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Solitaire has long been ideal for players who can’t stand the indecision and time wastage of another player. It’s quick, simple, and clear, not to forget that its rewards can be sizable at top New Zealand casinos. Look at the basics and how to win at this card game below.

The Fundamentals of Solitaire

Played with the standard 52-cards deck, solitaire requires you to move all cards correctly from the tableau to the foundation until you’ve amassed four stacks of cards in ascending order, one per suit.


Setting up the Game

To set up the game, first, shuffle the deck of cards and lay out seven piles of cards, with the first containing one card, the second containing two cards, the third containing three cards, and so on until the seventh, which contains seven cards, respectively. Then, flip the top card of each pile face-up.


Understanding the Tableau

The tableau is the main area where you will be moving cards around. Each card here is only moveable if it is face-up and if the card it is being placed on is one rank higher and of the opposite colour. For example, a black six can only be placed on a red seven.

How to Win a Solitaire Game

Adhering to specific guidelines will greatly increase your ability to win at solitaire, meaning you can write your luck. See these proven recommendations across New Zealand sites below. 

  1. Start with the Right Moves: The first few moves at the beginning often sets the tone for the entire game. Therefore, prioritize moves that uncover face-down cards or free up space in the tableau.
  2. Build Your Foundation: The ultimate goal is to build up your foundation piles, so make sure to prioritize moving cards to these piles whenever possible.
  3. Don’t be Afraid to Undo: Most versions give you the option to undo your moves or even restart the game entirely. Use these options if you feel you’ve hit a dead end or made a mistake.

Popular Variations of Solitaire

While traditional solitaire is popular in its own right in New Zealand, there are some variations on the game that can add new challenges and dimensions. They include: 

  • Spider Solitaire: This variant uses two decks of cards instead of one, with the cards dealt out in ten piles of varying sizes. Your goal is to build up eight foundation piles, each holding same-suit cards in ascending order.
  • Freecell: The Freecell variation uses a single deck of cards, as usual, and it involves four foundation piles. You have to build each stack with cards belonging to the same suit in ascending sort.

About Solitaire

Solitaire is a popular single-player card game that can be played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The objective of Solitaire is to arrange the cards in a specific layout, following certain rules and sequences, until all the cards are sorted and placed in their respective foundations.

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How to Play Solitaire

The game typically begins with a tableau, which consists of several piles of face-up and face-down cards. The player’s goal is to build the foundations by suit, starting with the Ace and ascending in numerical order to the King. The foundations are usually located at the top right corner of the playing area.

To achieve this, the player can move cards from one tableau pile to another, following a set of rules. Cards must be arranged in descending order and alternate colors (e.g., black and red). For example, a black 7 can be placed on a red 8. If a tableau pile is emptied, it can be filled with a King or a sequence starting with a King.

The game also involves flipping face-down cards from the tableau to uncover hidden cards and create additional move possibilities. However, certain versions of Solitaire may have different rules regarding flipping and dealing cards.

Solitaire can be played with different variations and rule sets, leading to a wide range of gameplay experiences. It is a popular game due to its simplicity, strategic elements, and the ability to play it solo without the need for opponents.

3 Tips and Reminders for Winning at Solitaire

While Solitaire is primarily a game of skill and strategy, winning is not guaranteed as it involves an element of luck with card shuffling. However, here are three tips that can help improve your chances of winning at Solitaire:


1. Plan and Think Ahead: Before making moves, take a moment to analyze the tableau and consider the consequences of each move. Thinking ahead and planning your moves can increase your options and improve your chances of completing the game successfully.


2. Prioritize Uncovering Hidden Cards: It's important to focus on uncovering face-down cards. Look for moves that expose hidden cards as early as possible, as this will provide you with more choices and increase your flexibility in moving cards around.


3. Aim to Create Empty Tableau Piles: Empty tableau piles are valuable in Solitaire, as they provide spaces to temporarily store cards and facilitate the movement of sequences. It's important to note that Solitaire is also a game that requires patience and persistence. Not every game will be winnable, as the initial card layout and subsequent moves can affect the outcome.

Solitaire Rules

The setup begins with shuffling a standard deck of 52 cards. Seven tableau columns are then dealt from left to right, with the first column containing one card, the second column containing two cards (the second card face-up), the third column containing three cards (the third card face-up), and so on. The remaining cards are placed facedown as the stockpile, with the top card turned face-up beside it to start the waste pile.

The objective is to build four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades), in ascending order from Ace to King.

During gameplay, you can move cards between the tableau columns and foundation piles based on specific rules. Only the top card of each tableau column or waste pile is available for play. Cards in the tableau columns must be arranged in descending order and must alternate between red and black suits. For example, a black 7 can be placed on a red 8. An empty tableau column can be filled with a King or a sequence starting with a King. Cards from the waste pile can be played onto the tableau columns or foundation piles.

