How to Play Solitaire: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Play Solitaire: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Play Solitaire: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Solitaire is a game that you can play alone on the computer or with a standard 52-card deck. In some cases the matches cannot be solved, but that's part of the fun and explains why this game is also called "Patience". The first two sections of this article describe a simple and well known approach to playing solitaire. The last section describes the most famous variations of the game.


Part 1 of 3: The Preparation

Play Solitaire Step 1
Play Solitaire Step 1

Step 1. Learn the objective of the game

Step 2. Start arranging the cards

Put a card face up on the table and arrange 6 cards face down next to it. Then, put a card face up on top (but slightly lower) of the top card face down and put a card face down on each of the other 5 cards. Continue like this so that each stack of cards has one card face up on top and the stack on the left has only one card, the one next to it has two, then three, four, five sixes and the last seven.

Play Solitaire Step 3
Play Solitaire Step 3

Step 3. Put the remaining cards in a separate pile and place it above or below the other cards

From this pile you will get more cards when you have nothing else to move.

Play Solitaire Step 4
Play Solitaire Step 4

Step 4. Leave space on the top for four stacks of cards

Part 2 of 3: How to Play

Step 1. Look at the face up cards on the table

If there are planks, put them on top of the other piles. If there are no aces, rearrange the cards you have, moving only the face up cards. When you put one card on top of another (slightly lower, so you can see both cards), it must be a different color than the card you are placing it on and must be one less in value. So if you have a six of hearts, you can put either a five of clubs or five of spades on it.

  • Keep arranging the cards like this until you have nothing to move.
  • Each pile should have cards of alternating color and in descending order.

Step 2. The top card of each of the seven piles must be face up

If you move a card, remember to reveal the card that was under it.

Step 3. Build your stacks by placing the planks at the base

If you have an ace on top of the piles of cards, (during the game you should have all four aces in that position), you can move the cards of the corresponding suit on top of it, in ascending order (Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King).

Step 4. Use the reserve deck if you can't make any more moves

Find out the first three cards and see if the first of the three can be placed anywhere. You will often find an ace there! If you use the first card, see if you can use the next one as well. If you can use the second card, then see if you can use the third as well. At this point, if you also used the last card, reveal three more cards from the deck. If you can't move with any of the three cards, put them in a discard pile (being careful not to change their order). Repeat until the cards in the deck are gone.

Once your deck is finished, use the discard pile. But make sure you don't mix them

Step 5. If there are any hole cards, you can move the cards around until you find a place where they can fit and that allows you to reveal that card

Then put it in the appropriate place.

Step 6. If you use all the cards in a pile, you can put a king (but only a king) in the empty space

Part 3 of 3: Try out Variants of Solitaire

Step 1. Try playing Forty Thieves solitaire

This version is simpler than normal solitaire because you will be able to see the cards in all piles (because they will all be face up). The goal is always to create a stack for each suit in descending order.

  • When you deal the cards, you have 10 rows of cards with four cards in each pile, all face up.
  • You can only move the top card of each row. Above the lines you have four spaces that you can use as cells to transfer the cards to. You can put the top card of one of the rows in a cell, so that you can use one of the cards below it.
  • You can play the cards in the reserve deck at the same time, but you can only turn it over once (not three).

Step 2. Try playing Freecell

This is one of the more difficult versions of solitaire. Challenge your mental abilities more than normal solitaire because you don't have a spare deck to use. The goal is to create a stack of each suit in descending order.

  • Deal all the cards into eight piles, four of them should contain seven cards, and the other four six cards. All the cards should be face up.
  • Do not use any cards to form a reserve deck. You should distribute them all in the piles.
  • As in Forty Thieves, you can use four spaces above the top to move the cards. You will only be able to play the card on top of each pile, but you can put it in one of the four spaces to play the card below it.

Step 3. Try playing Golf Solitaire

In this variant the goal is to play all the face up cards of the seven piles, and not create four piles of the same suit.

  • Make seven stacks of five cards. All the cards should be face up. Put the other cards face down in the reserve pile.
  • Reveal the top card of the reserve deck. You will need to try to play one of the face up cards from the seven piles onto the card you turned over from the reserve deck. When you can't play any more cards, reveal the next card in the deck and play as many cards as you can. Keep playing until you have played all the cards face up or you can't make any more moves.

Step 4. Try playing Pyramid Solitaire

The objective of the game is to remove all the cards from the pyramid and the reserve pile and place them in the discard pile, creating pairs of 13 points of value.

  • Deal out 28 pyramid-shaped cards, face up. They should be arranged so that the rows are made up of one card, two cards, three cards, etc., to form a pyramid. Each row should go beyond the top one. Note that some people play with a 21-card pyramid.
  • Create a reserve deck with the remaining cards.
  • Removes cards one at a time or in pairs. You can only remove cards with a value of 13. Kings are worth 13, ladies 12, jacks 11, and the rest of the cards their numerical value (aces are worth 1). You could for example remove a king; you could also remove an 8 and a 5, because their sum is 13. You can also use the top card of the deck to get a 13.
  • If you cannot make pairs with the cards in the pyramid, you can reveal the next card in the reserve deck. Once you run out of cards in the reserve deck, you can take them from the discard pile to continue removing cards from the pyramid.

Step 5. Try playing Spider

You will need to use two decks to play this game.

  • Make 10 stacks, four of six cards and six of five cards. Only the top card of each pile should be face up. The rest of the cards will form the reserve pile.
  • The goal is to create a descending sequence of cards of the same suit, from king to ace, within the 10 piles. Once you have completed a descending pile, you can place it in one of the eight spaces below the piles. You will need to make eight of these stacks. You cannot use the spaces under the piles to move cards.
  • You can create mini sets of cards (for example 9, 8, 7 of spades) and move them to a 10 of hearts or any other suit while making other small sets.
  • The game will end when you have created the eight piles of all the suits.


  • There are many other types of solitaire games, so if you have trouble with the ones described, try others.
  • Remember that you need a little luck to win Solitaire.
  • If you need help and are playing solitaire on the computer, you can press the H key to display a suggested move.
  • Always start with the deck if there are no uncovered aces.