How to Play Solitaire

At the Solitaire Palace, you get to play Klondike Solitaire in real-time against fellow card game enthusiasts from all over the world! We offer basic rules perfectly adjusted for novices to make getting started easy. Once you gained some experience, you can employ custom rules to create the game you enjoy most. Go easy or go for a challenge!

In short, Klondike is a type of patience game. Use your attention and memory to solve it by sorting the whole deck of cards: seven piles of cards are in the middle of the table, the tableau, with each top card revealed. You can reveal one card at a time from the stock when you feel like it would help you. Sort the sequences from King to Ace by moving revealed cards from one tableau pile to the other, revealing the new top card of the first pile. In the end, there should be four sorted suits in the foundation.

This thorough manual will guide you through all the rules and terms in detail. To quickly look up single terms, take a look at our glossary! And use our in-game help to answer any questions coming up on the fly during playing at the Solitaire Palace. We also added a multiplayer option. Find out all about it below!

Cards and Playing Field

Klondike Solitaire uses one standard deck of, traditionally French-suited, playing cards. The suits are Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds. All 13 ranks – King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace – occur once in each suit, resulting in 52 cards in total.

The playing field at the Palace is made up of three main areas – the stock and waste on the top left, the four foundation piles on the top right, and the seven tableau piles in the center of the table.

Above the playing field, you see how much time you have left to solve this round, how many points you gained so far, and how many moves you made. In multiplayer mode, your opponents’ progress is displayed there as well.

The Aim

In a round of Klondike Solitaire, you want all cards to end up in four piles in the foundation, each in one suit only. To achieve this, you must first reveal all cards: You can sort the cards into sequences in the tableau. The stock must be revealed bit by bit, too, to add its cards to the tableau or directly to the foundation. Single cards can be moved to the foundation, starting each pile with an Ace. The pile continues up 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and King on the top.

In multiplayer mode, you should aim to finish quicker and more effectively than your fellow players: A round ends either when one player places all cards in the foundation, when no player can make any more moves, or when the time is up. At the Solitaire Palace, you can play several rounds at a table, continuously collecting points. A table ends, when a preselected number of rounds is finished. The player with the highest score wins!

Sometimes, a set-up of dealt cards cannot be solved. Then, you can end the game at any time and start a new one. Any points gained until the moment you are giving up will be added to your score.

Stock and Waste

After filling the tableau at the beginning of a round, 24 cards remain face down in the top left of the playing field as the stock. During play, you can move one card at a time from the stock to the revealed waste, which is empty initially.

You can reveal a card from the stock as many times as you want. But you can only add the top card of the waste to the tableau or the foundation. After emptying the whole stock pile, any waste cards become the face-down stock again.

Foundation

The four foundation piles on the top right of the playing field are empty at the beginning of the game. This is where you want all cards to end up. The following rules apply:

  • Each pile can only contain one suit.
  • The ranks of each pile must be placed there in ascending order: The first card placed there is Ace. The pile continues up 2, 3 … 10, Jack, Queen, and King on the top.

Tableau

At the beginning of a round, 28 cards are dealt to the tableau: The first of seven piles in the middle of the table contains one card. The other six piles each contain one more card than the previous pile. Each top card is revealed.

Here, you can move cards from pile to pile. After removing all revealed cards from a pile, the new top card is revealed and thereby accessible for you: Only revealed cards can be moved to the foundation. In order to move and thereby reveal cards in the tableau, you must sort them. You can also add cards from the waste to the tableau. There are specific rules for sorting the cards in the tableau:

  • You must sort the cards in descending order, starting with the King at the bottom, continuing Queen, Jack, 10, 9 … 2, and Ace on top.
  • You can start sorting downwards with any card.
  • Alternating red and black suits: A card of a red suit, Hearts or Diamonds, must follow a black suit, Spades or Clubs, and vice versa.
  • You can only place a King on an empty tableau pile.
  • More than one card can be moved from one tableau pile to the other if the moving cards are sorted by the previous three rules and match the target card following these rules.

Cards are moved from the tableau to the foundation individually. If Aces are revealed at the very beginning, you can move them to the foundation right away!

Drawing and Undo

If you run out of options in the tableau, you can either undo one or more actions or draw one or more cards from the stock to the waste. Undoing can come in handy when you placed a card onto the wrong tableau pile or change your plan in hindsight. To make the game more challenging, you can also deactivate this option using our custom rule Undo Off.

After drawing a card from the stock, you get to move it from the waste to the tableau if it fits there. Once the stock is empty, the waste becomes the stock again. Playing with the basic rules, you can draw as many cards as you want. But you can only move the top card of the waste.

Scores

Every move you make counts – literally. You gain or lose certain amounts of points for specific actions. Certain custom rules and playing in multiplayer mode affect the scoring. See the chart below the image for details.

Action Points
Discarding a card in the foundation +5
Revealing a card in the tableau +2
Browsing the stock anew -2
Undoing a move -1
Solving a round +1
Bonus points when solving a round in multiplayer mode:

For each fellow player unable to solve the round or needing more moves than you to do so

+1
When using the custom rule Joker:
For each unused Joker +3
When using the custom rule Easthaven:
Discarding a card in the foundation +10
Revealing a card in the tableau +5

A round ends either after one player placed all cards onto the foundation piles, when no player can make any more moves, or when the time is up. Each player receives their gained points up to this moment as their round score. At a table at the Solitaire Palace, you can play several rounds, therefore collecting points continuously. A table ends when a preselected number of rounds is finished. Finally, the player with the highest total score wins!

Spice it up With Custom Rules

If Klondike Solitaire sounds good to you so far, you will enjoy what we prepared: You can add helping or challenging features by using our custom rules. You decide which way you go:

Custom rule Description
Turn Three Three instead of one card will be placed on the stock in one go. Since you can only use the the top card of the waste, this makes the game more challenging.
Joker With this custom rule, each player receives three Jokers: An additional button showing the Joker symbol appears on the playing field. When using a Joker, you select a foundation pile which will automatically receive a matching card. This card will be moved there from its position on the playing field.
When solving a round, unused Jokers add bonus points to your total score.
Undo Off Disable the undo feature with this custom rule. You now have to see your decisions through to the end of the round. This makes the game more challenging.
Max 3 Cycles You can flip through the whole stock three times at most. Consequently, you must play more strategically.
Fast This custom rule shortens the standard play time. All players have less time to solve the game.
Relaxed When playing Relaxed, all cards of the tableau pile are revealed form the beginning. This way, the game is easier and more tranquil: You can see where crucial cards are and thus free them strategically.
Easy Using this custom tule, you can now play any card onto empty tableau piles. In standard Klondike Solitaire, only Kings are allowed there.
Double Play with 104 instead of 52 cards with this custom rule.
Easthaven This custom rule switches the game to Easthaven, a relative of Klondike Solitaire. The modifications are few but significant. That is why we explain their differences in the chart below.
Game of Nothing With this custom rule, the results of the table do not count for the league.

Easthaven

We summarized the differences between our standard Klondike Solitaire and Easthaven for quick and precise information:

Klondike Solitaire Easthaven
Setup
  • seven different tableau piles
  • 24 cards in the stock
  • seven tableau piles with three cards each
  • 31 cards in the stock
Using the stock You reveal one card at a time on the waste. You choose if you add the top card of the waste to the tableau or not. There is no waste. Instead, one stock card is dealt to each tableau pile automatically in one go.

 

With so much room for variation and new challenges within one game, you decide: Do you want to play easy or do you want to face a real headscratcher? You are welcome to give it a try!