# 15 SOLITAIRE STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU WIN

Klondike Solitaire is the most popular version of the Solitaire game. The rules of the game are simple – but winning quickly has never been easy. Not every game of Solitaire that you play will be winnable; this is because the game involves so much chance and guesswork that it’s impossible to keep up a winning streak. But with the right strategies in your arsenal, you could win a game of Solitaire in no time!

## 1. REVEAL THE FIRST STOCK CARD(S)

When you first start playing Solitaire, nine times out of ten, your first move will involve moving a face-up card from its column to another column that has a corresponding card (a black 5 to a red 6, for example). But before you begin moving cards around, the best thing to do is to broaden your options. So, flip over the first card (or three, depending on how you’re playing Solitaire) in the deck to see if you can use that card to your advantage in the tableau.

## 2. CLEAR THE LARGEST COLUMN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

If you want to make the most of the time you spend playing Solitaire, aim to clear the largest column of facedown cards first. You will need to make several moves to reveal all of the facedown cards, but it will be worth it once they’re all out of the way. So, if you have a black 7 on top of your largest face-down column and another black 7 on a much smaller column, move the black 7 in the larger column first!

## 3. DO NOT EMPTY A COLUMN IF YOU DON’T HAVE A KING

You can only fill a free column within your tableau with a King card, which means you won’t reap any benefits from emptying out a column if you have no King to move in the free space afterward. Keep your options open, and don’t make any rash moves.

## 4. CONSIDER YOUR CHOICE OF KING

If you happen to have both a red King and a black King waiting to fill a free column space, have a look at the other cards you have face-up before you make your decision. If you have a red Queen that is visible and easy to get to, then don’t move a red King card into the free space. In this example, move the black King instead.

## 5. BUILD FOUNDATION PILES EVENLY

It’s tempting to move as many cards as possible to the foundation piles to be done with them ASAP. But, stop and take a breath. It’s important to build the foundation piles evenly, or you could end up hurting your chances of finishing a game.

Imagine you move a card on top of a black 3 early on in the game and then discover that you happen to need a black 3 to move a red 2. Only move cards to the foundation piles once you have all four of a kind discarded – for example, don’t move any 4s until your 3s are on all four foundation piles.

## 6. TRY TO EMPTY OUT A SMALL PILE EARLY

The first pile on the left is the easiest and quickest to clear, and it will leave a space for a King so that you can start a new column. Try to do this early on in the game to give you somewhere else to move cards to. But, of course, as mentioned previously, only fully empty the column once you have a King available to move to that spot!

## 7. MOVE THE TABLEAU FIRST

While your stock can provide you with plenty more options to play Solitaire, make sure to use the tableau cards first in order to reveal the trapped face-down cards. Revealing the face-down cards earlier on in the game can give you a better advantage and is an important strategy to employ while playing Solitaire.

## 8. LOOK OUT FOR KINGS AND ACES

You should look out for Aces in your tableau and stock pile in order to move them to the foundation piles. Similarly, look out for Kings in your tableau and stock, as you never know when you’ll get the opportunity to move columns around in order to free a space for the King.

## 9. PLAY ACES AND TWOS ONTO FOUNDATION PILES IMMEDIATELY

As soon as you reveal an ace in the stock or on your tableau, move it to the four foundation piles. Once you have all four aces, quickly fill them up with all 2s as well. This will help reveal more cards and keep your tableau nice and clean.

This is because you would never play another card on top of a 2 since the aces are already on the foundation piles, so there’s really no point in keeping the 2s in your tableau.

## 10. THINK ABOUT COLOR

Since cards have to be stacked in alternating colors in the tableau, always keep an eye on the colors. This is especially important when a King becomes available to move to a free column in the tableau. If you have the choice, think about what color King would be more advantageous in that moment. For example, if you have a black Queen also available to be moved in another column, move the red King.

## 11. TRY TO ARRANGE MATCHING SUITS

This is a difficult strategy to employ when playing Solitaire, but if you get the chance to during the game, we highly recommend stacking columns of cards in the same suit. Obviously, you will still be alternating colors, but try to keep the same colored cards within the column in the same suit!

For example, if you have the option to move a 4 spade or 4 clover underneath a red 5, move the 4 clover if the black 6 is a clover too.

## 12. DISTRIBUTE CARDS EVENLY

Try your best to distribute the cards evenly within your tableau. Instead of having one super long tableau column, aim to make many smaller tableau columns. This will give you more options for movement so that you can win the game. Keep piles as separated as possible, unless you are trying to reveal a face-down card.

## 13. PLAN AHEAD

This Solitaire strategy is a culmination of all other strategies already mentioned. Instead of blindly moving cards around the tableau and into your foundation piles, always plan ahead. Think about potential moves before you make them and think about any consequences that may occur. This will help you to be more strategic and avoid making any mistakes that may cost you the entire game!

## 14. SWITCH IT UP

If a certain Solitaire strategy is not working for you, switch it up! Don’t just stick to one strategy, mix it up, try new things, try old moves, and do whatever you can to win the game. Adapt according to what is available on the tableau and stock pile. You never know what strategy will become most useful to you until you start playing.

## 15. DON’T BE AFRAID TO REDEAL

Not all Solitaire games are winnable. So, if you’re stuck, call it and shuffle the cards. Then, redeal so that you can try again. But make sure to only give up once you’ve determined you cannot make any more legal moves, so make sure you’ve exhausted all your other options.

## FAQ

### Is Solitaire Skill or Luck?

Solitaire is a super fun card game that is a combination of both skill and luck! No player can win 100% of the time, but skilled players are more likely to win than a beginners.

### Is Every Solitaire Game Winnable?

Absolutely not! For example, Klondike Solitaire, the most common Solitaire game, is winnable 80% of the time. But keep in mind that a single bad move can make the game unwinnable, so this doesn’t mean players will win 80% of the time. There are versions of Solitaire that are almost impossible to win as well, such as Canfield Solitaire, which is only winnable 3% of the time!

### What’s a Good Number of Moves to Win in Solitaire?

There’s no “good” number of moves to win in Solitaire; you either win or lose. But you will need to move at least 52 times (one move for each card) in order to complete a game of Solitaire. However, it would be nearly impossible to win a game of Solitaire with as few as 52 moves.

### What Is a Good Solitaire Time?

On average, a Solitaire game takes around 10 minutes to play, so once you get the strategy down and become more familiar with the game, a great goal is to get your playing time down to 5 minutes!

Head over to our post on double solitaire for a fun 2 player alternative to Klondike.