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How To Win At Solitaire: 18 Tips, Tricks, & Strategies (Improve…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Despite being a card game to exist for several centuries, the popularity Solitaire holds is unparalleled. Millions of people all over the world play the game on their desktops, phones, tablets, and other devices. Despite being a game many people have picked up as a hobby in their childhood, the game requires strategy and definitely isn’t a “child’s game”. 

There are plenty of tricks associated with Solitaire, both with the single and multiplayer format. Assuming you’re on the search for tips and tricks as well as strategies that can help you win your next Solitaire game, look no further! Before we dive into the techniques, we should examine a few rudiments first, particularly the terminology. 

The term “Down cards” implies cards that are dealt and played face down (you don’t know what they are until you flip them). “Face Up” are cards that are stacked face up before you (you can see their value). Now that you know the terms, let’s try and make you a consistent Solitaire winner! 

1. Becoming A Good Observer 

Observing the table before your next move is a vital part of what it takes to succeed at Solitaire. You probably won’t have the option to determine the outcome of your next few moves, so giving yourself a few seconds to look over the board and form an early strategy is key. 

If you are playing a multiplayer variant of Solitaire, for example, watch your adversaries closely in order to determine what their next moves might be. Being a good observer in card games is what separates good players from the pros. 

2. Being Quick When Playing Timed Solitaire 

Playing Solitaire isn’t always about beating the game in the fastest time. Yet, for those playing on the web, on Windows, or in a serious competition, your time does influence your game score. 

Hence, you ought to be quick when making your moves so you can avail score bonuses when the game ends to fully maximize your score. 

3. Using Your Extra Lifeline

A trick not many Solitaire players use is the ‘get out of jail-free card’ the game gives all of its users. This comes in the shape of an undo button, allowing the player to revert their move if they’ve made an error. This option might not be available online or in casinos, but it’s definitely available in Microsoft versions. 

4. Color-Coding Your Moves

Filling a spot with either a black or red King is a difficult decision to make and one that requires thorough consideration. The King’s color dictates the suit and color order of the pile. Once this move is made, you are stuck with it till the end of the game. 

Take a few seconds to make a mental note of all the face-up cards you have. Getting an idea of what color or suit offers more options for moves can help reduce the possibility of you getting stuck while stacking piles. 

5. When To Play Face Down Cards 

If you have a chance to free up a face-down card, do it! These cards are typically tricky to deal with, as moving them around is challenging. Also, when playing face-down cards from the stockpile, make sure to place them in the longest built-up piles as it can help open up more moves.

You can also choose to not play face-down cards in the stockpile and keep them in reserve until you get stuck.

6. Create Stacks From Similar Suits 

Doing this is essential for the endgame. Creating stacks from similar suits can help you liberate a stuck card. It is essential to remember this choice when you are running out of moves or options. By creating stacks from similar suits, you can move these stacks around to try and free up a face-down card. 

7. Avoid Emptying Spots If You Don’t Have A King

Try not to simply eliminate all cards from the available spots without having a strategy or plan in place. In the event that you empty tableau spots without having a King, these spaces will stay void since only Kings can fill these spots. Thus, the whole section of play will be impeded except if you can uncover a King from your different cards.

8. Making Piles Of The Same Suits

If there’s a possibility where you can play several cards on the tableau, try to consistently make piles utilizing a similar suit. For example, if you’re planning on playing the 8 of clubs, on top of the 9 of hearts, you should target adding as many clubs and hearts to this pile as possible.

9. Changing Your Strategy Mid-Game

Assuming you’re attempting to uncover down cards or add cards to your establishment, you might want to consider changing your strategy. There’s no point in adhering to a rule set, assuming you’re stuck. 

Take a stab at making a solitary pile by moving every one of the Kings, or tossing 5s, 6s, and 7s around until you track down an effective way to keep going.

10. Capitalizing On Your Opponents’ Mistakes

Oftentimes when you’re playing a multiplayer variant of Solitaire, you’ll find your opponent making a mistake. At this point, take a look at the table, and rather than ignoring the mistake, capitalize on it, as it’ll almost certainly increase your chances of winning!

11. Getting In The Head Of Your Opponent 

A few players are flighty and yield to the allurement of aggressive plays. Instead of backing off and letting them take over, use your strategies to get in the head of your opponent, making them rage and potentially make mistakes. 

12. The Golden Solitaire Rule

It’s not really a strategy as it can be considered an unwritten rule. This rule is a basic strategy that every amateur player needs to begin with. Each time you are in a circumstance where you need to choose between either picking a card from the deck or liberating a face-down card, consistently pick the latter option.

A simple way to remember this rule is by understanding that the more down cards you have, the better chances you have of finishing your game. 

13. Drawing Cards From The Deck As The First Move

This tip is one of the most widely recognized starting strategies that nearly everyone utilizes. When you start, draw a card from the deck. 

Why? This is to give yourself more choices so you can stack the card all the more effectively. Likewise, it expands your possibilities of making an amazing move toward the beginning of the game.

14. Making Use Of Aces & Twos’

When given an Ace or a Two, play them immediately. Aside from being the foundations, they will assist you with uncovering different cards and lessen the cards you have in your hand. 

This is a particularly obvious strategy when playing Klondike Solitaire, where you need to move the cards around in the quickest time in order to dominate the match.

15. Knowing When To Move Your Kings

Kings are one of the main cards in Solitaire. Why? Because they can occupy free spaces. All things considered, consistently attempt to save a spot for one King so when a king presents itself to you, you can then let loose that space, giving you a lot more options.

16. Learning How To Use 5, 6, 7, & 8

These middle-value cards are ideal when it comes to shuffling piles around to try and get a card unstuck. Breaking apart columns from these values can open up other moves and allow you to progress in some cases. It is a neat trick when it works, so always be open to dividing your stacks in case you find yourself stuck or out of moves.

17. Making Use Of Even Stacks

If getting a high score is your main focus, always try to build even stacks. This allows you to open up the board and make way for more opportunities to approach score chains and end the game faster. 

18. Don’t Shuffle Cards For No Reason

It’s enticing to move cards from one pile and then onto the next. Yet, locking away or shuffling important cards of various varieties behind lower-value cards can be the reason for losing a game that could otherwise be winnable! 

Final Thoughts

Improving in Solitaire is fairly easy. The game has just a few rules, and it is easy to learn and play. However, If you want to get really good at it, take these tips to heart and start experimenting with bold strategies. Sure, Solitaire has an element of luck associated with it, but you should still be winning at least 4 out of 5 games, if not better. 

These 18 tips, tricks, and strategies, when applied, will certainly help improve your Solitaire gameplay! It is best to try to implement one trick at a time and see how that affects your gameplay. Good luck!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.