Poker Squares Solitaire Rules

Poker Squares SolitairePoker Squares is a standard solitaire, described in numerous solitaire reference books. It also goes by the names "Poker Solitaire" and "Poker Patience".

Poker Squares is an unusual solitaire. Unlike most solitaires, where you're working with a full deck, and have the task of re-arranging the cards into some preset order, in Poker Squares you're given half a deck, and the object is to put them in the best order, using standard poker hands such as three of a kind, full house, etc. The better the poker hands you can create, the better your score!

Setup

The game is begun by taking a pack of 52 cards, shuffling it, and dealing the first twenty-five cards face-up into a pile to become the stock. The remainder of the cards are not used until the next hand.

The object of the game is to move cards, one at a time, from the stock and place them into a 5 x 5 grid so that each of the rows, columns, and diagonals forms the best possible poker hand.

Note: The standard rules allow only scoring on the rows and columns; adding diagonal scoring was my own variation. And frankly, it doesn't add a great deal to the game, since any hands you form on the diagonals are almost entirely due to chance.

Scoring

You earn points for each type of poker hand you can create. The number of points awarded per hand is based on one of two methods -- either American or English systems.The American system is based on the odds of forming the hands in regular poker, while the English system is based on the likelihood of forming the hands in Poker Squares.

Refer to Poker Solitaire Pack Scoring for details on the scoring systems used for this game.

Strategy

Poker Squares requires a fair degree of skill to get consistently good scores, though even the best moves can be ruined by a stretch of bad luck.

A typical strategy is to try for flushes on each of the first four rows, and full houses, fours of a kind, or straights on the columns. The last row is often used as a dumping place for cards that don't fit elsewhere. This approach often yields several flushes without hurting your chances for higher-scoring hands.

Straights are the most difficult hands to create, because they require you to give up a chance for safer hands, such as pairs and threes of a kind. You'll often get the first three cards of a potential straight, then be tempted to give it up for a quick payoff. But if you hold firm, your faith will be rewarded at least some of the time.

Odds

At the time of this writing, my statistics are:

  • Games Played: 335
  • Average Score: 119.09 (American) / 42.03 (English)
  • High Score: 287 (American) / 94 (English)

Other Sources of Poker Squares Solitaire Rules

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Games Featuring Poker Squares Solitaire

Poker Solitaire Pack
Solitaire City for Windows

Additional Information