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How to Play Chinese Solitaire

Chinese Solitaire is similar to Scorpion Solitaire but with a modified tableau layout and cards built in the foundation.


The goal is to move all 52 cards from the stock pile and tableau into 4 foundation piles by suit in ascending order.

The Setup and Play Area

Tableau: This is the area where there are 7 columns of cards, each with 7 cards, totaling 49 cards. All cards are face-up in the first 3 columns. In the fourth column, the last 4 cards are face-up. In the fifth column, the last 3 cards are face-up. In the sixth column, the last two cards are face-up. In the seventh column, the last card is face-up.

Stock pile: The remaining 3 cards go into the stock stock pile. They are dealt to the first 3 columns of the tableau at once.

Foundation piles: These are the 4 piles at the top to the game where cards are placed by suit in ascending order from Ace to King.

How to set up Chinese Solitaire

Available moves

  • Only Aces can start in the foundation, and subsequent cards must be in ascending order by suit. For example, only a 2 of Hearts can be played on an Ace of Hearts.
  • Similar to Yukon, a card and all the cards beneath it can be moved on top of the bottom card of a tableau column if it is one rank lower and of the same suit. For example, if you have a 5 of Hearts and an 8 of Spades underneath it, both cards can be moved together on top of a 6 of Hearts that sits at the bottom of the tableau.
  • Tableau cards can be moved by sequencing them in descending order by alternating colors. For example, a 5 of Spades can be placed on top of a 6 of Hearts.
  • Face-down cards are turned face-up when there are no cards below them.
  • If a tableau column is empty, a King can be placed there.
  • The 3 stock pile cards can be dispensed at any time and will be placed on top of the cards at the bottom of the first 3 tableau columns.
  • You win when all cards are moved to the foundation.


  • Prioritize moving cards to reveal the face-down cards and make them playable.
  • Only deal cards from the stock pile when you have no other moves.
  • Avoid having lower-ranking cards above higher-ranking cards in the same column. This will make sequencing these cards challenging.
  • Free up columns. This way, you can move a King, start building new sequences, and free up cards in the process.
  • Look out for deadlocks. If 9 of Spades, 7 of Spades, and 8 of Spades are in order, the game is lost, as you will never be able to sequence those cards. Similarly, if there is a 6 of Diamonds followed by a Jack of Spades in one column and a Queen of Spades followed by a 5 of Hearts in another column, the game is lost as you won’t be able to sequence those costs. Restart the game if you see this.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the probability of winning Chinese Solitaire?

Chinese is a challenging game. We looked at 1,987 random games played. Of those, 303 were won, or 15.25%.

What are some games similar to Chinese Solitaire?

Spider Solitaire, Spiderette, Big SpiderScorpion, and Beetle have similar rules and setups.

What are other popular Solitaire games to try?


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