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Klondike Solitaire

Klondike solitaire is one of the most popular card games in the world. Given its popularity, it follows that many people seek to know how to play Klondike solitaire, and this is exactly what we are going to explain in this article.

Read on and find out what Klondike solitaire is and how to play it. We will also provide important tips and tricks for playing and winning the game and finally answer some frequently asked questions about Klondike solitaire. Ready to play this legendary card game? Let’s go!

The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Klondike Solitaire

Klondike solitaire is a card game usually played by a single player. Due to its popularity, the game has developed into many versions and variants in itself, especially among players in Europe and North America. For instance, players in the UK play variants of Klondike known as Thumb and Pouch, Batsford, Somerset or Usk, Easthaven, Whitehead, and King Albert. Americans and Canadians have versions of Klondike solitaire known as Westcliff and Agnes. 

Klondike solitaire is considered a classic variation of the game and is typically referred to simply as ‘solitaire’ in the US and Canada. While the origin and historical development of the game are not well known, it is possible that the name ‘Klondike solitaire’ stemmed from the Canadian region where the Klondike Gold Rush happened between 1896 and 1899. As the game’s popularity started in the 19th century, the first set of rules for playing Klondike solitaire was released in 1907 inside the 1907 edition of Hoyle’s Games under the name Seven-Card Klondike. 

By 1913, the rules for playing Klondike solitaire had been revised, and this was shown in the year’s edition of Official Rules of Card Games. It is important to mention that historically, Klondike solitaire has been mistaken for Canfield, alluding to the casino game played at the Canfield Casino located in Saratoga Springs, New York. 

How to Play Klondike Solitaire?

To know how to play Klondike solitaire, first you need to understand the setup and the goal of the game, and then learn the allowed moves during the game. Let’s get into it.

How to set up a game of Klondike solitaire?

To start with, Klondike solitaire uses the standard 52-card deck without the Jokers. The goal of the game is to build the foundations of four suits, from aces up to kings. To start playing a game of Klondike solitaire, you need to arrange the cards on the tableau in seven piles first.

The dealing goes as follows. The first pile has one card, the second pile – two cards, the third – three piles, and so on up to seven cards in the seventh pile. While other cards in a pile face down, the card on top of each pile faces up.

The rest of the deck is placed above the tableau. Make sure to leave some space for the waste pile and the four foundation piles above the tableau piles. And there you have it – a set up of a Klondike solitaire game.

The Basics of Klondike Solitaire

  • You need to understand that the four aces form the foundations of a game of Klondike solitaire, and as each of the aces becomes available, you need to put it to one of the foundation piles. In the follow-up play, the cards in each suit are then played on the aces in their appropriate order. This means that as the twos, threes, and other cards become available, you play them on the ace.
  • You should note that any movable or playable card can be played on a card immediately after it is in rank. It’s important to remember that you can only move a card to a card of another color. For example, a red five may be placed on a black six.
  • Another important detail is that if you have more than one card facing up on the tableau pile, all of the cards can be played or moved as a single unit. When you move the cards facing up from a tableau pile, the top card facing down is turned up and becomes available.
  • You also need to understand that only a king (card) may fill up an open space in the layout; no other card is allowed to do this.
  • You can also draw cards from the deck. There are different variations of Klondike solitaire, in which you can turn either one or three cards from the top of deck at a time. When you turn over a card from the deck, you can put it on the tableau or the foundations, if possible. In Klondike solitaire turn three, you can play only one of the three cards you turned over. The unplayed cards are discarded into the waste pile.
  • There are also different versions of Klondike solitaire, in which you can use the deck once, three times, or indefinitely.

Klondike Solitaire Rules

Summing Up

For better understanding, let’s sum up the rules of Klondike solitaire. 

  1. For playing the classic Klondike solitaire, a conventional 52-card deck without Jokers is used.
  2. Seven fanning heaps of cards are placed out in a tableau from left to right after shuffling.
  3. Each pile has one more card than the one before it, starting from the left.
  4. The stock, which consists of the remaining cards, is positioned face-down in the upper left corner of the tableau.
  5. Alternating colors can be used to reduce the tableau heaps.
  6. Only a king can be used to fill any empty heaps or a pile of cards.

