Golf Solitaire Rules

Golf SolitaireGolf solitaire - so named because the object is to get a low of a score as possible, as in golf the sport - is notable for both its ease of play and for the skill required.

It's easy to play because there's really only one rule - remove a card one higher or one lower than the current card. But because of its open layout (all tableau cards visible), the game lends itself to a good lead of strategy and skillful play.


Number of Decks: 1 (52 cards)

Alternate Names: Fan Tan, One Foundation

Initial Layout: Begin by dealing 35 cards to the tableau, as seven piles of five cards each, spread out vertically so that all cards are visible. There is a single foundation pile beneath the tableau, and one card is dealt to it to begin the game. The remaining cards form the stock, and are held in a single face-down pile next to the foundation.

Object: The object of the game is to move all of the cards from the tableau to the foundation.

Play: The foundation may be built up or down regardless of suit. Only the top card of each tableau pile is available for play. The king ranks above the queen, and is a stopper, unable to connect to either a queen or an ace. You may not build "around the corner" from ace to king.

When you're unable to make any more moves, turn over the top card of of the stock and place it face-up on top of the foundation pile, then once again make any moves available on the tableau.

If you're able to remove all the cards from the tableau, the game is won (whether or not any cards remain in the stock).

Scoring: Golf solitaire is often played for points. A player scores one point for each card remaining in the tableau after the stock is exhausted. If you manage to clear the tableau, one point is deducted from your score for every card left in the stock. A game is nine "holes" (deals). Par for each hole is 4, so a score of 36 or less is better than par.

Tournament Golf: This is Golf solitaire played head-to-head, by two or more players. Each player has their own deck, and plays their own 9-hole game of Golf. Whoever has the lower score at the end of nine rounds wins the match.


  • Black Hole - A Golf derivative invented by David Parlett.
  • Golf Rush - Golf solitaire with a Klondike layout.
  • King's Way - A two-deck game employing most of the same game mechanics as Golf, but with a few unusual features of its own.
  • Putt Putt - The same as Golf except that you can wrap around from Ace to King as necessary.
  • TriPeaks - Combines the gameplay mechanism of Golf and a layout reminiscent of Pyramid Solitaire.

See Also: Golf Solitaire Strategy Guide

Other Sources of Golf Solitaire Rules

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Play Golf Solitaire Online

Games Featuring Golf Solitaire

BVS Solitaire Collection
Pretty Good Solitaire
Solitaire City for Windows