How Many Versions of Solitaire Are There?

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Many people in the world are under the impression that there’s only one type of Solitaire game. In fact, the game you probably think of when you hear the word “Solitaire” is actually a variant called Klondike. Klondike solitaire is just one of the many, many, many variants of the classic game.

In fact, despite what the Microsoft Solitaire Collection might tell you, there are hundreds upon hundreds of different versions of this popular card game. Want to know what some of them are? Take a look.


Klondike is the world-famous game of Solitaire. It involves the traditional tableau, one deck, and a waste pile. Your goal is to play every card in the deck and waste pile in ascending order by suit. Once the tableau is cleared, you’ve won. It’s a go-to for millions of players around the world because it’s easy to pick up and doesn’t require a whole lot of strategy or initial setup. It’s also kind of addictive since every game — win or lose — has that “one more round” mentality. Keep in mind that it’s not the ice cream sandwich, though.



Baker’s Dozen

A distant cousin of Klondike Solitaire, Baker’s Dozen is a fun variant that doesn’t have a steep learning curve in the slightest. You’ll use one deck and deal all 52 cards face-up onto the tableau. There’s no traditional waste pile. The goal is the same as Klondike: Move all of the cards into the four foundation piles, starting with the Aces as they’re revealed. Again, you won’t need much strategy and since you’ll never see any of the card backs, you’ll probably just require the good luck of some quality play deals to win.


FreeCell is where things start to look a little different from your conventional card game. Very few play deals are un-winnable. However, don’t mistake the lax rules of FreeCell for it being an easy game. It can provide a daily challenge, especially if you’re not paying close enough attention. Like Baker’s Dozen, all cards are dealt face-up. There’s no time spent flipping a new card or managing with a waste pile. The cards are placed into eight cascades that can be played on four open tiles and four foundations. From here, you’ll build down by sequential cards of alternating colors. It’s fun, fast-paced, and can be pretty difficult to master.


Much like the sport, the lower your score is in this game of Solitaire, the better. Your tableau consists of 35 cards played face-up in several rows. The other 17 cards in the deck are your draw pile. Your goal is to remove all of the cards in the tableau to a discard pile. The hitch is that each card you play has to be either one point value higher or lower than the last card played. This one takes some time to set up properly for a first-timer but it’s a lot of fun to play. Just keep a pencil and scratch paper nearby to tally up your scores. The first time you snag a personal best score, you’ll be hooked.



Play your games online.

If you want to test out some of these popular variations for yourself, you should be playing free Solitaire online. Try Solitaired if you want some variety. The site offers over 500 different types of Solitaire. Plus, if you’re new to a game’s rules, a handy undo button will make your life a lot easier. Additionally, you can change backgrounds, card faces, and card backs and you have a custom Solitaire experience that can keep you busy for an entire afternoon. Just try not to get sucked too deeply into the card game wormhole.