Klondike Solitaire Rules
This is probably the best-known solitaire in the world. Many people don't even realize that other games exist. Though the name may not be familiar, the game itself certainly is. This is due in no small part to Microsoft's inclusion of the the game in every version of Windows, though their naming the game "Microsoft Solitaire" only added to the confusion about the game's proper name.
Though popular, the odds of winning are rather low, perhaps one in thirty hands. Numerous variations have been devised to improve the odds.
Number of Decks: 1
Alternate Names: Canfield, Chinaman, Demon, Fascination, Small Triangle
Initial Layout: The tableau consists of seven columns, with the first column containing one card, the second column two cards, the third column three cards, and so on. The top card of each column is face-up; the remainder of the cards are face-down. The 24 unplayed cards are left face-down to form the stock.
Object: The object of the game is to move the four aces, as they appear, to the foundations, and build each up in suit from ace to king (A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K).
Play: Turn cards face-up from the stock three at a time onto a wastepile. The top card of the wastepile may be played onto the tableau or foundations. Likewise, the top card of each tableau pile is available for play onto the foundations or another tableau pile. Cards within the tableau may be build down in sequence and alternating color. A sequence of cards may be moved as a unit from one pile to another. When a face-down tableau card is exposed, turn it face-up. If a space is created in the tableau, it may only be filled with a king. The stock may be recycled from the wastepile when it becomes empty. The game ends when either all foundations are filled (in which case you've won), or when no more moves are possible (or when the only possible move is to recycle the stock). In this case you've lost.
A slightly easier version of the game allows you to pull cards from the stock one at a time (rather than three at a time). In some versions of the game, this also limits the number of redeals you're allowed (usually to two).
- Agnes Bernauer - The initial layout starts with the same seven tableau piles as Klondike, but adds seven reserve piles, one below each tableau pile. Also, the first card of the first foundation is established during the initial deal, and is thus a random card rather than always an ace. All other foundations will also start with the same value. Tableaus are built down in alternating colors. Cards in sequence may be moved as a group. The top card of each of the reserve piles is available for play at all times. Spaces in the tableau may only be filled by a card (or group) based on a value one below the start foundation value. (For example, if the foundations started with a "6", tableau spaces may ony be filled with "5".) When no more moves are possible, deal seven more cards from the stock to the reserve piles. There is no redeal.
- Agnes Sorel - Starts the same as Klondike, except that the first card of the first foundation is established during the initial deal, and all other foundations will also start with the same value. Tableaus are built down in sequences of the same color. Cards in sequence and color may be moved as a group. Spaces in the tableau are not filled. When no more moves are possible, deal seven more cards from the stock to the tableau piles. There is no redeal.
- Alaska - Deal the initial 28 cards the same as in Klondike, then deal the remainder of the deck face-up onto the six right-most tableau columns. Build foundations up in suit from ace to king. Within the tableau, build up or down by suit. Spaces may only be filled by kings.
- Double Klondike - Plays exactly like Klondike except that it uses two decks, eight foundations, and nine tableau piles. Pull cards from the stock three at a time (harder) or one at a time (easier).
- Steps - A two-deck variation of Klondike.
- Thumb And Pouch - Same as Klondike, except that tableau building does not require building in alternate colors, only in different suits. Also, any card or sequence can be moved into a space (rather than just kings).
- Whitehead - Very similar to Klondike, except that after dealing out the twenty-eight cards to form the triangular shape of the tableau (all cards are dealt face-up), the twenty-ninth card forms the basis of the first foundation. All other foundations must also start with the same card value. Cards are pulled from the deck one at a time; there is no redeal. Within the tableau, cards are built downwards in color. A sequence of cards in suit may be moved as a block. Spaces within the tableau may be filled by any card.
Other Sources of Klondike Solitaire Rules
- BVS Development
- Goodsol Development
- Rapture Technologies
- Digital Smoke
Note: All rule links open in a new window.
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Games Featuring Klondike Solitaire