Alternative Ways

There are other ways to deal with the remaining cards from the stock, including:

  • Turning three cards at once and going through the deck an unlimited number of times.
  • Making three rounds through the deck while discarding three cards at once.
  • Making three trips through the deck, discarding one card at a time.
  • Making a single trip through the deck, discarding one card at a time, and playing it if you can.
  • One card at a time, with no cap on the number of times the deck can be shuffled.

A Klondike solitaire game is deemed over after the player is unable to make any more significant moves. It’s difficult to win at this point.

How to Win a Game of Klondike Solitaire?

You need to understand that while playing Klondike solitaire requires some level of skill and patience, it is not too difficult to win. You only need to have an effective winning strategy. However, keep in mind that not all Klondike solitaire games are winnable. Some shuffles just make it impossible to succeed, so don’t give up if you can’t win from the start.

Let’s look at some of the best tips, tricks, and strategies for winning a free online Klondike solitaire game.

Tips and Tricks of Solitaire Klondike

  • Before proceeding, turn up the first card from the deck. It expands your initial range of moves and gives you more options, enabling you to choose wisely.
  • When it’s practicable, always place an ace to the foundation. This rule doesn’t appear to need any further explanation because it is obvious and makes sense.
  • Reveal any covered cards. Choose the column with the greatest number of hidden cards if you have a choice between many alternative actions that reveal hidden cards.
  • Hold off on making any unimportant moves. The optimal move is one that gives you a chance to make more movements or reveal covered cards.
  • If you don’t have an available king, don’t empty a tableau pile. If you receive an empty pile, you win nothing. Leave your options open since, in the classic Klondike solitaire, space can only be filled by a king or a sequence that begins with a king.
  • When choosing between a black king and a red king to fill a spot, proceed with caution. Make the proper color decision based on the blocking cards’ colors. You need to pick a red king and then wait for a black queen, for instance, if you have a red jack that blocks some hidden cards.
  • Another obvious strategy is to transfer aces as soon as they become available in hopes of releasing a card that is useful.
  • It is best to move cards in the tableau when you have the option of doing so rather than pulling a card from the remaining deck. The only possible exception to this rule is if you can recall the prior card or, in the case of a three-card deal, if the prior card starts to be helpful to you after the current card has been utilized.
  • Unless, of course, putting a card on the foundation frees up a new card, don’t immediately place any cards that are three or higher onto the foundation, as they can occasionally be beneficial for adding additional cards to the arrangement.

Is it hard to play Klondike solitaire as a beginner?

Klondike solitaire is arguably one the easiest versions of solitaire. It is also very satisfying and even addictive, and as a result, many beginners looking to learn more about the card game happen to enjoy playing it. Thus, if you are a beginner, you are best suited to playing the free Klondike solitaire, as it is the classic variant of the solitaire game.


So there you have it. The nitty-gritty and all the detailed explanations on how to play the Klondike free solitaire game. Hopefully, this guide and the tips, tricks, and strategy it contains will help you win your first classic Klondike solitaire game.


Answers to the most frequent questions.

What is the goal of the game Klondike solitaire?

The goal of the free online Klondike solitaire game is simple, and it is to build four stacks of cards, each starting with an Ace and finishing with a King, all of the same suits, on one of the four foundations.

What is turn 1 Klondike solitaire?

By just displaying one card from the stock at a time, Klondike solitaire turn one sets itself apart from other games. As a result, unlike the turn three version, where you only get to use every third card, you get the opportunity to use every card in the stock from beginning to end.

How does the Klondike solitaire score work?

In Klondike solitaire, ten points are awarded for moving cards directly from the waste stack to a foundation. Nevertheless, if the card is first placed on a tableau before being placed on a foundation, an additional five points are earned, bringing the final score up to 15. In Klondike solitaire, no cards should be transferred straight from the waste pile to the foundation in order to maximize your points.