Klondike Solitaire

Klondike Solitaire is the world’s best-known solitaire card game.

To win, move all of the cards into the foundation piles. Games are timed, moves are counted and scores are kept.

How to play Klondike Solitaire

The Piles

There are four (4) different types of card piles in klondike.

  • The Stock Pile - a pile of face down cards on the right side
  • The Waste Pile - a pile of face up cards right below the stock pile
  • The Foundation Piles - the four piles vertically aligned along the left hand side
  • The Tableau - the seven piles of cards across the top of the screen which being with only the top card turned up

Please note that these directions assume the “landscape” layout of the game in which the 7 tableau piles are across the top of the screen, the 4 foundation piles are on the left side vertically, and the stock/waste piles are on the right hand side of the screen. The “portrait” version of the game is laid out slightly differently.

The Initial Setup

After shuffling the deck of cards, we lay out the tableau piles. Piles are numbered 1 to 7 from left to right. Pile 1 receives one card, pile 2 receives two cards and so on. Then the top card on each pile is turned up. The remaining deck of cards is placed in the stock pile.

How to Win At Klondike Solitaire

The purpose of the game is to move all of the cards including the stock pile into the foundation piles. The foundations each have a single card suit, like clubs or spades, and must be created in order from Ace through King. The order of a foundation from back to front is therefore Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King.

Rules for The Tableau Piles

You may move cards between tableau piles, from the waste pile to the tableau, or even from the foundation piles to the tableau provided each card you add is the opposite colour and one step lower in value. For example, if your tableau pile 1 up-card is a Jack of spades (black), you may only move a red Ten below it. If you have a red Ten, black 9, red eight in another tableau, you can move them all below the Jack of spades to make a longer tableau pile. By removing all of the up-cards from a tableau pile, you can then flip its top down-card up so you can use it.

Moves You Can Use

  • Flip cards from Stock to Waste piles. Depending on the game complexity you chose, either one or three cards will be flipped from the stock pile to the waste pile at a time. Cards moving from stock to waste are turned up so you can see them.
  • Move a card from Waste to Foundations. If the top card of the waste can move directly to a Foundation pile, you’re allowed to do that.
  • Move a card from Waste onto the Tableau. If a card from the Waste can be next in descending order and the opposite colour to the tableau’s top card, you can move it there.
  • Move a card from Foundation to the Tableau. Usually you want cards going into the Foundations only, but sometimes moving them into the Tableau makes sense. If a card from the Foundation can be next in descending order and the opposite colour to the tableau’s top card, you can move it there.
  • Move cards from one Tableau to another Tableau pile. You can move one or more up-facing cards from tableau pile to tableau pile if the pile you are adding it to is one higher and the opposite colour of your highest card. For example, you can move a tableau containing red 4, black 3, red 2 to a tableau with a black 5 last card.
  • Move a Tableau card to the Foundations. You can either drag or double-click a Tableau pile’s top card, and if it fits into a Foundation pile it can be moved there.

The Game Keeps Track of Moves & Time

Not all klondike solitaire games are winnable, depending on how the cards are shuffled. However, your results in the games can be judged by the amount of moves and time it takes you to win. We keep score in the same way as that famous pre-installed PC solitaire game.