The Best Free Online Solitaire Game
Start playing unlimited online games of solitaire for free. No download or email registration required, meaning you can start playing now. Our game is the fastest loading version on the internet, and is mobile-friendly. With Solitaired:
Play online for free - Our site is 100% free. There is no forced registration. You’ll be playing solitaire in seconds, and even winning within minutes.
There is no download - We don’t have any desktop or mobile applications where you have to download and wait minutes to play. You can play instantly on your desktop or mobile web browser.
Play unlimited games - We don’t limit you to just one game. You can play as many games as you'd like. Winning in solitaire is exciting, and we want to have as much fun as possible.
Undo moves - The chances of winning solitaire are between 80 and 90%. However, even if you have a winnable game, if you make one wrong move, it may be the end of your game. If you're stuck, you can undo as many moves as you’d like to get yourself back in the game and win!
Change difficulty levels - You can play solitaire with turn 1 and turn 3 options. Turn 1 is when 1 card is drawn from the stockpile at a time and is an easier version. Turn 3 is when three cards are moved from the stockpile at time, and is harder because you can only play every third card.
Track your moves and time - If you love solitaire, you’ll want to track how many moves it takes to win a game, and how long it takes. You then challenge yourself to beat your record times and number of moves. Practice makes perfect!
Create a free account - If you’d like, you can register an account to save a game and pick up where you left off on any device. We’ll even track all the games you’ve played, including your time to completion and total number of moves. You’ll can see how you get better over time.
Play the game of the day - Everyday, we introduce a new winnable game. See how you perform compared to other players.
Play on your mobile phone or tablet - Our game works perfectly on any size phone or tablet device, both in vertical and horizontal orientations.
Discover everything about the game - We've created a comprehensive guide on solitaire where you can not only learn how to play, you can learn about the history and all aspects of the game. See our ultimate guide.
Enjoy a clean design and animations - We’ve designed our playing cards to be classic and clean, so they are easy to read as you sequence cards, and our animations keep you engaged. You can also customize designs and playing cards.
Not only can you play solitaire online, we've put together one of the most comprehensive guides to teach you everything about the game. Below, learn about:
- The rules of the games and how to play
- Important terms to know to play any version of solitaire
- Strategies to win the game
- Types and versions
- Popular solitaire games
- Why you should play
- The history of the game
- Frequently asked questions
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 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.
Goal: To win solitaire, you need to arrange all the cards into the four empty Foundations piles by suit color and in numerical order, starting from Ace all the way to King.
Tableau: This is the area where you have seven columns, with the first column containing one card and each sequential column containing one more additional card. The last card of every pile is turned over face up.
Stockpile: This is where you can draw the remaining cards, which can then be played in the game. If not used, the cards are put into a waste pile. Once all cards are turned over, the remaining cards that have not been moved to either the tableau or foundation can then be redrawn from the stockpile in the same order.
Playing the game:
- Face up cards in the tableau or stockpile can be moved on top of another face up card in the tableau of an opposite color that is one rank higher, forming a sequence of cards.
- Groups or stacks of sequenced cards in the tableau can also be moved together on top of a card of the opposite color and higher rank.
- If a tableau column has only face-down cards remaining, the last card is flipped over and can be played.
- To start a foundation pile, an Ace must be played. Once a foundation pile is started, only cards of that suit can be placed in that specific pile.
- As cards are surfaced from the stockpile or tableau, and there are no other cards on top of them, they may be moved to a foundation pile if they can be placed in the right order.
- If a tableau column is empty, you may move a King, and only a King, to that column.
- Win by moving all the cards to the Foundation piles in the right order.
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 or classic 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 different strategies more effectively.
Stock or stockpile
The 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 game, 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 or Waste pile
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.
This is the area used for “building” over the course of a 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.
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. In classic solitaire, there is no cell or free space.
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.
Foundation or 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.
The Dummies guide has additional terms you might want to familiarize yourself with.
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 it's 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
At the beginning of a fresh game, always flip the first card on the stockpile 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.
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.
Knowing what solitaire games exist and how they differ from one another enables you to choose the type that most appeals to your tastes and temperament. There are several different criteria to base your judgment on.
Type of skill and thinking involved
Solitaire players can be thought of as belonging to one or more of three main types: thinkers, risk-takers, and middle-of-the roaders.
Thinkers prefer completely open games like Beleaguered Castle, Eight off and Penguin. In these games all the cards are on display before you start playing, so the skill involved is that of looking ahead and calculating your best move at each turn. In most of these games all cards are dealt before you do any building, so you don’t have to risk repetitive strain injury by turning them over one by one from a stock.
Risk-takers are quite happy with completely closed games like Pyramid and Golf. In these you have no cards on display to start with: you just turn them up one by one (or three by three) and build them if you can or discard them to a waste pile if not. You may or may not then be allowed to turn the wastepile over and start redealing a second time, or even a third. Most of these games will eventually come out if you keep redealing indefinitely. The skill involved here simply consists in keeping an eye open and your brain ticking over.
