile”, the waste refers to the collection of cards that are drawn from the stock and placed face up. Only cards from the stock can be placed in the waste pile, while only the card at the top of the waste pile is considered “active” for placement onto the player’s foundations.

Tableau

This is the area used for “building” over the course of a solitaire game. Tableau structures can vary from one game mode to another. In Klondike or classical solitaire, foundations are randomized when the player creates the basic seven column cascading structure at a round’s commencement. This whole area is known as the Tableau.

Cells

While not used in all forms of solitaire, cells are a special mechanic that provide the player with a maneuvering space over a round’s course. Cells take the form of a “free space,” often above the main Tableau, that will accept a single card at a time. Any card can be placed into these cells, though it is common to use this space to reserve a strategically significant card such as an ace. On Solitaired where classic solitaire is only played, there is no cell or free space.

Building

Building is the process undertaken by the player that involves moving cards around the Tableau for the purpose of achieving the game mode’s main goal. These mechanics will vary based upon the game mode’s rules, with options to require building based upon the cards’ suit, color, and more. In Klondike solitaire, for example, cards are built into the foundations based on alternating colors and descending card values.

Family

A family is one term used to describe a “completed” foundation based upon the specific rules of the game mode. Most modes define a family as containing one of all 13 card values, starting with the low card Ace and ending with the King. In Klondike solitaire, each family must have the same suit.

Strategies for Solitaire

Several worthwhile strategies exist for solitaire, most of which are based around strategization and anticipating which cards remain available on the Tableau as well as in the stock. Also, because solitaire is a game based in creating current and future opportunities for successful building, many of the following tips also provide fool proof methods for creating fresh opportunities during the course of play.

Here again, all of the following tips and strategies apply specifically to Klondike solitaire. However, some of these strategies may also apply to alternative game modes depending on the game design

Basic Tips

At the beginning of a fresh game, always flip the first card on the stock pile before making any moves on the Tableau. This will provide you with one extra option while considering which moves will be most advantageous in the long term.

As you play, always move aces to the Foundation. Because the ace is crucial to starting a a foundation, it is advantageous to place them there from the get go. The same process can be done for “2”s, depending on how your particular game is progressing.

Strategic Tips

Whenever possible, make moves that expose hidden cards on the Tableau. This process will put more viable cards in play as you progress, making it less likely that you’ll hit a stalemate because the card you need is still face down and covered.

In the process of exposing hidden cards, you should prioritize exposing cards in the largest remaining Tableau columns first. This means, the columns towards the right. This helps to ensure that these larger piles (usually the two rightmost piles) do not become a burden to satisfy late in the game, when the total number of viable card sequencing options begins to shrink.

During regular play, you will likely have an opportunity to completely free up one of the columns on the Tableau. However, you should only open a free space on the Tableau if you have a king immediately available to fill it. Failing to do so can close off one major option until a viable king appears from the stock or from the remaining hidden cards.

As you play, remain mindful of your color options. This is because you must sequence each card in a given foundation by alternating color. Moreover, there are only two color options for any given card value in a deck, making it more challenging to successfully complete a round if you fail to account for when or where a properly colored card may appear.

Why play solitaire

Solitaire is one of the few card games with one of its core mechanics right there in the name. In fact, most folks treat solitaire (also known as “patience” in Europe) as the go-to card game when they’re playing solo. Though the goals of solitaire feel simple enough, experienced players know that a mix of skill and luck go into a successful round, which you’ll need when you play a free online solitaire games like ours.

Whether you’re playing on a computer or with your own 52-card deck, solitaire can test your ability to strategize and plan ahead (even without an opponent present). Though the game takes some “patience,” it can also be very rewarding when you win.

Different Versions of Solitaire

Solitaire isn’t just a single game for arranging playing cards. In fact, there are hundreds of different methods for arranging playing cards that have been turned into replicable game modes.

In all forms of solitaire, the primary goal of the game is to reorganize or sort the cards in the deck according to certain parameters. In Klondike solitaire on Solitaired, this goal takes the form of sorting the deck’s cards into four piles (sometimes known as a “family” or the Foundation) from ace to king of the same color and suite.

Generally speaking, an individual solitaire player’s goal in playing is to successfully expend their entire “stock” while placing every card into a “family” or foundation. Depending on the mechanics of the chosen game mode, these efforts can be graded based upon how quickly the player accomplishes their goal or based upon how many “moves” they must take before the end game scenario is reached.

Listed below are just a few of the most popular alternative game modes that you should try out after mastering standard solitaire. Klondike solitaire is not included in this list because it is already considered the “standard” game mode. Though it is usually called “patience” in Europe, this game mode is also the same mechanically as so-called “standard” solitaire.

FreeCell

In this game mode, all cards are dealt into eight cascades face up such that all cards are visible from the get-go. The goal of this game is to build up each of the foundations (which receive their own special cells) by suit, starting with the ace and rising to the king.

This game mode has become increasingly popular since it was added as a free game in the Windows operating system in the 1990s.

Spider

This solitaire mode requires two decks of 52 cards, which are shuffled together and dealt out into 10 cascading piles of six cards each. The top card of each pile is then flipped, after which point the player works to build families by rank and in suit sequence order. Additionally, 10 cards from the stock can be dealt out for use so long as there are no open spots on the tableau.

Pyramid

This unique game calls for the player to arrange the Tableau in a single large cascade shaped like a pyramid, with a single card at top and continuing down to a six card base. All cards are face up, with only cards that are not “covered” by two other cards in the pyramid being considered active. These cards must be paired with cards draw from the stock to create pairs equal to 13 (based upon traditional valuations for face cards).

Solitaire at Work

Of course, if you like playing Solitaire, you probably have thought about playing it at work. Check out our “Work mode” so you can play discreetly while on the job.

Solitaire work mode

A Brief History of Solitaire

Solitaire may find its origins in a fortune-telling layout used in Demark and Norway as far back as the mid 1700s. The game, with several of its modern mechanics, became popular in France in the 1800s, which in turn caused it to spread to England and eventually North America. In England, in particular, the game (under its worldwide name, “patience”) was even popular enough to be mentioned by Charles Dickens in his contemporary classic, Great Expectations.

The first written account of the game’s rules and structure appeared in an 1870 book by a woman named Lady Adelaide Cadogan. Similar collections popped up around this time, which led to the standardization of solitaire’s mechanics into what is known as Klondike mode today. However, even as far back as Lady Cadogan’s collection, players of the game were creating variations that acted as seeds for the hundreds of alternative solitaire games available today.

Windows Solitaire

Solitaire also received a new birth of interest after it went digital. Though versions had been available on earlier computer systems, the inclusion of solitaire among the free games in the Windows operating system allowed new players to learn the game in the free time. This same phenomenon caused FreeCell and Spider to both rise in popularity among the general population, as they appeared as free games in later editions of Windows.

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