The Best Solitaire Card Games

The Best Single-Player Games Using a Standard Deck of Cards

A hand playing solitaire

Illustration: The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi

When you want to play a game but no opponents can be found, these solitaire card games can be just what you're looking for. Each can be played with a single standard deck of 52 cards

  • 01 of 09

    Klondike Solitaire

    Klondike solitaire is probably the most popular version of solitaire played today. It's also known as fascination and demon patience. Sometimes, Klondike solitaire is erroneously referred to as canfield.

    In the setup for Klondike, a tableau of seven columns of cards is arranged on the table with the top card face up; the remaining cards forming a draw pile. 

    The goal is to move all 52 cards in the deck into four suit-specific foundation stacks above the tableau, beginning with the ace. As cards are exposed in the tableau columns or turned up from the draw pile, they can be moved to the foundation stacks in ascending order.

  • 02 of 09

    Pyramid Solitaire

    Pyramid Solitaire, also known as Solitaire 13 and Pile of 28, has very simple rules and takes just a few minutes to play each hand.

    The set-up for this game involves arranging 28 cards face-up in a pyramid-shaped tableau of seven levels. The rest of the cards form a draw pile.

    The goal of the game is to remove all the cards from the pyramid by forming pairs with a combined value of 13 points. The pairs may be formed from two exposed cards in the pyramid, or by pairing a pyramid card with another card as it is drawn from the draw pile. In this point scheme, the king is assigned a point value of 13; the queen is 12 points; the jack is 11 points; the ace is 1 point. The remaining cards are scored at face value. 

  • 03 of 09

    Canfield Solitaire

    The real canfield solitaire (as opposed to Klondike, which is often referred to as Canfield), according to Hoyle's Rules of Games, was named after the proprietor of a Florida gambling establishment in the 1890s. Players could buy a deck of cards for $50 and win back $5 for each card they played onto a foundation, or $500 if they were able to play all 52 cards.

    The set-up of this game involves 13 cards in a reserve pile, four cards of the same value arranged as the start of four foundation piles, four cards arranged below the foundation piles to form the start of the tableau. The remaining 31 cards form the draw pile. 

    As with many solitaire games, the goal is to move all 52 playing cards to four foundation stacks in order, according to suit. 

  • 04 of 09

    Golf Solitaire

    The card game golf solitaire derives its name from the fact that the lower you score, the better you've done. Apart from that, it has no connection to the real game of golf.

    This game's setup involves 35 cards in a tableau of face-up cards arranged in rows, with the other 17 cards forming a draw pile.

    The goal of the game is to remove all 35 cards from the tableau to a discard pile. The cards can be removed to join the last-placed card in the discard pile only if they are 1 point above, or 1 point below, the value of the most recently placed card on the discard pile.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Yukon Solitaire

    Yukon solitaire is a cousin of Klondike solitaire, with the differences including the ability to move groups of cards, and that all of the cards are dealt at the start of the game (although some are dealt face down).

    As in Klondike, the goal here is to move all 52 cards into four suit-specific foundation piles in order, beginning with the aces. 

    The set-up begins in the same manner as Klondike, but instead of a draw pile, all remaining cards are dealt onto the tableau stacks, face up. Once all cards are dealt, play begins, with aces moving to begin the foundation stacks as they are exposed and other cards added to the foundation stacks in order.

  • 06 of 09

    Baker's Dozen Solitaire

    Baker's dozen solitaire is a distant relative of Klondike solitaire. Its name comes from the 13 tableau columns dealt at the start of the game.

    In the setup of this game, all 52 cards are dealt onto the tableau columns, and all cards are face up. There is no draw pile.

    The goal is to move all 52 cards off the tableau to four foundation stacks in ascending order, beginning with the aces as they are exposed. Movement of the cards is done in classic solitaire style, repositioning cards from column to column according to a descending point value. Unlike other forms of solitaire, there is no need to alternate red and black cards as you rearrange the columns. 

  • 07 of 09

    Little Spider Solitaire

    Little spider solitaire is a 20-minute game that gives players plenty of choices to make. A good player should win this card game for more than half the time.

    The goal of this game is to build four suit-specific foundation stacks containing all 52 cards. Two of the foundations must be built from the bottom up (starting with the aces), while the other two foundations must be built from the top-down (starting with the kings). 

    The setup of the game involves dealing the entire deck into two rows of four piles each (the upper and lower tableaus). Space is left between the upper and lower tableau rows for the foundation stacks to be built. 

    As they become exposed, two aces of the same color are moved to the foundations, along with two kings of the opposite color. The foundations will be built from there in ascending or descending order as playable cards are exposed in the tableau stacks. 

  • 08 of 09

    Accordion Solitaire

    Playing by the standard rules, accordion solitaire is a difficult game to win. However, it provides plenty of opportunities to plan and make tactical choices. Because winning is such a challenge, accordion is sometimes called Idle Year.

    In the setup, all 52 cards are laid out in a single row. The row may be broken into three separate rows for more efficient use of space.

    The goal is to compress the entire deck into one stack of 52 cards by moving cards (and stacks of cards) onto one another according to game rules. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Poker Solitaire

    This solitaire card game incorporates elements of poker, as players build a 5-by-5-card grid and try to make the best possible poker hands in each row and column. 

    This game has none of the other elements of other solitaire games, such as tableau columns or foundation stacks.