Solitaire, a timeless card game, is perfect for a single player seeking a challenge. Setting up a Solitaire game, specifically Klondike solitaire, is straightforward once you understand the basics. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started.

Materials Needed

  • A standard 52-card deck
  • A flat surface to play on

Step-by-Step Setup

1. Shuffle the Deck

Begin by thoroughly shuffling your 52-card deck. This ensures that the cards are randomly arranged and adds to the challenge of the game.

2. Create the Tableau

The tableau consists of seven piles of cards. Hereโ€™s how to set them up:

  • Pile 1: Place one card face up.
  • Pile 2: Place one card face down, then one card face up on top.
  • Pile 3: Place two cards face down, then one card face up on top.
  • Pile 4: Place three cards face down, then one card face up on top.
  • Pile 5: Place four cards face down, then one card face up on top.
  • Pile 6: Place five cards face down, then one card face up on top.
  • Pile 7: Place six cards face down, then one card face up on top.

Each pileโ€™s top card should be face up, with the rest of the cards in each pile face down.

3. Set Up the Stockpile

After creating the tableau, the remaining cards form the stockpile. Place these cards face down in a single pile. You will draw from the stockpile during gameplay to help move cards around.

4. Establish the Foundation Piles

The foundation piles are where you will eventually move cards in ascending order from Ace to King, separated by suit. These piles will start empty and be built as you play the game.

5. Understand the Layout

Your playing area should now have:

  • Tableau: Seven piles with increasing numbers of cards from left to right.
  • Stockpile: The remaining cards, face down.
  • Foundation Piles: Four empty spaces above the tableau, one for each suit.

Gameplay Basics

Now that your Solitaire game is set up, here are the basic rules to follow:

1. Moving Cards

  • Cards in the tableau can be moved according to the following rules:
    • You can place a card onto another card that is one rank higher and of the opposite color (e.g., a red six on a black seven).
    • Only Kings can be moved to empty tableau spaces.

2. Drawing from the Stockpile

  • When you cannot make any more moves in the tableau, draw cards from the stockpile. Depending on your chosen variation, you might draw one card at a time or three cards at a time.
  • Move any drawn card to the tableau or foundation if possible.

3. Building the Foundation Piles

  • Move Aces to the foundation piles as soon as they are available.
  • Build up each foundation pile in ascending order by suit (Ace, 2, 3, and so on).

4. Winning the Game

The game is won when all cards are moved to the foundation piles, organized by suit and in ascending order.

Advanced Tips

To enhance your Solitaire experience, consider these advanced tips:

1. Prioritize Uncovering Hidden Cards

Always aim to flip over and reveal face-down cards in the tableau as soon as possible. This increases your available moves and options.

2. Use Empty Spaces Wisely

Create empty tableau spaces and fill them with Kings strategically to rearrange and uncover more cards.

3. Manage the Stockpile

Be mindful of how you use the stockpile. Draw cards when necessary but focus on making moves within the tableau first.

4. Plan Your Moves

Think ahead and plan your moves to avoid blocking necessary cards. Ensure you donโ€™t prematurely move cards to the foundation if they can still assist you in the tableau.


Setting up a Solitaire game is a simple yet methodical process. With a shuffled deck and a clear understanding of the tableau, stockpile, and foundation piles, youโ€™re ready to enjoy one of the most popular solo card games. By following these setup instructions and incorporating strategic gameplay, youโ€™ll find Solitaire both challenging and rewarding.

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