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An Overview of the Card Game Klondike Solitaire
The best known solo card game in the world, Klondike Solitaire is so popular that most people simply refer to it as Solitaire without even realizing that there are over 100 games which fall under the umbrella of "Solitaire" games. Its popularity lies in the simplicity of the rules, the challenging gameplay, and the fact that only a single deck of cards is needed.
History of the Game
The history of Solitaire games (called "Patience" in Britain) dates back to the mid-18th century. In 1783, the game was described in a German book of games. It would not make its English language debut until 1870, when a collection of Solitaire games was published by Lady Adelaide Cadogan in her Illustrated Games of Patience.
A popular story has Napoleon enjoying Solitaire during his exile, and many such games either bear his name or the name of the island he was exiled to. This was not the case, however, as Napoleon enjoyed the more popular games of the day such as Whist. Solitaire, however, was popular in French society by the mid-19th century.
Around this time, it was also growing in popularity in English society. Prince Albert was known to be a fan of the game, and the rules began showing up in various books of games, namely the aforementioned book by Lady Cadogan.
But it wasn't until the mid-20th century that modern forms of Solitaire began to take shape. In recent years, literally hundreds of books on the subject have been published.
With the rise of personal computers, Solitaire games made a real leap in popularity in the 1980s. A click of the mouse could begin a new game, and players were no longer required to shuffle game after game. Since 1990, Klondike has been a part of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
These days, there are over 100 distinct versions of Solitaire, with Klondike being the most played and most popular. When you take into account minor variations of the game, the number rockets to well over 1000 different types.
Rules of the Game
Klondike Solitaire is played with a single 52-card deck with the jokers removed.
To begin, deal one upturned card on the left side of the playing area. Starting directly to the right of this card, deal 6 cards face-down from left to right. Then, place a face-up card on top of the leftmost downturned card and place downturned cards on each row to the right of that. Then place an upturned card on the leftmost down card and place downturned cards on each row to the right of that. Continue until all 7 rows (also called tableaus) have a face-up card on top. Here is the number of cards for each row:
Row 1 = 1 card
The four suits (club, heart, diamond, and spade) are ranked from ace to king. Piles can be moved if they are built with cards of alternating colors and in descending order. Any empty piles can be filled with a single king or a pile of cards with a king at the top.
Aces can be placed above the rows of cards and used to store cards of the same suit. For example, let's say a player draws an ace of clubs. He can either play it on one of the tableaus (below a red 3), or he can choose to place it above the rows. If he takes this options, then he can place a 2 of clubs on top of it (then a 3 of clubs and so on).
There are three different ways to deal with the cards not initially dealt into the rows:
1. Turn over three cards at once. You may make three passes through the deck or choose to pass through the deck an unlimited amount of times.
2. Turn over three cards at once, but reverse the order of each group of three as the cards are dealt.
3. Turn over only one card at a time, but the player only passes through the deck once.
To win the game, you must move all the cards in the rows and deck to the upper level with the aces. A winning game should have 4 suited piles of cards, with aces on the bottom and kings on the top.
Variations of Klondike
There are a wide number of variations of the game. These include:
The stock is dealt in batches of seven on reserve piles, and every card is available. The bases of the foundations depend on the 29th card, which is dealt on the foundations.
All cards are dealt face-up, and a player builds by color (red on red, black on black). A sequence of cards of the same suit can be moved together, and a space can be filled by any card or sequence.
3. Thumb and Pouch
A card in the tableau can be played upon any suit but its own. Spaces can be filled with any card or sequence.
21 cards are dealt into seven piles of three, two face-down and one face-up. A space can only be filled by a king or a sequence starting with a king. When no more cards can be moved, seven news cards are dealt to the tableau, one at the top of each pile.
30 cards are dealt into ten piles of 3 cards, two face-down and one face-up. A space can be filled with any card or sequence.
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