Simple Strategies for Winning More Solitaire Games

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The card game of solitaire is easy to mock as an unimaginative timesink. For a game with such a poor reputation, though, it has been spectacularly successful and had led me to embed solitaire on my website for my audience to play.


Starting at the beginning

When solitaire first started out in 18th century Europe, it wasn’t a game — it was a fortuneteller’s tool. It made the transition to being a fun game for the public not long after. It was known by the name Patience then and is still best known by this name in Europe.  Unlike other card games of the time, this one proved to have staying power. People loved it so much, that hundreds of variants were created on the same basic idea over the centuries.

When computers with graphic user interfaces went mainstream with Windows 1.0, solitaire was prominently featured on it. Microsoft saw it as a friendly presence that could help users who found the new Windows tough to handle.

Having seamlessly moved into the digital world, Solitaire instantly became a worldwide hit. Today, it is the most popular program on the Windows platform. Just as traditional solitaire that is played with physical cards, digital solitaire has been developed in hundreds of variants of the same basic idea, too. Apart from the stock Windows version, titles such as Solitaire Arena are extremely popular.


Is solitaire really a simple game?

Games of solitaire usually appear slow and aimless. In truth, though, researchers studying the effects of the game on regular solitaire gamers have found that it taxes the brain considerably. While it is nowhere near as complex as chess, it requires enough skill to justify the need for practice and learning. Many articles delve into the strategies to use to excel at this game.

Solitaire is no simple-minded game — it requires talent and expertise. If you are only beginning to explore it, and would like a few quick ideas to help get your score up, these tips below should help you.


Approach the stockpile with a plan 

It isn’t a good idea to start moving your cards around the moment they are dealt. Your plan should be to first move any aces you see in the columns up to one of the four foundations. As far as possible, you want to keep building your foundations up.


Pay attention to uncovering your cards 

Uncovering your cards in both the stockpile and the columns should be your priority. While you may want to build the columns downward, uncovering your cards should be your priority.

The stockpile tends to be easy to work with — it’s easy to get cards out even when they are buried deep inside. Cards in the columns, on the other hand, tend to be hard to get. It is these cards that need all your attention. 


Clear up some room

Unlike low-value cards, high-value cards like Kings, Queens, and Jacks can be hard to find space for. Your plan should be to get low-value cards out of the way to make room for high-value cards, should one of these show up. 


Focus on building on the foundations 

When you have a choice between adding to the foundations and working on the columns, you should always choose to build on the foundations. It’s always easy to send cards back into the columns.


The aim should be to reveal as much as you can 

In solitaire, you can easily find yourself boxed in if you forget to reveal cards at the bottom of the columns. It’s important to keep your options open and to reveal your cards much as you can.

Solitaire is a game of skill. As with any other strategy game, the more you play it, the better your sense of the best approaches to use will get.

Richard Davis is a self-confessed Solitaire fanatic of many years. Now retired, he loves to play the game, as well as write about it on the web. His interesting articles appear mainly on gaming and entertainment websites and blogs.

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