How to Win at Solitaire

May 6, 2018

Solitaire can be a fun but frustrating game. Unlike many other games, it is not possible to win every single game you play, but here are a few strategies that can help you increase your odds. (Note: Foundations are the four piles at the top that are build up by suit. Columns are the seven piles that build down by alternating color. The stockpile is what’s left of the deck.)
Wait to flip the first card from the deck. Make sure you have used every possible move just from the original face-up cards in the columns before you move on to the stockpile. The key to winning solitaire is to uncover as many cards as possible.

Save your twos. When a two comes up in the stockpile, ignore it unless you know both twos of the same color are in the stockpile. You want to build down in the columns as far as you can go, but the real goal isn’t to build down, it’s to get the cards into the foundations. So when you’ve got the chance to finish building down by adding a two, it’s better to hold off, in case another two in uncovered elsewhere. That way, you can move the two you uncovered, and uncover another card. Why doesn’t this strategy apply to other cards? Because other cards are needed to continue building in order to create what I like to call “opportunities”– moments when a card that has just been flipped can immediately be used to build in another pile — which means keeping the game moving.

Build mainly from the cards you uncover. If you know there’s a red six in the stockpile and a red six that’s been uncovered, it is much better to use the one you uncovered, because then you can uncover more.

Strategize based on your stockpile. Try to think a few moves ahead based on the cards you know you already have in your stockpile. Try to remember what cards are in the stockpile as you go through it the first time. It’s especially important to know which kings, queens, and jacks are there, so you can plan what to do with empty columns when they arise.

Move from columns with more unturned cards. If you have option of moving you black nine from a column with four unturned cards or a column with only two, it’s better to move from the one with four unturned cards. Remember, you need to keep those columns moving, because if one columns gets too stagnant, you’ll end up stuck at the end with several of the cards you need that are now unreachable because they’re all buried in one pile.

When you reach a dead end, check at the foundations. Oftentimes, when the game is nearly completed, a seeming dead end occurs. Sometimes this means the game is impossible to win, but other times it means that a card you need to move some other card has already been moved to the foundations. It’s okay, in the late stages of the game, to move one or two cards from the foundations to the columns in order to finish up.

Make use of your undo button. Hey, we all make mistakes. If you’re playing online, use the undo button when you spot something you could have done better.

Good luck and happy playing!

By the way, i will be having a contest to celebrate my blog’s six anniversary. Will be giving away a tactical flashlight amazon, a camera and some goodie bags from H&M. Please stay tuned!

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