Mastering the Klondike Solitaire Rules

Mastering the Klondike Solitaire Rules

Written by Alison Lurie, In Games, Published On
May 1, 2024

Klondike Solitaire is a timeless card game that has mesmerized players for decades with its simple yet challenging action. Anybody hoping to play this timeless game must understand the rules of Klondike solitaire. We’ll review every aspect of Klondike Solitaire’s rules in this extensive guide, from setup to effective strategies.

Overview of Klondike Solitaire

At its core, Klondike solitaire is a single-player game that arranges a standard deck of 52 playing cards into four foundation piles, sorted by suit and in ascending order. Seven card piles, the top card of each pile face-up, make up the tableau used in the game. The aim is to build the foundation piles in each suit, ranging from Ace to King.


To set up a game of Klondike solitaire, follow these steps:

  • Shuffle the Deck: Begin by thoroughly shuffling a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
  • Deal the Cards: Split the deck into seven heaps, starting with a single card in the first pile, two in the second, and so on, until the seventh pile has seven cards. The top card of each pile should be face-up, with the remaining cards in each pile face-down.
  • Form the Stock and Waste Piles: Place the remaining cards, the stockpile, face-down in the upper-left corner of the playing area. Leave room for a waste pile next to the stockpile.
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Once the game is set up, players can begin to play Klondike solitaire by following these rules:

  • Building Foundation Piles: The foundation piles are built in ascending order, starting with Ace and ending with King. Cards of the same suit can be moved from the tableau to the foundation piles if they follow this sequence.
  • Moving Within the Tableau: Cards within the tableau can be moved to create descending sequences of alternating colours. For example, a black eight can be placed on a red 9. Entire sequences of cards can be moved if they are in descending order and alternating colours.
  • Dealing from the Stock Pile: If a player gets stuck and cannot make any more moves, they can draw cards from the stockpile one at a time. These cards can be used to continue building sequences within the tableau or to add to the foundation piles.

Winning the Game

The game of Klondike solitaire is won when all four foundation piles are complete, with each pile containing cards of the same suit in ascending order from Ace to King. Achieving this requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and a bit of luck.

Tips for Success

Klondike Solitaire Rules

To improve your chances of winning at Klondike solitaire, consider the following tips:

Tip 1:

Plan Your Moves One of the keys to success in Klondike solitaire is to plan your moves. Before making any move, take a moment to survey the tableau and consider how each move will impact your overall strategy. Look for opportunities to create empty columns and temporarily store and access hidden cards. By thinking several moves ahead, you can avoid getting stuck and increase your chances of completing the game.

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Tip 2:

Prioritize Uncovering Hidden Cards In Klondike solitaire, uncovering hidden cards is essential for progress towards victory. Whenever possible, prioritize moves that reveal face-down cards in the tableau. Focus on clearing columns with fewer cards first, as this increases the likelihood of uncovering valuable cards that can be used to build foundation piles or create cascades of moves. Remember to prioritize uncovering cards of higher rank, as these are often more useful in building sequences.

Tip 3:

Build Foundation Piles Strategically Building foundation piles is the ultimate objective of Klondike solitaire. To maximize your chances of success, focus on building foundation piles evenly across all four suits. Avoid committing too many cards to a single suit early in the game, as this can limit your options later. Instead, aim to keep your options open by evenly distributing cards among the foundation piles. Look for opportunities to start foundation piles with Aces or move cards onto existing piles in ascending order.

Tip 4:

Use Empty Columns Wisely Empty columns are valuable assets in Klondike solitaire, as they provide space to store cards and facilitate strategic temporary manoeuvres. Whenever possible, aim to create empty columns by moving sequences of cards or completing foundation piles. Use empty columns strategically to rearrange the tableau, access hidden cards, and free up space for future moves. Remember that empty columns can also store Kings temporarily, allowing you to unlock blocked columns and continue your progress.

Tip 5:

Don’t Rely Solely on Undo and Hint Features While many digital versions of Klondike solitaire offer undo and hint features, relying too heavily on these tools can hinder your development as a player. While it’s tempting to use undo to reverse a mistake or hint to receive guidance on the next move, challenge yourself to develop your skills without relying on these crutches. Instead, embrace the challenge of learning from your mistakes and creating your intuition and strategic thinking abilities.

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Tip 6:

Practice Patience and Perseverance Success in Klondike solitaire often comes down to patience and perseverance. Some games may seem unwinnable at first glance, but with careful planning and strategic thinking, even the most challenging scenarios can be overcome. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks or challenging games; view them as opportunities to hone your skills and improve as a player. With practice and dedication, you’ll develop the resilience and tenacity needed to succeed in Klondike solitaire consistently.


To sum up, become an expert player by first understanding the rules of Klondike solitaire. This tutorial will give you all you need to play this timeless card game for many hours of pleasure and challenge. Start by becoming familiar with the setup, gameplay, and winning methods. Start your Klondike solitaire adventure by shuffling the deck, dealing the cards, and dealing!

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