Playing a game of Solitaire, no matter the variant, is definitely fun. Winning even more so! However, like most card games, Solitaire is not just about luck, but also has to do with skill. With the proper skills, you can greatly improve your chances of winning a lot more games and sometimes even create your own luck!
Did you know that Klondike, the basic version of the Solitaire game we are all used to playing, has a winnable percentage of at least 90%? This means that you should be able to win at the very least 9/10 games you play.
Achieving such a high win percentage is by no means easy. It requires a great degree of skill, knowledge, and quick thinking to even come close to such a high win percentage.
Luckily, since the game has been around for centuries, there are plenty of tried and tested skills that anybody can practice and eventually master in order to become good at Solitaire.
In this article, we look at the top skills that you can incorporate into your gameplay to dominate most Solitaire matches.
1. Understanding Solitaire Rules & Guidelines
Solitaire isn’t as complicated as modern games but still has a set of rules that dictate exactly how the game is meant to be played. Understanding and deciphering said rules accurately is, therefore, the first step in becoming a good player.
Solitaire might seem easy to play and not that challenging at first. However, you will soon realize just how much there is to the game. Not knowing the rules like the back of your hand can jeopardize your otherwise winnable games.
2. Card Knowledge & Memorization
Some people are naturally gifted when it comes to counting cards or memorizing patterns quickly. However, even if you are not a natural, this is a skill anybody can learn.
First, you need to know the importance of each card and what it’s worth in the context of the game. Next, comes the memorization part, where you create a mental map of all the cards that you know the face value off and all the cards that are still lying face down.
This will allow you to more readily gauge which cards are still in the stockpile and which ones have been played or are in your hand.
Remember, there are 52 cards in a deck. As the game advances, the unknown cards become fewer and fewer. If you keep track, you can accurately guess which cards are still to be uncovered, allowing you to play your following moves accordingly.
3. Making Moves Faster
When playing Timed Solitaire, most likely on your Windows PC, making moves fast is everything when it comes to getting that high score. However, that doesn’t mean you have to play rash.
The best players take just a few seconds at the start of each game to quickly come up with the best opening strategy, and then it’s a blur of clicking and dragging to not just win the game but do so in record time!
4. Experience Counts
The more games you play, the more you learn and the more information you gain as to where you went wrong. You might play a lot of Solitaire games before you realize every one of the possible moves you could have made to get that win.
You will also realize with experience games in which luck is not by your side and accept that sometimes skill can only get you so far.
5. Always Distribute Tableau Piles Evenly
This is less of a skill and more of a strategy that greatly helps in improving your gameplay. If you are a player that focuses on completing one pile at a time, it is time you change up that strategy. It is actually best to make small piles as you end up with more choices of moves and sets.
Having all your cards stacked in one pile limits your options considerably, and you can find yourself getting stuck a lot.
6. Interactive skills
If you are playing an online variation of Solitaire with other players, interactive skills can come in very handy.
Learning how to read body language and utilizing non-verbal communication to misdirect different players at the table (also called ‘faking’) is a skill set seen by many professionals, especially in card games like Poker. Learning such a skill takes time, practice, and experience.
7. Math & Logic Skills
Figuring out how to conceptualize and predict the cards at play can assist you with dominating games on a more regular basis. You might acquire and rehearse these abilities by endeavoring to settle on decisions in view of the data you accumulate as you play the game.
An element of Math (required to keep track of the no. of cards in play) and logic (determining what card to play next) is vital when it comes to being good at Solitaire.
8. Character Type
Certain character types might be bound to dominate Solitaire games more than others. Yes, characters that tend to demonstrate abilities such as quick thinking, logic, and memory recognition tend to do better at card games.
To get better at Solitaire or any other card game, one has to learn and mold themselves to make more noteworthy self-assessments, have less rumination, and demonstrate more control and restraint.
9. Critical thinking
Practically all Solitaire games revolve around critical thinking. After all, most of Solitaire is about strategizing the most efficient way to beat the game in the shortest span of time possible.
The game is about making the best moves in the fastest time possible. That requires a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving. Two skills that, when worked upon, can not only make you good at Solitaire but also in many other facets of life.
10. Switching Up Strategies
Playing the game using the same strategy over and over again is not just boring but can, in fact, be the reason why you are not winning as many Solitaire games as you should. Switch up strategies, make riskier moves, and challenge yourself, as that is the only way you will be able to learn new tricks and win more games.
11. Observational Skills
Observational skills are really the actual skills hidden behind most of the “obvious” ones that we have talked about here. You really want to prepare yourself to observe and comprehend the data you see in the most potentially effective manner in order to use that data for your own benefit.
12. Remember It’s Just A Game
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you may struggle to win in Solitaire. This can cause frustration, anger, and even resentment towards not just the game but others around you.
Always remember that, at the end of the day, Solitaire is nothing more than a single-player card game designed to keep you entertained when you have nothing else on your plate. If you are losing, so what? It makes no difference. You are not winning or losing out on anything important.
13. Taking Calculated Risks
We have all heard the saying, “No risk, no reward”. This saying holds true in real life as well as in Solitaire. Sometimes making bold moves and taking risky options can pay off; big time! While on other occasions taking risks can cause you to crash and burn.
The important thing is realizing that without taking risks and always playing safe, you are restricting yourself from going to that next level.
14. Prescience and Improvisation
Figure out how to prepare. This is best done by playing more. Assuming you are new to Solitaire, you may at first just see a couple of moves forward. Yet as you play more, you’ll start seeing the bigger picture and the multiple possibilities of how to approach the game.
This is when the game really starts becoming fun, as you can start improvising to try and beat it as quickly as possible.
15. Staying Calm & Patient
As you play the game more, you will start realizing that sometimes in order to win, you must remain calm and patient with your strategic plan, although it may be tempting to improvise or try something else.
All in All
There is no single mathematical equation or group of skills that can ensure anybody will dominate any Solitaire game 100% of the time; however, that doesn’t mean preparing yourself to win more is purposeless.
Learning new skills and understanding Solitaire’s gameplay mechanics can, in many ways, help you win more regularly. Brushing up on these skills and challenging yourself can bring out the best in you and help you beat that elusive high score you are determined to achieve.