Probably most people are in-betweeners, and stick to that are partly open but not completely, such as Freecell, Klondike and Spider. These games start off with many cards enough cards initially face up to give you a helpful steer. The number visible to start with obviously varies from game to game, and the type of skill required is of course a mixture of calculation, care, and hope- for-the-best.
One deck or two deck
Most solitaires were originally invented to be played with either or two decks, but, again, most can equally well be played with, or adapted for, either. Not surprisingly, two-deck games usually last longer, so consider first how much time you have available, or how many deals you want to play.
Types and styles of games
Not all solitaires involve building up four or eight cards in ascending suit-sequence (‘builders’). In some, such as Black Hole and Golf, you simply aim to form a single pile of all 52 cards on one foundation, in numerical sequence up and down ad lib, but not in the same suit. In a sense these are ‘eliminators’, because you are in effect simply eliminating all the cards into a discard pile. Other eliminators include the classic Accordion, and games such as Eleven off, in which you deal a tableau and eliminate cards in pairs, the two cards of each pair adding up to 11 or 13.
There are also different styles of games:
While classic or Klondike solitaire is by far the most ubiquitous and what most people think when they hear solitaire, there are other popular versions.
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.
This mode requires two decks of 52 cards, which are shuffled together and dealt out into 10 cascading piles. 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. This can be played with one, two, or four suits.
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 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 or alone. You don't need to coordinate with friends to play the game, or worry about hurting anyone’s feelings by winning. You can start playing unencumbered immediately.
Personal challenge of beating the game
Whether you’re playing on a computer or with your own 52-card deck, it can test your ability to strategize and plan ahead (even without an opponent present). Francis Prose explained it best in a New York Times op ed, noting that the thrill of solitaire comes from beating personal best scores while juggling skill, randomness, and luck at the same time. Though the game takes some “patience,” it’s can also be very rewarding when you win.
Solitaire was introduced to teach computer fluency
Computer solitaire was originally introduced in the Microsoft Windows system. Back then, users did not understand how to use a computer system, in particular how to use and click with a mouse. Solitaire was introduced as a simple way to teach users hand eye coordination with the mouse. Clicking and moving cards around was a simple and fun way to orient users with the mouse skills needed to use a computer.
It's a great way to take a break and improve productivity
The introduction of solitaire in Windows led to many professionals playing the game at work. Just like coffee breaks, playing solitaire is an easy and quick way to step away from work and recharge. In fact many studies show the importance of taking breaks at work. For example, a micro break of 30 seconds to 5 minutes, can improve mental sharpness by 13% and one small 15 second break every 10 minutes reduces fatigue by over 50%. Solitaire is an ideal outlet to take a quick break.
Solitaire can be beneficial for mental health
Solitaire also helps reduce mental stress. Games can be a form of escapism from everyday stress. The rapid gameplay and quick progression is ideal to keep your mind away from any anxieties, and can thereby improve your overall wellbeing. Physiologically, endorphins are released through the excitement of the game, leading to the feelings of pleasure. However, the immediate rewards you can get from winning, and the ability to quickly play again, can also make the game addicting.
One-player card games are called by some form of the word ‘solitaire’ in some countries (US, Spain, Italy, etc), ‘patience‘ in others (UK, France, etc) or ‘kabale’ in others (Scandinavia, eastern Europe), but both ‘solitaire’ and ‘patience’ are increasingly common worldwide.
The oldest of these, ‘kabale,’ implying something secret or occultic, suggests that the idea of laying out cards in a pattern or ‘tableau’ had its origins in fortune-telling (cartomancy), which became popular in the mid-1700s in Europe. Possibly its original purpose was light-heartedly to divine the success of an undertaking or a vow. If the game ‘succeeds’ or ‘comes out’, the answer is favorable, otherwise not. In France card solitaire is still called ‘réussite’, meaning ‘success’.
In a German games book of 1798 ‘patiencespiel’ appears as a contest between two players, while bystanders and presumably the players themselves wager on the outcome. Single and double-deck versions are described, and seem to be much like one later recorded in English books as Grandfather's Patience. Some references suggest either Sweden or Russia as the place of origin.
Books of solitaire games first appeared in the early 1800s in Russia and Sweden, and soon after in France and the UK. Most seem to have been written by women. A Livre des patiences par Mme de F**** (possibly the Marquise de Fortia), for example, was into its third edition by 1842 and was soon translated into English. Many of the games described have titles commemorating the Emperor Napoleon, such as Napoleon at St Helena, Napoleon’s Square, etc, probably based on the entirely mistaken assumption that Napoleon amused himself by playing solitaire in exile, for which there is no evidence. In fact he most often played games called Pique and Whist.
