Number of players: 1
Number of decks: 1
Klondike is the most popular version of Solitaire. Most people refer to Klondike Solitaire simply as “Solitaire”.
It’s not easy to complete this Solitaire game. In fact, you will only be successful a fraction of the time. How often you complete the game depends largely on the random deal of the cards.
Setting the cards
Deal out seven columns of cards face-down. The first column has one card, the second has two cards, the third has three cards, and so on. Turn over the top card of each column.
Set the the 24 cards remaining in the deck aside for now. These cards are called the stock.
This diagram shows the starting layout for Klondike Solitaire.
The four empty spots above the columns are called the stack piles.
Object of the game
The object of Klondike Solitaire is to build four stacks of cards, one stack in each suit. The cards in each stack must run sequentially, ace through king (A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K). You will build these stacks on the four empty stack piles.
You may move cards from the columns or stack piles according to the following rules:
Cards may be placed on top of the exposed card of each column if they are the opposite color and next in sequence. For example, if the 8 of clubs is the top, exposed card on a column, you may place a red 7 (the 7 of hearts or the 7 of diamonds, suit doesn’t matter) on top of it. Then you may place a black 6 on top of the 7, and so on.
Cards may be moved from column to column individually, or in sequential groups.
When a face-down card in any of the columns becomes exposed, turn it face-up.
When a column is empty, you may move a king to it to restart the column (or a sequential group topped by a king).
Ultimately, your goal is to move cards to the stack piles. You must start each stack pile with an ace. When other cards become available, they may be moved on top of the aces to build the suited stacks. For example, after you have moved the ace of spades to a stack spot, you may later move the two of spades on top of it, then the three of spades on top of the two, and so on until the stack is complete.
After you have moved a card to a stack pile, you man move it back to the columns if you wish.
Using the stock
When you are unable to move any cards in the columns, you will need to use the deck of remaining cards, which is called the stock. Turn over three cards face-up, one on top of the other. The third card (the one on top) is the one you may move. However, you may look at the other two cards.
You may move the top, exposed card from the stock to either the columns or the stack piles.
If you move the top card, you may then move the next exposed card, if possible, and so on.
If you cannot use the exposed card, you may turn over another three cards. You may continue doing this indefinitely. When the stock is exhausted, simply turn the cards over again and start from the top. Do not shuffle.
Winning the game
The play continues until you have completed all 4 suit stacks or until no more moves are possible. You win the game if you complete all 4 suit stacks.
Single card draw from stock:
Instead of using only every third card in the stock, you may go through the stock one card at a time. This improves your chances of completing the game.
Limited passes through stock:
In this game variation, you may go through the stock only a limited number of times, usually three.
Some online games allow only a limited amount of time to complete the game, usually 5 minutes.
Where can I play Classic or Klondike solitaire?
You can always play with a deck of cards, there are a number of online destinations where you can play unlimited games of solitaire. We recommend the following websites:
- Microsoft Solitaire – Microsoft originally introduced the digital version of solitaire in Windows back in 1990. Now they have browser based versions available.
- Solitaire Bliss – You can play over a dozen solitaire games here including classic solitaire
- Arkadium – You can earn trophies track your stats with Arkadiums card games