Did you know that what is generally referred to as a game of solitaire is actually called klondike or patience? It is safe to say that solitaire is a misnomer. Solitaire is an umbrella term for a set of games that have almost similar gameplay. You can say they belong to the same family of card games.
Among them, klondike enjoys the greatest popularity, majorly because this was the version of solitaire that was popularized by Microsoft in the 90s. Most of these games share similarities because they were designed to be played by a single player.
With the evolution of online games, you can now play solitaire online in a multiplayer mode. On apps like Solitaire Gold, you get the opportunity to compete with some of the best players in the country and win real cash prizes. You can also play a free solitaire game if you are a beginner.
Read on to learn about some of the most popular solitaire variants that you can play online.
This is the game that is now universally referred to as solitaire. In Europe, this game goes by the name of patience. It first garnered popularity in the 19th century and is supposed to have gotten its name from the Klondike region in Canada where the Klondike Gold Rush happened between 1896 and 1899.
The discovery of gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon territory, located in northwest Canada, prompted a rush of miners from the west coast of the United States. Miners would play solitaire to pass time on their often challenging journey. As a tribute to the region, klondike solitaire was established.
The objective of klondike is to arrange a 52-card deck in four piles called foundations. Each pile is arranged in an ascending order from ace to king according to suit. With all the standard elements of a solitaire game including tableau columns, stockpile and waste pile, klondike is a classic variant of solitaire. Once you master this version, most other versions of solitaire will get easier to master.
Among the variants of solitaire that require two card decks, spider solitaire is the most popular one. Having originated in 1949, the game gets its name from the spider’s eight legs, which is a reference to the eight foundation piles that must be filled to win the game. This is yet another variant that was popularized by Microsoft. Spider overtook klondike in terms of popularity within a decade of its release.
The objective of spider is to remove all the cards from the table by arranging them on the tableau before removing them. The tableau setting is generally similar to that of klondike, with tableau columns, a stockpile and foundation piles. However, the cards are all exposed in spider and only full sequences can be sent to the foundation piles. The game becomes challenging if more than one suit is used. The chances of winning a spider solitaire game are said to be around 1 in every 3 games.
This is the variant that is the most similar to klondike. Freecell is a way more strategic version that requires careful thought and approach. However, this variant has the highest solvable probability, with around 99% of deals deemed to be solvable.
Utilizing a single deck, the cards are dealt into seven piles. Unlike other variants, all cards are dealt in freecell and there is no stockpile. Moreover, all cards are dealt face up. Just like klondike, the goal of the game is to build foundation piles in ascending order according to suit.
What makes the freecell variant different from the other variants of solitaire is the presence of freecells, which are four empty spaces on the tableau. Cards can be sent to these cells to hold them for the purpose of freeing those underneath them. Once a card is in a cell, it can only be retrieved to build a tableau column or a foundation pile.
Named after the single pyramid shape of the dealt cards in the tableau, this is one of the solitaire variants with the least probability of winning. A favorite among puzzle lovers, the objective of the game is to discard all the 52 cards and bring down the pyramid. You get rid of cards by matching two cards whose rank equals 13 points together. When using the standard 52-card deck, jacks are worth 11 points, queens are worth 12 points and kings are worth 13 points. Kings can be removed by themselves without pairing them up with another card.
The pyramid is set up by dealing one card face up, then two cards are placed beneath it, and three beneath those two and so on, forming a pyramid-like structure of either seven rows with 28 cards in total or six rows with 21 cards. The remaining cards make up the stock and are kept face down.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of all the solitaire variants out there. There are many more such as yukon, forty thieves, scorpion, mahjong and golf. The best part is that almost all these variants can be played online, which makes it so much easier and more convenient. Not only can you play the game as and when you wish to, online gaming apps also clearly mention all the rules of the respective variants. If you wish to play solitaire games for cash prizes, always choose to play on a trusted platform like Solitaire Gold. Happy gaming!