When it comes to classic games with staying power, few can compete with the enduring popularity of Solitaire. The draw of this timeless card game is its simplicity—after just one round, you’ll likely remember the rules for a lifetime. It’s also an eminently accessible game, with some versions as simple as dealing cards in a column and removing all but one card at a time. But while everyone knows how to play Solitario, it won’t be that easy the first time around. If you’re struggling to beat this classic card game for the first time, here are some pro tips from the pros:
Know the Basics
Before even starting to play, learn the basic rules of the game. These can vary slightly depending on the specific version you’re playing, but the general concept is always the same. There are only two rules in Solitaire that you must never forget: always draw one card at a time and always draw descending. These two rules make sure that the game is fair and winnable for every player.
Don’t Shuffle the Cards
You might be tempted to shuffle the cards to shuffle the cards and start fresh, but this will do you no favors. Shuffling the cards is not necessary in any version of Solitaire, but it is a bad habit that will lead to bad decisions later. By leaving the cards in their original order, you’ll make it far easier to keep track of where each card is and what card you need to draw next. You’ll also avoid making poor decisions due to poor luck. If your draw order is out of whack, you may find yourself with a hand that is next to impossible to win with.
It may seem counterproductive to start playing a game that requires you to be organized by making a mess. But if you’re playing a game like Klondike, where you’re building columns with each draw, organization is crucial. You’ll want to keep the stock in front of you, as well as any foundations you are working towards completing. When you complete a column and remove it from the tableau, place it on the bottom of that column. This way, you can easily keep track of everything and place the cards in the correct order when building a new column.
Use a Timing Strategy
Solitaire isn’t a race, but you may find yourself feeling rushed and wild. For your first time playing, use a timing strategy to keep things cool, calm and collected. Try to keep each turn to 10 seconds, starting the timer as soon as you draw the top card. If you haven’t drawn the card you need within 10 seconds, it’s time to move on to something else. This will force you to make more strategic choices. If you have a card in the stock that you’re worried will waste too much time, you can discard it immediately.
No matter how many times you’ve played Solitaire, you’re always playing against yourself. Don’t be greedy; the game is winnable with the first few cards dealt. If you’ve followed the tips in this article, you’ll be playing Solitaire like a pro in no time.