Moves in solitaire involve placing cards on the foundation piles. To move a card to a foundation pile, it must be an Ace. Subsequent cards of the same suit can be placed on top in ascending order. To move a card between tableau columns or to the waste pile, it must be of the opposite color and one rank lower than the card it is being placed on.

When the stockpile is empty, you can turn over the waste pile and continue drawing cards. The game is won when all cards are successfully moved to the foundation piles in ascending order for each suit, from Ace to King.


The Different Piles

In solitaire, the different piles, or areas where cards are placed are:

  1. Tableau: The tableau refers to the seven columns of cards that are dealt at the beginning of the game. The cards in the tableau are typically arranged in a cascading manner, with only the top card of each column face-up and the rest face-down.
  2. Foundation: The foundation piles are where you aim to build ascending sequences of cards from Ace to King for each suit. There are four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades). Initially, the foundation piles are empty, and you can move Aces to start building the sequences.
  3. Stockpile: The stockpile is the deck of cards that remains after dealing the tableau. It is placed face down on the playing area. You can draw cards from the stockpile to help you make moves in the game.
  4. Waste Pile: The waste pile is a pile of cards that are turned face-up from the stockpile. When you draw a card from the stockpile, it is placed face-up on the waste pile. You can move cards from the waste pile to the tableau columns or foundation piles.

The Setup

The setup of solitaire involves the following steps:

  1. Start with a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
  2. Shuffle the deck thoroughly.
  3. Deal cards onto the tableau in a specific pattern:

   – Place one face-up card on the first column.

   – Place one face-down card on the second column and another face-up card on top of it.

   – Continue this pattern, alternating between face-down and face-up cards, until you have dealt seven columns. The first column will have one card, the second column will have two cards (one face-down and one face-up), the third column will have three cards (one face-down and two face-up), and so on.

  1. Place the remaining cards face-down to form the stockpile.
  2. Turn the top card of the stockpile face-up and place it next to the stockpile to start the waste pile.
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The Objective

The objective is to build four foundation piles in ascending order, starting with Ace and ending with King, for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades). The cards in the tableau need to be arranged in descending order and alternating colors (e.g., red King on black Queen). The goal is to move all the cards to the foundation piles, following the specific rules and strategies of the game, to achieve a successful and complete game.

In solitaire the allowed moves are as follows:

  1. Move cards between tableau columns: You can move cards from one tableau column to another tableau column if the moved card is of the opposite color and has a rank one lower than the card it is being placed on. For example, a red 7 can be placed on a black 8.
  2. Move cards to the foundation piles: As you uncover Aces, you can move them to the foundation piles. From there, you can build up the foundation piles in ascending order, following the same suit. For example, once an Ace of hearts is in the foundation, you can place a 2 of hearts on top of it, then a 3 of hearts, and so on.
  3. Move cards from the stockpile: You can turn over cards from the stockpile one at a time and either move them to the tableau or foundation piles. The top card of the stockpile is always available for play.

Time and Moves

In solitaire, the concept of time generally refers to the number of times the stockpile is cycled through. The number of times can vary depending on the specific game and rules being followed. Some variations of solitaire have a limited number of times the stockpile can be cycled, while others may allow unlimited cycles.

Regarding moves, there is no specific limit on the number of moves in solitaire. The number of moves depends on the player’s strategy, available cards, and the layout of the game. Players aim to make strategic moves to uncover hidden cards, build foundations, and ultimately win the game.

Play Solitaire Online for Free

In addition to the traditional physical card game, Solitaire has also become a popular computer and mobile game. Digital versions often provide various themes, visual designs, and additional features, making the game even more enjoyable and accessible to players of all ages.

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FAQs on How to Play Solitaire

No, once a card is moved to the foundation pile, it cannot be taken back to the tableau columns. Once a card reaches the foundation, it remains there until the game is won or reset.

No, solitaire is typically played without a time limit. The game is meant to be enjoyed at your own pace, allowing you to think strategically and plan your moves. Some digital versions may have a timer for scoring purposes, but it doesn’t affect the gameplay itself.

If you are unable to make any more moves and cannot complete the game in solitaire, it is considered a loss. You can choose to reset the game and try again, aiming for a successful completion in the next round.


Like all classics, solitaire has withstood time’s test in New Zealand due to its engaging setup and diverse variants. It’s also strategic, meaning you can improve as you play. You simply need to master the primary mechanics of the game, and you’ll grow in expertise and technical ability over time. Grab a deck and start playing today!