How to Play: Eight Off

Eight off is a variation of the timeless series of card games known as Solitaire. This particular solitaire game requires more strategic thinking and patience than Klondike — the card game that is most synonymous with solitaire. From the start of the game when you play the first card and until the game ends, you'll be exhilarated by the complexity of this great game.

It will take a little bit of patience as you first learn the ends and outs of eight off if it's a new game to you, but it's a solitaire game that's sure to challenge your wits. Due to the prevalence of online gaming, it's an addictive and increasingly popular card game and is more like Free Cell than any other card game.

So, if you've got your deck of cards or gaming device ready, then it's time to learn how to play the brain-teasing solitaire card game, eight off.

The Object of the Game

The object of the game is to arrange all four suits in ascending order in the four foundation piles. That means the sequence of cards should go from ace all the way up to the king in each suit.

As you complete a suit, it goes into the foundation pile, also called the discard pile. You win the game by getting all of the suits from the tableau pile to the foundation pile. Once you complete a suit in the foundation pile, the whole suit goes to the discard pile off to the side. You win the game by filling up each of the four suits in ascending order and moving them to the discard pile.

The Pack

The eight off solitaire card game only requires one deck of cards to play. Be sure to remove both of the jokers from the card deck as jokers aren't a part of eight off.

The Deal

The game starts with you dealing cards into the tableau pile. The tableau consists of 6 columns with eight cards in each column, and each card in the tableau should be laying facing upward.

After you've dealt out the tableau, you place the remaining cards facing upward in the reserve spaces above your tableau. Leave space on the left side of your tableau to place the foundation pile or discard pile once you've placed your cards in suit sequence.

Also, there are four free cells beside the four cards you have in the reserve spaces. You can place the topmost card from any column in one of the open free cells for temporary holding.

The Play

Only the top card of a pile in the tableau may be moved meaning you can only move a single card at a time. As you read earlier, eight off is very much like Freecell, but in this version of the game, you can't move multiple cards and you can only move cards in the tableau to the card that's immediately higher within the same suit sequence.

Unlike Klondike solitaire, you aren't arranging the columns in the tableau by alternating colors. In the 8 off card game, you can only move one card at a time, and the card can only be placed on the next card up in that same suit. For instance, the only card you can put on top of an eight of diamonds is the seven of diamonds.

Your foundation piles all start off with an ace of any suit. The ultimate goal is to build each foundation from the ace a particular suit all the way up to the king of that same suit.

You also have your eight free cells or reserve spaces at the top of the board that you can utilize to temporarily place cards. For example, if you need the two of diamonds but it's under the eight of spades, then you can move the eight of spades to one of the empty reserve cells if there's no nine of spades in the tableau.

However, you can only put one such card on a reserve mound. Also, the number of cards you can move at a time is always one, no matter their suit sequence. Also, you can only put a king in an empty tableau space.

This version of the popular Freecell solitaire game will require patience and strategy. As you begin moving cards around the tableau and the free cells, you'll see different opportunities to play available cards, but you have to be mindful about the plays you make.

You need to make every move with your next two or three moves already in mind. You don't want to start building a suit in the tableau just to cover up a card in another suit that you need right away for your foundation. You also don't want to use up all of your empty cells and lock yourself out of a play, so use your free cells wisely.

Like any other version of the game, eight off is a one-player game. However, if you're feeling competitive and have multiple decks, then you can start a tournament with a number of players and race against each other or a clock.

You can also play the free eight-off game on our website to brush up on your skills. Thousands of people play on our site and you can test your mettle against other solitaire aficionados. Upon registering on our website, you'll be eligible to make the leaderboards and battle it out with a number of players for solitaire supremacy.

There are over 500 types of solitaire, and you can play each version of the game on our website, from Ace of Heats to Zerline.