How to Play Klondike Solitaire

My grandmother taught me how to play Solitaire when I was barely old enough to read. Of course, I didn’t need to be literate to play this fun game. As long as a child knows his or her numbers, they can enjoy Solitaire. I still play Klondike, as well as some of the other versions of the game. I must confess, though, I hardly ever play it with a real deck of cards. I usually play Solitaire on my computer when I need a break from writing. Although there are many variations of Solitaire, I was taught to play Klondike. It’s the most basic version. All you need is a standard deck of fifty-two playing cards, a small flat surface, and you’re ready to go!

A standard deck of playing cards consists of thirteen hearts, thirteen diamonds, thirteen spades, and thirteen clubs. The four suits each contain the face cards king, queen and jack. In addition, each suit has a number card going from ten to two. And finally, there’s an ace in each suit. Shuffle the deck well. Then, turn up the first card off the deck and lay it down off to your left. Place six more playing cards -off the top of the deck- face down in a line right of the first card.

Next, skip the first card in your line. Take a card off the deck and place it turned up on the second pile. Then, place a turned down card on each of the remaining piles. Place a turned up card on the third pile, and follow that with turned down cards on the remaining piles. Continue each of these steps until you have seven card piles laid across the surface in front of you. If there are any aces turned up, remove them from their respective piles. Place them in a line above the rest of the piles. The aces are known as “foundation cards” since you start with them and build up.

Hold the remainder of the playing deck face down in your hand. Slide the first three cards off of the top of the deck and turn them over. If you can use the first card, you can try to use the second, and the third. However, if you can’t use the first card, you must discard all three. The object of Solitaire is to play all of the cards in the deck on the four aces. You can also play the cards on the seven piles as long as they’re in descending numerical order. They must also alternate in colors. That is, red, then black, or, vice versa. For example, when you’re playing cards on the piles, you can play a red five on a black four. You cannot put a red five on a red four.

Since the aces are the lowest cards, they are built on in an ascending numerical order. Since an ace counts as one in Klondike Solitaire, you need to play a two, three, four, and so on. When you have a line of cards on a pile, such as ten of hearts, nine of clubs, eight of diamonds, and seven of spades, you can lift up the entire line and play it on a black jack. Once you play a card off one of the piles, you need to turn up the next card in that pile. Whenever you use all of the playing cards in a pile, you can start a new line. However, the new line must be started with a king.

The game of Klondike Solitaire continues until:

1. You cannot make anymore moves.
2. You have played all fifty-two cards so they are now played (arranged) by suit and their rank on top of an ace.

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