7 Strategies to Win Solitaire

By Neal - 4/26/2020

Solitaire (also known as Klondike Solitaire) is both one of the oldest and simplest card games in the world. But despite its simplicity on its face, there’s a surprising amount of depth in strategy required to consistently win games. Even with the best strategies, there’s always an element of luck in any game, which is part of what makes it so engaging! These tips will maximize your chances of winning the game.

1. Expose Larger Stacks First

When you’re targeting hidden cards to expose, it’s always recommended that you choose columns with huge stacks behind their current face cards. Whittling down these columns of hidden cards as soon as possible always has a better chance of revealing useful cards you can use to build piles of revealed cards.

2. Don’t Empty a Spot Without a King!

Many players will make the rookie mistake of emptying tableau spots or piles just to remove all the cards from that slot. But if you don’t have a King to put into that spot, the space will simply remain empty, as only kings can fill those spaces. This basically blocks off an entire column of play until you get lucky enough to reveal a King from your other cards.

3. Always Keep Color in Mind when Filling a Space

Choosing a red or black King to fill an empty spot is a big decision. It dictates the color order for that pile for the rest of the game. Carefully consider what Queen and Jack cards you have available to ensure easy stacking going forward.

4. Turn Up the First Deck Card First

This seems simple, but many players make the mistake of beginning to build their piles and move cards around on the tableau before flipping over the first hidden card in the upper deck. In fact, you should always reveal this card as your first move, since it gives you an extra set of options both for building foundation decks (the four slots at the top of the tableau) or for building piles below. More options are always better in Solitaire.

5. Don’t Always Build Ace Stacks

This might seem counterintuitive, but moving cards to the upper Ace foundations or stacks above the main tableau can actually cause you problems if you need those cards to maneuver your piles below. Always think carefully before building your Ace stacks, as cards that you move into those stacks cannot always be recovered and might lock you into a lose condition if you aren’t careful. This is especially prevalent in the late game.

6. Don’t Move Cards for No Reason

It’s always tempting to shuffle cards from pile to pile and slowly build them up, but locking valuable cards of varying colors behind lower cards is often a recipe for locking yourself out of victory. Generally speaking, you should only ever move cards when there’s a clear benefit or to reveal a hidden card. Don’t do it just to build piles.

7. Play the Ace or Two

Whenever you reveal an Ace or Two from the stockpile, play them, instead of drawing more cards from the stockpile. It’s considered one of the best moves in the game. First, the Aces can always go to the foundation, and then the two or deuces will likely follow shortly after.

Try these strategies and play solitaire now!