The Most Popular Types of Solitaire

Solitaire is considered by many people to be one of the most well-known card games in the world. The popularity of solitaire is largely due to the fact that it can be enjoyed by just one player, and it also is relatively simpler to play compared to other card games like blackjack, poker, and baccarat.

While most card game lovers know how to play a regular game of solitaire, what some of them don’t know is that there are different variants of solitaire that would have different sets of rules and gameplay mechanics. It is recently estimated that there are about 150 variants of solitaire, but there are only a handful of popular ones that are being played in various countries around the world, like Spider Solitaire 2 suits and others. To know more about those variants, here are details about the most popular types of solitaire you can play.

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Klondike is arguably the most popular variant of solitaire today, and when people talk about solitaire, they are most likely talking about the game with the same mechanics and rules as Klondike. This popular type of solitaire has been around since the 19th century, and it is believed to have been invented in the Canadian region of Klondike, which is obviously its namesake. Although it was a well-known game back then, Klondike became even more popular when it was included as a free game in Microsoft’s Windows 3.0 OS (operating system) in 1990.

The rules of Klondike are relatively simple, and its simplicity is attributed greatly to its popularity in today’s era. Here are some pointers about the game that you should know about:

  • Klondike needs to be played using a 52-card deck.
  • The goal of Klondike is to arrange the cards by suit (spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds), but the Ace should be first in the arrangement, and the King will be last.
  • The sequenced cards would be arranged in four empty spaces called “foundations.”
  • Several cards would then be dealt into seven piles. All of the dealt cards except for the front card are facing down.
  • In order to reveal the face-down cards, the front cards should be moved from one pile to another, although the cards should follow the game’s order or sequence (King to Ace).
  • Only the King cards can be moved into empty spaces, as other cards need to be followed by a card with a value higher than them. So, if you have a two of hearts card, you would need to have a card with a higher value underneath it (three or more) to move it from one space to another.
  • The cards that were not dealt in the foundations are in a “Stock” pile, wherein they can be drawn in order to finish a sequence or order in the game.


card suits

A type of solitaire that is often called a sub-variant of Klondike is FreeCell, which has similar rules to Klondike but with one major difference. The difference comes in the form of “free cells,” which are four empty spaces on the table where you can set aside numerous cards in order to have an easier time building a sequence on the foundations where they originally belong.

The cards within those free cells can then be called into play again if a specific sequence is already built within a foundation. So, it could be said that FreeCell is a much easier version of Klondike to play, although the addition of the free cells can be quite confusing for some beginners. However, if you want to play a faster game of solitaire, then FreeCell is perfect for you to play since building a sequence on this game is quicker and easier.


Another very popular type of solitaire that you should try out is Spider Solitaire, which features the same gameplay mechanics as Klondike, but instead of a 52-card deck, you will need to play two decks of playing cards for this game. The name “Spider” comes from the number of foundations found within the game, as there are eight foundations that could be a reference to the number of legs that a real spider has.

Because you will need to play two decks of playing cards, Spider is regarded as a more difficult solitaire variant to play compared to Klondike. In addition, only a full sequence of King to Ace cards can only be sent to foundations, so the rules of Spider are a little bit more unforgiving. Because of the difficulty of Spider, it is often not recommended to play for beginners. So, if you are a newbie in solitaire, it would be best to try out and master Klondike first before taking on Spider solitaire in online gaming websites or through using a physical 52-card deck.


set of playing cards

Pyramid is a different kind of solitaire, as it doesn’t feature foundations or multiple piles. Instead, this solitaire variant features its namesake, a pyramid-shaped single pile that is made up of different cards in a 52-card deck. To know more about Pyramid, here are some important notes about the game that you should keep in mind.

  • On a 52-card deck, 28 cards would be set up in random order on the table in the shape of a pyramid. There is one top card, and the number of cards that will be added to the pile will be one more than the top row of cards. So, after the first top card, the second row would have two cards, and so on. The last row of cards on the Pyramid would have seven cards.
  • To get or discard a card in the pyramid pile, you would need to pair it with a card so that its total value will be equal to 13. For example, if you want to get rid of a four of clubs card, you will need to pair it with a card that has a value of nine, regardless of its suit.
  • The kings in the game have a value of 13, the queens have 12, and the jacks have 11.
  • The player should draw a card in the Stock pile to pair with the card on the pyramid pile. Only the cards in the Stock pile can be paired up with the pyramid pile cards.

While the mechanics of Pyramid look relatively simple, it is considered one of the most difficult solitaire variants to win, as there are lower chances that you can pair up all the cards and eventually end up with an empty pyramid pile. So, it may take numerous tries or rounds before you can win a game of Pyramid.

And, there you have it, the most popular types of solitaire that you can play right now in your game room. If you are a newbie in solitaire, we highly recommend that you start with Klondike first before trying out the other variants of the game. Have fun playing solitaire, and you will eventually become a master of it.