One of the most popular card games due to its simplicity, variants of styles, and ease of access (especially with those of us that grew up with shoddy internet), Solitaire is played by millions every day. Microsoft, who started the computer Solitaire craze, estimates that there are more than 100 million hands played on any given day.
A lot of people are accustomed to just one type of solitaire, though. Outside of the standard type, there are many other variants for Solitaire fans to try out. If you’re looking to mix it up, check out the five most popular styles of solitaire to expand your horizons.
Spider Solitaire is one of the more popular variations of the zen phenomenon that is Solitaire, having been around since the mid-1900s. The game uses two 52-count decks of cards and displays eight piles needed to be filled to win the game, which is where it gets the name Spider Solitaire.
There are seven variants of the Spider Solitaire series. Spider 1 Suit, Spider 2 Suit, Relaxed Spider, Will O’ The Wisp, Simple Simon, Mrs. Mop, and Spiderette. Studies show gameplay can improve cognitive function and mood.
Another popular variation of Solitaire is Pyramid Solitaire. It’s a game of patience and simple addition. There’s a single set of 48 to 52 cards that are placed facing up in a pyramid shape, giving the game its name. The objective of the game is to remove pairs of cards from the 28-card pyramid, which together add up to a total of 13.
You are given a deck of the remaining cards to use as pairings for the cards in the pyramid. Only fully uncovered cards can be chosen, besides Kings, as their value is already 13 and can be immediately picked out of the pyramid. To win, all cards from the pyramid and the remaining deck must be used.
One of the more difficult variations of Solitaire is Klondike Solitaire, also known as Canfield. It has a surprisingly low success rate, but perhaps that’s why people keep coming back to it. It has a 52-card Solitaire setup, minus the jokers.
It’s similar to your standard Solitaire, besides the number of cards used, having seven tableaus instead of ten, and the objective is to get four piles of cards stacked from king to ace.
Forty Thieves, or Napoleon at St Helena, as it’s called in other countries, is a difficult Solitaire variation. This version got its name, Napoleon at St Helena, after Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was rumored to have played this Solitaire game during his exile to St Helena island. Forty Thieves is one of the more popular variants of the patience games and the odds of winning are 1 out of 10.
The game uses two decks of 52 cards, has ten columns of four cards facing up, and has eight foundations to pile the used cards. There is a stock, but you can only go through it once. Besides that, it follows your usual solitaire rules where the objective is to gather families of cards from aces to kings.
Yukon Solitaire is similar to the Klondike variant, with the exception of a deck, or stock. There are seven tableaus and four suits where cards are piled up when chosen. All of the cards are presented in the beginning, with most of the cards face up and some being face down underneath the revealed cards in the tableau.
The objective is the same as typical solitaire, get all cards from aces to the king, sans jokers. Fill the suits one by one and reveal the hidden cards as soon as possible to help in doing so. There are some variants of Yukon Solitaire, such as Russian Solitaire, Alaskan Patience, and Australian Patience.