Poker Solitaire

Poker solitaire, also known as Poker Squares or Poker Patience, is a unique and engaging card game that offers a mix of the strategy of poker and the solitary challenge of solitaire. This fascinating game of poker solitaire not only rewards lucky guesses but also requires players to accurately calculate odds. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn how to play poker solitaire, its rules, winning strategies, and intriguing types of the game.

How to Play Poker Solitaire

The aim of poker solitaire is to build the best poker hands with the usage of just 25 cards from the deck, which are placed on a 5x5 grid. Cards can be placed one at a time, and as soon as a card is on the grid, it cannot be moved. After all 25 cards are dealt, points are scored based on the poker hands formed horizontally in rows or vertically in columns. The hierarchy of poker solitaire hands determines the points earned.

Rules of Poker Solitaire

The game of poker solitaire starts with placing a card onto a space in a 5x5 grid. Once all 25 cards are dealt, points are scored on hands of 5 cards formed horizontally in rows or vertically in columns. The number of points depends on the hierarchy of poker hands.

Poker solitaire has two systems of scoring: The English and the American point systems. The English system reflects the difficulty of getting the hands in the game, while the American system reflects the difficulty of getting the hands in the actual poker. The two poker solitaire systems rate the hands‘ scores as follows:

Poker hands and different points systems:

  • Royal flush: American point system 100, English point system 30
  • Straight flush: American point system 75, English point system 30
  • Four of a kind: American point system 50, English point system 16
  • Full house: American point system 25, English point system 10
  • Flush: American point system 20, English point system 5
  • Straight: American point system 15, English point system 12
  • Three of a kind: American point system 10, English point system 6
  • Two pairs: American point system 5, English point system 3
  • One pair: American point system 2, English point system 1

The points scored from each hand are added to the total score. Albert H. Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith suggest that to win one must score at least 200 points in the American system or 70 in the English system.

How to Win in Poker Solitaire

Winning in poker solitaire involves a combination of luck and skill. Players must carefully place cards to form the highest-scoring poker hands possible while anticipating the remaining cards in the deck. Keeping an eye on both the horizontal and vertical hands and balancing the scoring potential is crucial. It‘s important to note that poker solitaire is more popular as a computer game due to the application of the point system.

Types of Poker Solitaire Games

In addition to the classic poker solitaire, there are variants that add a twist to the game:

Poker Shuffle, also called Switch-a-roo Poker Solitaire or Open Poker Squares, allows cards played onto the grid to be moved until all 25 cards are set. Players can even choose to deal all 25 cards face-up before beginning placement. This gives more flexibility and gives players the opportunity to produce higher-scoring hands on the grid. Scoring is the same as Poker Squares, but under these rules, a winning score is 120 points in the English system and 310 points in the American system.

A two-player variant can be implemented by taking turns to play and comparing scores.


Q: Can I play poker solitaire online for free?

A: Yes, you can play poker solitaire online for free. There are several websites and apps available that offer various versions of poker solitaire, including classic Poker Squares and Poker Shuffle. Some platforms even allow you to play poker solitaire against other players or compare your scores with others worldwide.

Q: Are there any strategies to improve my poker solitaire game?

A: While poker solitaire relies partially on luck, there are strategies you can use to improve your chances of winning:

  1. Focus on building high-scoring hands: Aim for hands like flushes, straights, or full houses, as they tend to score more points. However, don‘t ignore lower-scoring hands if they can help you achieve a higher overall score.
  2. Balance your hands: Try to maintain a balance between the horizontal and vertical hands to maximize scoring potential. If you focus only on one direction, you may miss out on valuable points in the other.
  3. Be flexible: As the game of poker solitaire progresses, be prepared to change your strategy based on the cards you draw. This is especially important in Poker Shuffle, where you can move cards around to create better hands.
  4. Learn from experience: The more you play poker solitaire, the better you‘ll become at identifying opportunities and calculating odds. Keep practicing and learning from your successes and failures to improve your gameplay.

In conclusion, poker solitaire offers a unique and engaging combination of poker and solitaire that challenges players to use their strategic thinking and probability calculation skills. With its various types and the option to play poker solitaire online for free, you can enjoy hours of fun while honing your card game prowess.