Klondike Solitaire

OBJECTIVE OF KLONDIKE SOLITAIRE: Separate all four suites into their respective piles from Ace to King.


MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards and a large flat surface

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire


Klondike Solitaire is the most commonly played solitaire game. It is often confused and wrongly called Canfield Solitaire. The goal is very similar to most solitaire games. You want to separate the cards into their respective suite piles, extracting them from the setup of cards, and have them ordered from Ace to King. Once you correctly do this or can no longer make any legal moves the game is over.


The setup for Klondike Solitaire requires a standard 52 card deck. This is shuffled and then you may start placing cards into your layout. Starting from the left you will make piles your first pile will have only one facedown card in it. Your second pile will have 2 cards in it, and the third pile will have 3 cards in it. This continues until you have seven piles the last pile having 7 cards. Then turn over the top card of each pile. There should be 7 face-up cards on top of 7 different piles. The remaining cards become a draw pile and are placed nearby.

The Tableau


The foundations will be constructed above your tableau. These are the piles in which your cards will be sorted by suit and placed in ascending order. The first card in each foundation must be the ace of the suit, then cards from 2 through king may be placed in order following them. In some versions, you may move cards from the foundations back to the tableau but in the original Klondike Solitaire once a card is placed in the foundations it may not be removed. 

Aces Make The Foundations


The tableau is just a fancy word used to describe the layout you are playing your game on.  When playing cards or moving cards in the tableau they are played in descending order and to place a card on another you must also alternate color. For example, if you wish to move a black 5 of clubs you must place it on a red 6 of either hearts or diamonds. When a card is successfully moved or removed from a pile the card beneath it is revealed. This card is now able to be moved or have things placed on it. If a player empties a column in the tableau a king of any suit may be placed in the empty column.

Five Of Clubs Can Move To The Six Of Hearts


When playing Klondike Solitaire, you will flip over one card at a time (there are some versions where you flip three at a time) and play it if you chose to, if not it goes into a discard pile. You may always play the top card from the discard pile. You may only go through the draw pile once to make the game more difficult or once the draw pile has been exhausted you can replenish it by flipping the discard pile over and going through it again. There is no reshuffling of the discard pile. When cards are revealed, use the previously described rules to move cards around the tableau to reveal hidden cards.

King Can Be Moved To An Empty Column


The game is over when you can no longer make any valid plays, or you have successfully placed all cards in ascending order on their foundations. If the latter is accomplished, you have won the game. To help you win the game, read our blog post on Solitaire strategies you have to know!

Additional Resources

Play Klondike online and learn more about the game at https://solitaired.com/klondike-solitaire.

Nakoa Davis