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How to Play Golf Solitaire

Golf Solitaire has you move all the cards from the tableau to the waste pile to win the game, unlike the traditional Klondike Solitaire where you arrange cards into the foundation piles. You use one deck of cards in this game, and you only have to remove the cards in the 7 column tableau to win.


Clear the tableau of cards in the fewest moves possible by pairing the top card from the waste pile with one from the tableau that is one rank higher or lower.

Golf Solitaire Setup

Golf Solitaire has three basic piles that you use to play the game:

  • Tableau: You need to clear all of the cards in the 7 column tableau. Each column has 5 cards, and all cards are face-up and overlapping slightly so you can see the ranks of all the cards in the tableau.
  • Stock pile: The remaining cards are placed face-down and spread out horizontally at the bottom of the tableau. The first card of the stock pile is flipped up to begin a waste pile, leaving you with only 16 stock pile cards.
  • Waste pile: Cards flipped up from the stock pile become the top card in the waste pile. Additionally, when you pair a card from the tableau with the top card in the waste pile, the tableau cards become the new top card of the waste pile, the one that needs to be paired next.
How to setup Golf Solitaire

Golf Solitaire Rules

  • You can only pair the top waste pile card with tableau cards that are one rank higher or lower. For example, if a Jack of Clubs is the top card of the waste pile, you can pair it with either a 10 of any suit or a Quen of any suit in the tableau. The tableau card you pair then becomes the top card of the waste pile.
  • Use the stock pile just once. You may get stuck with a waste pile card that you can’t pair with a card on the tableau. In this instance, you can flip over the next stock pile card to create a new waste pile card. However, you can only cycle through the stock pile once, or else the game is over.
  • You cannot build sequences. The only moves you can make are pairing cards from the tableau with waste pile cards. You can’t move cards around the tableau into any sequences.
  • You cannot fill empty spaces. Unlike traditional Klondike Solitaire, the gaps left behind by removing cards can't be used to move or store other cards; you must play from the pyramid as is.

Strategies to Win Golf

You can increase your chances of winning by using the following strategies:

  • Use the stock pile sparingly. You only get to cycle through the stockpile once, and you only get 16 cards. So do your best to find as many matches as possible so you can avoid using the stockpile unless absolutely necessary.
  • Plan your moves. Examine the tableau carefully before each move. Work to pair in the longest sequences you can to remove as many cards in one move as possible.
  • Remember that you can move up and down with rank. As you examine your moves, keep in mind that you can move in both directions. For example, you match the waste pile four of hearts with a 5 of Clubs in the tableau, and then the 5 becomes the new waste pile card. You can go backward and match a 4 of Spades from the tableau with the 5 of Clubs, and you can go forward again and match the four of spades with a five of diamonds.
  • Use the hint button. You can use our hint button to help you identify which cards to move or our undo button to try different moves.

How Difficult is Golf Solitaire?

Golf is considered medium in difficulty. When looking at 279,751 random games played, 45,523 were won, or 16.27%.

Golf Scoring Variation

Like a game of Golf, you can play and score nine rounds of Golf Solitaire either individually or against others. The goal is to get the lowest score possible.

Here’s how the scoring works at the end of each round:

  • Receive a point for any card left in the tableau. For example, if you have four cards left in the tableau, you get 4 points.
  • If you clear the tableau, you will receive a negative point for any cards left in the stock pile. For example, if there are 0 cards in the tableau and five cards in the stock pile, you’ll receive a negative 5 points.

Keep score for 9 rounds and then add up your points. The player with the lowest score wins.

Other Games You'd Enjoy

If you like Golf Solitaire, you can try some variations that have you matching and pairing:


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