Tips and Strategies for Solitaire
Klondike Solitaire is not a difficult game in and of itself. However, we have all experienced the moment that no moves seem to be available, yet you rack your brain over what you could have overlooked and might be possible. The basic rules of Solitaire, as we explain them on this website, will give you a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t. In general, Solitaire strategies are pretty simple and straightforward. If you stick to some basic rules, then your chances of winning the game will quickly increase. Ultimately, you get bonus points for completing the game quickly, so a good strategy will allow you to finish the game as soon as possible.
Check the Tableau First
Always remember this first rule. Check the cards on the tableau first. Since this is where the face-down cards are, you increase your chances of unlocking a face-down card by beginning the game there. To successfully win at Solitaire more often than losing, you must unlock the face-down cards sooner rather than later. One caveat to this rule is that it is somewhat less important if you play the version where you draw cards in threes from the stockpile. In this case, you should prioritize unlocking the cards you need first.
Mistakes and Multiple Options
Don’t worry. We all make mistakes. Fortunately, in the digital version of Solitaire, you can undo your last move. While this is very useful if you really do make a mistake, it allows you to ‘cheat’ a little. For example, think about a case where you have multiple options to place a card or stack on another, as in the illustration above. The cards in column two and seven both fit on the black 10 in column four. You aren’t sure which move is better, but the handy little ‘undo’ function allows you to try both to see which unlocked card is more beneficial. Doing this reduces the chance of getting stuck because you can’t unlock a crucial card.
Of the four foundations, remember that there is always one that goes less smoothly than the rest because you have not yet unlocked a low card of that color. Still, try to keep your foundations as balanced as possible, building them up as evenly as possible. There’s certainly no rush, either, when your stacks are in order on the tableau. Cards that you move to the foundation can be taken from it if you need them.
Remember your Stockpile
Some people play to win and other people play to win big! Are you going for an absolute top score? In that case, time is crucial. One way to save time in Solitaire is to flip through the stockpile and commit all—or some—of the cards to memory. Granted, that required somewhat of an elephant’s memory and probably a lot of training and natural ability. However, once you have a reasonable idea of the cards in the stockpile, you can save a lot of time you would otherwise spend searching. In attempting this, try to think several steps ahead while combining the cards from the stockpile with cards on the tableau. A good tip here is to first eliminate all Aces and twos in the stockpile, placing them on the foundation. That will save you another couple of cards.
Long Live the King!
In Solitaire, empty columns on the tableau are essential to your game’s outcome. You may only place a King there, on which you can then build a complete stack. On the tableau, the columns on the left contain the fewest cards. This is the first one you should unlock to place a King on it to begin your stack. Always try to make King stacks on the left as quickly as possible. However, if you encounter a King in the stockpile and have an empty column available for it, it is wise to wait a while before putting this card on the tableau – unless you can put cards or stacks directly on top. Instead, try to place any Kings you unlock on the tableau in an empty column so that you can continue to unlock new cards there.
In Solitaire, speed is critical! You literally get bonus points for every second faster you complete the game. With this in mind, if you want to improve your top score, you will want to learn about key combinations and hotkeys. Doing so will enable you to speed up your game dramatically! Undoing your last move, for example, can be done simply by pressing the combination CTRL + Z on the keyboard, while pulling a new card from the stockpile can be done using the D key.