How to Play Australian Patience Solitaire

By Neal Taparia - 05/18/2023

Australian solitaire, or Australian Patience solitaire, is a fun, challenging variation of classic Yukon solitaire.

Number of Cards: 52

Length: Short

Difficulty: Moderate

Family: Yukon

Type: Open packer

How to Play Australian Solitaire

The aim of the game is the same as any solitaire card game — move all 52 cards from the tableau piles to the foundations in ascending suit order. Instead of turning each tableau card as you go, you’ll see everything on the table. 

Sounds easy, right? Not so fast! You only get to go through your stock pile once. If you can’t place all your cards quickly, it’s game over.

Australian Patience is a variation of Yukon solitaire. That means you’ll move groups of cards regardless of their order. This makes it fundamentally different from Klondike, or “normal” solitaire. 

Types of Piles

Foundation piles: These are the empty piles at the beginning of the game. You’ll build them up as you go, starting with aces.

Tableau piles: These are the workable piles on the table. They are shuffled and dealt before the card game starts.

Stock pile: This pile is the remainder of the deck that hasn’t gone into the tableau piles.

Waste pile: As you empty the stock pile, the cards you don’t place in the tableau make up the waste pile..


If you’re playing online solitaire and not using deck of cards, the game will already be set up for you. 

To start a new game of Australian solitaire with cards:

  1. Shuffle your deck of cards.
  2. Place 7 tableau piles of 4 cards each. All cards should be face up.
  3. Place the remainder of the cards in a separate pile face down — this will be your stock pile.

The foundation piles should be empty — you’ll build these up starting with aces once you start playing.


The objective of Australian solitaire is the same as all other variants. Move all playing cards from the tableau piles to the foundation piles in ascending suit order, beginning with the aces and finishing with the kings.

Similar to regular solitaire, the foundation piles are built up in ascending suit order. For example, a foundation pile might begin with the ace of diamonds, but must finish with the king of diamonds.

Conversely, the tableaus are built in descending order; cards are placed on top of those with higher values.


  • Foundations must be built up in ascending suit order, e.g., ace of diamonds to king of diamonds.
  • Tableaus build in descending order in suit.
  • The top card of each pile can be played on the foundation piles.
  • You can move a single card or multiple at one time. A card in any position can be moved to the top card of another pile, but all cards an top of the moved card must move with it.
  • Only kings can move into empty tableau spaces.
  • Stock and waste piles are included: when you can’t make a move, use the stock pile to uncover a new card.
  • You can only pass through the stock pile once. There’s no redeal in Australian Patience, so be careful clicking through this group of cards!

What is a good strategy for Australian Patience?

Whether you’re playing Australian, Klondike, Freecell, or any type of solitaire, good strategy is key to increase your chance of winning. 

Take your time.

If this is a new game variant for you, it may take some time to get used to how movement works. Look carefully at every card before making moves, not just the top cards. You don’t want to miss any possibilities.

Move aces to the foundations as soon as they’re available. 

It’s a rule for almost every variant of solitaire, but especially important when you only have one shot with the stock pile. Look out for aces up when you start clearing your tableau piles.

Be careful with your kings.

If you play a lot of solitaire, it’s probably your instinct to move a king to an empty tableau spot as soon as you can. Slow down when you play Australian solitaire. If you only have 3 kings in your face-up cards, that means there’s one hiding in the stock pile. Wait to get him on the tableau if you can.

Check for deadlocks at the beginning.

A game of Australian solitaire can be unwinnable if there’s a deadlock in the tableau when you deal cards. For instance, if a pile contains spades in the sequence of 5-3-4, you can never move the 4. The game would be an automatic loss, so it’s not worth your time to play. While this is a rare occurrence, it’s worth checking.


What other solitaire games can you play?

If you enjoy triple Klondike, there’s a ton of other solitaire games you can play, such as Canfield and Double Klondike. But if you’re after more of a challenge, try other Yukon like Scorpion solitaire or Alaska solitaire. If you want to explore hundreds of variations, check out our homepage.

Is Australian solitaire always winnable? 

It’s not always possible to win Australian solitaire. In fact, most people only win about 30% of the time.

What is an easier variant of solitaire? 

Triple Klondike solitaire is a great solitaire option for beginners. It’s the same as classic Klondike but with three times as many cards. The game takes a little longer, but the number of cards makes it easier to win.

What is the difference between Patience and Solitaire?

While we tend to think of solitaire as the card game, technically, the name can apply to any single-player card, domino, or board game. Patience refers specifically to the card game, but this usage has become archaic. Many people have never referred to a solitaire card game as “patience.”