Solitaire, also known as Patience, is a single player card game where the player’s aim is to sort all the cards into numerical order to form foundations, usually separated by suit, after starting with the cards in a specific layout which differs based on the game. Some variations of Solitaire involve sorting the cards into pairs rather than foundations or simply discarding the whole deck to win. Solitaire can be played with real cards or digitally as many variations of solitaire have been released to play online.
Solitaire can also be played using Dominoes. The word solitaire comes from the Latin word Solitarius which means alone or isolated from others. Solitaire is thought to have originated as a way to read someone’s future. Professional solitaire players exist and can earn up to $250,000 a year in competitions online. There are several hundred different variations of Solitaire that exist today.
We don’t know the exact origin of Solitaire but it is speculated to have originated in the early 17th century in Europe, more specifically in France. Solitaire is thought to have originally been used as a method of fortune telling as it originated during the rise in popularity of divination cards and tarot cards.
The earliest record that can be found of the game and it’s rules is in Lady Adelaide Cadogan’s ‘Illustrated Games of Patience’ which was released around 1870. Although a news letter from 1816 reports that Napoleon spent his time playing Patience while in exile at St. Helena. There is also a reference to the game in Tolstoy’s ‘War and peace’ in a scene that is set in 1808, Tolstoy is believed to be very careful with historical allusions and a devoted player of Patience himself, so this reference causes many to believe the game was being played long before it ever officially appeared in publications.
Solitaire was traditionally a game for people who were confined to one place, such as people who are physically or mentally disabled or people who are seriously ill, also people who lead a secluded and solitary life (recluses). Surprisingly, in some cases in America those who would benefit from card games the most such as people in prisons and mental asylums were not allowed access to playing cards as they were classed as lethal weapons due to having an edge. Instead, they were given thick tiles with the appearance of playing cards.
Solitaire was first released digitally on May 22nd, 1990 by Microsoft. Since 1990, Microsoft have released all of their Windows computers with Solitaire built-in to the present day. After its initial release Microsoft Solitaire was in the three most used programmes on Windows computers. This digital version of Solitaire paved the way for all the online versions of the game which exist today.
There are many different variations of solitaire, each game having different rules, procedures and methods of completing the game, making solitaire a more interesting game to play as you can keep learning to play different variations. Some of the most popular variants of solitaire include Free Cell, Spider, Klondike, Pyramid and Tripeaks. Generally these variations differ based on the layout in which the cards are dealt but some variations use more than one deck of cards or use a stripped deck, where some cards have been removed prior to play.
Klondike is one of the most popular variations of solitaire that has been around since 1902. It was possibly named after the ‘Klondike Gold Rush’ which occurred in the 1890s, as gold could represent luck and winnings. This variation is also known as Canfield and was named after the most well known gambler in the world at the time: Richard Albert Canfield, who owned many gambling houses in the USA. Klondike is thought to have become popular due to its combination of judgement, luck, attractive layout and fast pace.
The aim of the game is to complete four foundations, each of a different suit, starting with the Aces and working up in numerical order to the Kings. The cards are dealt in a triangle shape made up of seven piles, the far left pile has one face up card, the next pile has one face down card with one face up card on top, the next pile has two face down cards with one face up on top. This trend continues until the seventh pile which has six cards face down with one card face up on top. The face up cards are moved between these piles to reveal the face down cards below which can only be turned over when they are at the top of a pile. Cards can only be moved onto another card which is one number higher and is the opposite colour. For example, a seven of spades could be moved and placed on an eight of hearts. When an Ace is revealed it is placed above the seven piles, this creates the foundation for that suit which can then be built upon when the sequential cards are revealed
In Pyramid solitaire, the cards are traditionally set out in a pyramid shape of 28 cards. The aim of Pyramid solitaire is to remove all the cards from the pyramid. Cards can only be removed in pairs that add up to 13. For example, a 7 and a 6 can be removed as a pair. In this game: A=1, J=11, Q=12 and K=13. As the King already equals 13 it can be removed on its own. If there are no moves available you can turn over one card from the draw pile and pair that with a card in the pyramid.
Tripeaks solitaire has been around since 1989 after being created by Rober Hogue and was made popular by being included in the Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
The aim of this game is to remove as many cards as possible from the table, where the cards are laid out in a 3 peak formation. To remove cards they must be placed on a card from the draw pile which is 1 higher or 1 lower in value, this is the active card. For example, a 2 from the table can be placed on a 3 or an Ace from the draw pile. An Ace can also be placed on a King and vice versa. When a card is moved from the table to the foundation pile it becomes the new active card. If there are no possible plays, you must draw a new card from the draw pile to become the new active card. Play continues until all the cards in the draw pile have been used.
The aim of Golf solitaire is to move all the cards from the 7 piles on the table to the waste pile. To move a card to the waste pile, the top card in the waste pile must have a value of 1 more or 1 less than the card you want to move, for example, a 6 can be moved on top of a 5. The card also has to be at the top of its pile and once it is moved the card beneath it is revealed and is free to move when possible. If there are no cards that can be moved to the waste pile then you must draw a new card from the draw pile to place on top of the waste pile.
Sum of 10
Sum of 10 solitaire is a new and original variation of solitaire. In this game the aim is to remove all the cards from the table by making pairs that add up to 10. For example, a 7 and a 3 can be removed as a pair, as well as a 9 and an Ace as A=1. Also, 10s can be removed on their own. If there are no available pairs you can turn over a card from the draw pile to match with a card on the table.