On Solitaired.com, you can play unlimited games of Thirteens Solitaire – as well as over 500 other strategy and patience games.
To start a game of Thirteens Solitaire, click the ‘new game’ button above. Or refresh your knowledge of the game’s rules by clicking ‘rules’.
To match a pair, either drag one card onto its potential partner or simply click one of the pairable cards. If the card is available for matching, the game will automatically create the pair for you.
Thirteens – also known as ‘Good Thirteen’ – is a pairing card game that is a variation of the traditional solitaire format. This means the aim of the game is to clear all the cards in the tableau area to win the game.
However, unlike traditional Klondike Solitaire, cards are not stacked on top of each other based on their value. In Thirteens, cards are paired where the total value of the two cards equals 13. For example, a nine and a four, or a jack and a two.
The game originated in Germany as a solo patience game played with a single standard deck of 52 cards and takes its name from the total card value players aim for with each pair. As there are 13 cards in each suit in a single standard deck, it means that the target value can be created from a variety of pairs – with kings the only cards that aren’t paired, as they already have a value of 13.
Unlike many variations of solitaire – which can be won by strategy alone – Thirteens is a game of pure luck. The deal of the cards alone can determine whether or not a game is winnable and no amount of experience or game strategy can turn an unwinnable deal into a winning one.
Thirteens is simple to set up and play. On Solitaired.com, simply click ‘new game’ to deal, or set up a physical tableau with a standard deck of 52 cards.
Shuffle the deck and place 10 cards, face up, in a row – this is the tableau area. Place the remaining cards face-down, above the tableau – this is the reserve or ‘stock’ pile used to replenish the tableau when pairs are removed.
Identify pairs of cards in the tableau area that can be combined to give a total value of 13.
The possible playable pairs are as follows:
Queen and ace
Jack and two
Ten and three
Nine and four
Eight and five
Seven and six
Kings are the only cards in the game that can be removed without a pairing card, as their value is already 13. These can simply be moved to the foundation pile as soon as they appear.
Each time a pair is removed from the tableau, take two cards from the reserve pile and place them face-up in the empty spaces vacated by the pair. Continue to pair, remove and replace cards until you work through the reserve pile and eventually clear the tableau.
When the tableau and reserve piles are clear, the game is won. If the player runs out of moves before clearing the tableau, the game is lost.
The layout for Thirteens Solitaire is the simplest of all the solitaire variations. Unlike many versions of solitaire, there are no columns, stocks, or fancy layouts required.
There are three components to the layout of a game of Thirteens – the tableau, the reserve pile, and the foundation pile.
The tableau area is created by simply placing 10 cards from a shuffled deck face-up alongside each other in a row.
The reserve pile consists of the 42 remaining cards, face-down, above the tableau.
The foundation pile is created once the first pair has been removed from the tableau, and consists of all removed cards, placed face-down, above the tableau.
Compared with many variations of solitaire, like Spider Solitaire – which involves a greater number of variables – Thirteens Solitaire boasts a much higher probability of winning.
It is estimated that the likelihood of winning a game of Thirteens Solitaire is around 62.7356%.
There are many games similar to Thirteens Solitaire in their pairing format, including:
Other games like Thirteens include:
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