How to Win Solitaire: Strategies and Tips

Solitaires Team • Updated February 27, 2024

Solitaire today remains one of the most widely played of all card games. Wherever you might attribute the popularity of Solitaire, there is no denying the influence it has. It is timeless and infinitely varied, so let’s dive into a complete guide on how to win Solitaire.

Winning Solitaire Strategies

Many tend to think of Solitaire as a game of chance, but this is far from the truth. There is always an element of luck involved with a given deal, but winning is going to mean thinking carefully about every single move you make and studying Solitaire rules carefully. Planning moves ahead is going to be one of your biggest overall strategies in understanding how to win Solitaire. Sequencing is the majority of how the game is played, and distributing your cards to build up sequences efficiently can often be the difference between winning and losing.

Building Sequences

When you are building sequences look at the cards that are available to you and think about the sequences you could build with them. Think in terms of color, and try to create opportunities for both color sequences. Careful play means thinking ahead about optimal sequences, rather than just placing any card in sequence that you come across. If, for instance, you have a pile with a red king, try to use a black king on an empty spot. This gives you the most options for sequences.

Solitaire Stratefies: Stack Sequences of Cards

Card Arrangements

You must build sequences evenly. It’s often tempting to combine two piles when you are able to do so, but unless this reveals a card in the tableau, it’s better to keep them as two piles. The more sequences you have, the greater the number of moves you can make. Equally, don’t limit your possible moves by leaving aces and twos in the tableaus—they will not help you free up cards, so just put them straight into the foundations. 

Solitaire Stratefies: Card Arrangements

Empty Tableau Column for a King Only

Remember, once a king is placed in the tableau, it cannot be moved until a foundation is ready for it. Equally, try not to empty a tableau spot if you don’t have an available king—this will limit your possible moves.

Solitaire Stratefies: Empty Tableau Column

Using the Stockpile

The stockpile, of course, is vital to your overall game, but at the same time, an important winning strategy is only using it when absolutely necessary. Your priority should be uncovering the face-down cards in the tableau piles. Being unable to access these cards is among the most common causes of a given game being locked and no more moves being available. Think of the tableaus as your main focus in the game, with the stockpile being a peripheral aid when it’s needed. 

Solitaire Stratefies: Using the Stockpile

Armed with these Solitaire tips, even the most experienced players can find themselves in difficulty—so let’s turn to some advanced strategies for Solitaire. 

Advanced Solitaire Strategies 

Klondike Solitaire Turn One is a game of strategy, but at the same time, you can’t always win. Getting yourself out of tricky situations is one of the hardest parts of Solitaire, so let’s look at some common difficult scenarios in the game that especially arise in the hard version of Solitaire

Keep the Empty Columns

Optimizing the use of empty tableaus can be one of the trickiest aspects of Solitaire. This speaks to our earlier advice not to make a tableau spot empty unless you have an available king. If, though, you do end up with an empty spot and no king to go into it, all is not lost. Build sequences around the empty spot so that a king becomes available.

Taking Cards Back from the Foundation

Many players tend to make the mistake of assuming that once a card is in the foundation, you are done with it. This is not always the case. If it helps you free up an appropriate king for an empty tableau spot, take some cards back out of the foundations and place them in the tableau again.

Rebuilding Sequences

One misstep can block cards and lock your whole game. Unblocking cards is not impossible, though it can require you to think many steps ahead. When you’ve got carefully arranged sequences, it’s natural to feel reluctant to dismantle them. However, this may be the only way you can free a blocked card.

Not every game is winnable, and indeed of all forms of Solitaire, Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 gives you a relatively low chance of winning on a random deal. Play lots of games to see yourself where you often go wrong, and even try other forms of Solitaire to help your lateral thinking.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Often, the difference between winning and getting stuck in Solitaire is a single move. Avoiding these common mistakes is vital to your playing: 

  1. Playing any available move as soon as you see it. Especially at the beginning of the game, you’ll have many options, so consider each one carefully to decide which will give you the most options going forward. 
  2. Building uneven sequences. The truth is that building a single long sequence to the detriment of the rest of your sequences is going to create problems. Always prioritize even sequences. 
  3. Ignoring face-down cards. Your face-down cards are usually your most important key to victory. Building up large sequences, even balanced ones, on top of face-down cards will not do you any favors. 

With these Solitaire strategies and tips at your disposal, you are no longer just playing the game; you're mastering it. Exposing hidden cards, efficiently managing the tableau and stockpile, and planning future moves are key aspects of how to win Solitaire.

Solitaires Team

Solitaires Team

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