Dickens portrays a character playing patience in Great Expectations. This was published in 1861, the year in which Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, who was himself a keen player, died. The first American collection was Patience: A series of thirty games with cards, by Ednah Cheney (1870). Around that time, a British Noble women named Lady Adelaide Cadogan published Illustrated Games of Patience. The last decades of that century were the heyday of patience games, the largest collections being compiled by the prolific Mary Whitmore Jones.
From then on solitaire games settled down into a fairly nondescript existence. From popular literature, print media and movies it soon becomes clear that most people with any interest in card games knew only two or three of the most popular types, such as Klondike and Spider, and whichever one they played they called solitaire without being aware that any others existed. Such further collections that appeared in print were largely rehashes of classic titles, with little or no acknowledgement given to previous authors or inventors. Nothing of any value appeared until 1950 when Albert Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith published their Complete Book of Patience. These authors had clearly studied all the literature, tidied up conflicting rules, and for the first time ever decided to classify games and arrange them in some sort of logical progression. Thus, if you found that you liked a particular game you could then explore others of similar type, and ignore the ones that failed to appeal to you. Throughout most of its history solitaire has been regarded as a pastime for invalids rather than the physically active, and for women rather than men, though it must have been much played by prisoners-of-war who were fortunate enough to have some recreational time on their hands.
All that began to change in 1990 with the advent of Microsoft’s first digital solitaire collection, originally intended to teach people how to use a computer mouse. 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. According to a news item released in May 2020 over half-a-billion players in the past decade alone have played the game. It is now a global phenomenon.
Note that many games from the late 1800s have you start by arranging the cards in a pretty but complicated pattern taking up a lot of space. These gradually went out of fashion over the last 160 years as tables got smaller and players wanted to spend more time playing than dealing. They could be easily reproduced on a desktop monitor but would not be suitable for play on the small screen of a cellphone. In any case, strictly symmetrical, straight up-and-down layouts are more in keeping with the digital zeitgeist.
Citations and further reading:
- Das neue Königliche L’Hombre-Spiel, 1798.
- A collection of the card layouts usually known as Grand-patiences, 1826.
- Mary Whitmore Jones, Games of Patience for One or More Players, 1890 - 1910.
- Albert Hodges Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith, The Complete Book of Patience, 1971.
- David Parlet, Solitaire: Aces Up and 399 Other Card Games, 1978.
What is the best free solitaire app?
The best apps will have cards that are easy to read and interact with on mobile, desktop, and tablet. It will also have important key features, like the ability to undo and keep track of total moves, start new games when you're stuck, and the option to play winnable games. Other nice to have features of the best apps are the ability to save and customize cards backs. Our goal at Solitaired is to create one of solitaire games, and you'll find all these features on our site.
What is the best game of solitaire?
There is no best game. That depends on who you ask. Klondike or classic solitaire is by far the most popular version. After Klondike, Spider is the next most popular and then Freecell. You can find all those games and 500 others on your site.
Is solitaire good for your brain?
Absolutely. There are numerous brain-related benefits of playing the game. It teaches you about strategy and decisions making. For example, there are times in the game where you may want to move a card in the foundation back to the tableau, teaching you the concept that taking a step backwards can eventually help you move forward.
Mental strain is also important for brain functioning. You want to constantly challenge your brain to keep active and strong. The thinking and decision making of solitaire and other games does exactly that. As you try to figure out how to sequence cards to eventually place into the foundation, you're actively thinking, improving your brain health.
How do I download solitaire on my computer?
We don't have a downloadable version of the game. Solitaired is only available with an internet connection. This means you can access our game on any internet connected device, and because you can save games, you can pick up where you left off on any device.
How do I play solitaire on Windows or Windows 10?
Windows includes a great selection of solitaire games. If you can't find them pre-installed on your computer, search for "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" on the Microsoft store, and then install the game. Of course, on Solitaired, you can play the game in your browser immediately, and we make regular updates to our games.
What is the difference between Klondike and Solitaire?
The game of solitaire has many variations. On our site alone, we have over 500 versions. Klondike solitaire is the classic version of the game, or the one you probably first learned how to play. They are often used interchangeably, so when you hear someone talking about playing solitaire, they are referring to Klondike solitaire.
What is the probability of winning solitaire?
Given the complexity and variations of the game, this answer can vary. Cornell University ran a simulation for turn 3 klonidke solitaire where you have unlimited redeals of the stockpile and know the positions of the cards beforehand. They found that the probability of winning is 82%.
If you don't know where each card is, the probability of winning decreases. Similarly, if you don't have infinite redeals, it becomes harder to win. Turn 1 Klondike solitaire, on the other hand, allows you to play every card from the stockpile, and therefore has a higher chance of winning.
Moreover, while a game may be winnable, you'll to have make well over 100 moves on average to win a game. If you make one wrong move, that may lead to the game being over.
Who invented solitaire?
There is no single person credited with inventing solitaire, however, their origins date back to Europe in the mid 1700s. Since then, the game has evolved into the popular variations you play today. See our history section for more information.