How to Score Higher in Solitaire

Tips and strategies for Solitaire, you can utilise when playing with your friends and family.

At this point, everyone has played, or at the very least knows, the iconic card game Solitaire due to its availability on cellphones and other gadgets. Aside from its accessibility to those wanting to kill time, Solitaire is also an effective way to unwind or exercise critical thinking.

The most popular Solitaire version is the Klondike which started in the 19th century when travelers brought the game to the United States. Its online version was included in the 1990 release of Microsoft 3.0. The one that is in Windows 10’s Microsoft Solitaire Collection reached 100 million unique players in 2016.

If you enjoy playing card games like Solitaire, you should also check out some easy to play pen and paper games.

With that said, how can you score higher in Solitaire? Here are some tips and tricks you can take note of when you next play the game.

1. Know the rules

Solitaire uses a standard deck containing 52 cards. If you are playing with a physical deck of cards, take out any jokers or instructional cards. Lay out seven cards from the deck and have the leftmost one face up. Place another card face up on the second row and then add five cards face down. Follow the pattern until all columns have a face-up card. By then, it will look like a staircase. This is called Tableau.

Once you are done with your Tableau, the remainder of the cards will be your Stock or “Hand” pile. The cards will be placed on your upper left and can be drawn to help fill the Foundations pile or open up cards in Tableau.

2. Draw your first move

Solitaire is a game of options. When the game starts, you can only play with the face-up cards. Thus, one mistake that rookie players do is to quickly move cards around the Tableau or do piles. But that’s not the case.

A good opening strategy is to immediately draw a hidden card from the Stockpile. This move gives you the advantage to do one or several card moves, depending on how lucky you are. You will eventually have to draw from the pile sooner or later, so might as well do it early so you can achieve your game’s winning potential.

Also, an important thing to take note of: The foundation piles must contain all four suits to win the game. However, you can only stack these cards in columns if they are of the same color and lower rank. The last thing you'd want is to pass up the chance to start the game with a spectacular move by showing a card.

3. Move from RIGHT to LEFT

As previously said, the goal is to reveal as many cards as possible. This means that in order to win, you must get through all the cards and record a high score. That’s why going for the biggest pile, in the beginning, seems like the most logical choice.

The entirety of the game does not necessarily have to be played right to left, though. During the course of the game, more cards could be added to the left pile.

4. Know your priorities

Prioritizing what pile to empty out first is an important aspect of the game. Better to clear the one that has the most face-down cards. It is advised to reduce these columns of concealed cards as quickly as possible in order to uncover valuable ones that you may use to build the Foundation pile.

5. King is a MUST

Another common mistake that many rookie players make is to empty out Tableau spots just to remove all the cards in them. However, it can be reversed by putting a King card on the empty spot. This move gives you the opportunity to open up other cards because you can form another sequence. Remember, ONLY the King cards can fill those spaces.

6. Choose your color

You only have to consider two card colors in the game - red and black. But it is important to decide what card color to prioritize when filling up an empty spot because it can affect the pile that you are building. Think carefully about the Queen and Jack cards you have to ensure future stacking is simple.

7. Do not rush on Aces

This tip may sound counterintuitive in the game, but moving your Aces to the top pile immediately may put you in jeopardy later on. This is especially applicable in cases where you need to maneuver smaller piles of cards. One wrong move like this and you can reach a dead end. Important reminder: You cannot recover the cards that you “surrendered” to the Foundation pile.

8. Wait for the right moment

It can be tempting to shuffle cards from pile to pile and gradually build them up, but doing so can keep you from winning by hiding valuable cards of various colors under lower cards. In general, you should only move cards when you will clearly benefit or will expose a card that has been hidden. Do not just do it to create piles.

9. When to risk it?

Instead of drawing more cards from the Stockpile, play the Ace or Two when revealed. The Aces can always go to the Foundation pile first and the Twos or can probably come after them shortly. Cards like these in the open can help your game finish faster.

10. Quitting is a CHOICE

Not all games are winnable in Solitaire. Like in any other game, you need to know when to call it quits. The decision comes with the expertise and knowledge of the game. But most of the time, you just quit when you cannot score anymore.

Not a tip, but a reminder:

11. PRACTICE makes perfect

Like any other game, playing Solitaire frequently equips you with in-game knowledge which is essential, especially in crucial moments. The game may look repetitive and boring, but every card game is actually different and can make your brain jiggle a bit.

Solitaire may be complicated with all the numbers and rules to remember. Keep in mind, though, that every game we play aims to give us joy and stimulate some thinking in our daily lives. May the odds be in your next game.


Published on 04 Nov 2022
Author: Marinel