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13 Reasons Why Solitaire Is So Addictive (And Popular)

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

There’s nothing that quite matches the soothing entertainment that Solitaire provides. Whether it’s on a phone, tablet, computer, or a traditional deck of cards, you can have hours of fun just playing Solitaire solo. 

The digital version of Solitaire allows it to be played as and when you please, as it comes pre-installed with most Windows operating systems. With game times being short and the game itself being so accessible, it is no wonder that it is so addictive and popular.

The challenge, accessibility, various playstyles, and the fact that it is free are but just a few of the reasons why Solitaire is so addictive and popular. Every game of Solitaire is a challenge to yourself to try and beat your personal best score or achieve the elusive max. high score of 24,000+. 

Ever since it was first launched in 1990, Solitaire (the digital version) has evolved and can now be played in many different variations. It is a legendary game that, in many ways, introduced the world to PC gaming. 

Created to be a training manual for people to learn how to use a mouse, no one could have predicted the popularity and success of Solitaire at its launch.

Now, decades later, the game is still widely popular, addictive, and entertaining. Let’s find out exactly why! 

These are 13 reasons that explain how and why Solitaire is so addictive and popular.  

1. An Easy Distraction

People all over the world have a tendency to play a couple of games of Solitaire to relax and de-stress. It might appear to be harmless when you first do it, but soon without even realizing it can turn into a habit or addiction where one or two games turn into hours of playtime. 

Solitaire is just one of those games that allow your brain to switch off, and playing it too much can certainly become addictive. 

It poses a distraction and an easy escape which can make you less productive. Played occasionally, however, it can be a great way to de-stress, relax, and refocus. 

2. Tough To Master Yet Easy To Learn

Many Solitaire games have very clear rules and guidelines that are by and large easy to follow and learn. At first, there doesn’t seem to be much in the game. However, the more you play, the more you realize the element of skill required to truly master the game. 

This is why the game has been popular for centuries, especially after its digital release in 1990. There are several variations of Solitaire for you to enjoy on your preferred device. 

3. Strategizing & Skill

The intricacy yet simplicity of games, such as Spider Solitaire or Klondike Solitaire, requires a careful understanding of the game and its rules. As you endeavor to turn into a professional and beat all adversaries, you adopt methods and tricks that can make your gameplay stronger. 

Yes, the game can have a lot to do with luck. However, there are many elements of strategy and skill that can help you get more wins and better scores!

4. Widely Accessible & Free To Play

Solitaire is a free-to-play game that comes pre-installed with the Windows Operating System. You can also download the game as an app on your phone for free if that is how you prefer to game. 

At its launch, humanity was still getting accustomed to computers, and this game’s ease and accessibility are but some of the major reasons why it has become so popular and so addictive. 

5. Allows Some Element Of Control Over The Game

Like chess, Solitaire allows you to have some element of control over how you want to go about strategizing your game. Like chess, it requires you to meticulously calculate your moves to not only ensure the win but to do it in the lowest possible time. 

Thinking about how your next move can define the outcome of the game is what makes this game fascinating and so widely popular.

6. The Thrill Of Winning!

Let’s face it, no one wants to lose. We all like to think we are born winners. That extra dopamine rush each time we win is what keeps us going! Since Solitaire has about an 80% win probability for experienced players. These moments of back-to-back wins can certainly be addicting. 

7. Making Your Own Luck

As you become better at playing the game, it can become obvious when the cards are stacked against you. This is where sometimes you gotta make risky moves to try and force the cards in your favor. It is tough, and 9/10 times it won’t work, but making your own luck and winning; well, the joy of that is something else altogether! 

8. It Is A Solo Game 

Sometimes being around the people you know all the time, such as friends, colleagues, family, etc., can get a bit out of hand. Everyone needs their alone time and privacy, after all. 

There is no better way to take a break and get your mind off things than a quick game of Solitaire. Where it is just you, the game, and no one else!

9. Can Be Played With A Physical Deck Of Cards

Playing cards with a traditional deck is always fun. However, did you know that there are several artists in the world who have expertise in making personalized illustrated card decks? Each deck incorporates an extraordinary graphic on each card, making the overall experience of playing cards so much cooler. 

The same can be achieved in the digital version of Solitaire as well, with plenty of customizable graphic options. Let’s be honest, any game that is customizable has addictive properties. That’s just the way it is!

10. Many Variations Of The Game

Bored of the Classic Solitaire game? No problem! Simply try a different variation such as pyramid Solitaire to rekindle that sense of challenge and achievement. 

The game and its various modes offer individuals the opportunity to up their game by exploring different versions, doing research on the internet about strategies, and playing with their friends. 

Solitaire might seem easy to play, but like golf, it isn’t as easy as it seems!

11. Can Be Played With Money On The Line 

There are various variants of Solitaire, for example, Vegas Solitaire, which is solitaire at its base level but with bets and real money. While the game requires a certain element of skill, the outcome is often primarily based on luck. Since science has already suggested that Poker can set off emotional highs, the same can be said for Vegas Solitaire. 

12. The Replay Value

Arguably, at one point, no other game had a higher ‘replay value’ than Solitaire. This is a game that even when you win and do it well, it still is just never good enough. You are always striving to find out if you can do better. 

This replayability is one of the key reasons why Solitaire is so addictive and popular and will likely remain so for many years to come.

13. Short Game Time

Do you know what makes Solitaire so great? The 10-minute per game playing time. It’s just perfect! Not too long, not too short. Just the perfect bite-size snack your brain needs to switch off and reset. 

Playing a couple of quick games can be easily done while at work, while studying, or simply when you are bored. Quick, easy, and fun! Why won’t it be addictive and popular?

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why solitaire is so addictive. If it wasn’t addictive, it most likely wouldn’t have been this popular. However, for most of us, Solitaire is a game that brings about that ‘blast from the past experience’. If you love Solitaire and can’t get enough of it, trust us when we say we understand!

However, it is important to make sure you monitor your play-time and stop if you’re playing too often or too much. Always remember, with Solitaire or any other card game, having fun in small doses is the most important thing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Is Playing Solitaire Unhealthy & Addictive?

No, it is not. Especially if you only play occasionally. In many ways, it can actually be quite beneficial. Alongside teaching your brain how to develop strategy, it also helps with instinctive decision making and hand-eye coordination. 

Amazingly it also subtly teaches many real-world life lessons. However, if you play excessively, then yes, it can be unhealthy and addictive.

2) What Are The Most Popular Variations of Solitaire?

There are several different variants of Solitaire. However, the five most popular and perhaps addictive ones are as follows:

  1. Klondike. 
  2. Spider. 
  3. FreeCell
  4. Tripeaks
  5. Pyramid
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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.