Solitaire Gold

5 Popular Variants of Solitaire

Solitaire is one of the most popular card games around the world. Also known as patience, the game has been entertaining us since time immemorial. Over the years, the game spread across every nook and corner of the world and it was adapted into several different unique forms and variants.

Thus, various forms of solitaire card games came into existence, with slight variations in the rules and formats. Read on to learn about some of the most popular variants of solitaire.


Klondike is one of the most popular variants of solitaire that has a history behind it. The term “klondike” traces its origin back to the gold rush of the late 1890s. Gold was discovered in the Klondike area of the Yukon territory, a region in the northwest of Canada, which triggered a rush of miners from the west coast of the United States. To pass time during their gruelling journey, miners would play solitaire. Thus, the term klondike solitaire was coined as a homage to the territory.

Klondike has all the standard elements: a foundation pile for each suit, a tableau with alternate color building, a stockpile, and a waste pile. Once you know how to play klondike, a large number of solitaire games and their rules will seem familiar to you.


FreeCell took the gameplay of klondike and made it more interesting and challenging. It is a variation of solitaire that includes spaces, or “free cells”, to hold cards. The free cells act as a maneuvering space. You can use the free cells strategically to transfer all cards from the tableau to the foundation piles. Moreover, FreeCell is fundamentally different from other solitaire variants as all cards are dealt face-up from the very beginning of the game.

The puzzle-like format of FreeCell is easy to learn but not so easy to win. However, when you take the right steps and use the correct strategy in this variant, most of the games can be completed and won. So the percentage of success is much higher in FreeCell than in other variants of solitaire.


Spider is another famous variant of solitaire that was popularized by the Windows version from 1995. Its name comes from the eight legs of a spider, referencing the 8 foundation piles of solitaire. Within a decade since its release, spider surpassed klondike in terms of popularity. Since the original version was difficult to play for casual players, two relatively easier versions were developed: 1-suit spider and 2-suit spider. 

This variant of solitaire is different from the others as it does not involve placing cards into foundation piles. Instead, players need to stack the cards in the tableau in a descending order. When 13 cards are grouped by suit in a descending order, they are removed from play. The objective, however, is to get cards of the same suit in an ascending order of ace to king.


Yukon is a fascinating and challenging variant of solitaire that is a blend of other variants. While it is more complicated than the others, the satisfaction of solving the puzzle is also higher. You get 7 columns and 4 foundation piles to start with. There is no stock pile in this version. In yukon, all the cards are dealt at the start, but some of them are placed face down.

The first thing to do in this variant is to expose the cards lying face down. Next, you need to move the aces to the foundation piles. Another version of yukon is called Russian solitaire, which is even more challenging.

Forty Thieves

The chances of winning in a Forty Thieves solitaire game are less than 10%. It is played using two standard card decks and 40 cards are dealt face up at the beginning of the game. That way, you get 10 columns with 4 cards in each. The rest of the cards make up the waste pile.

The objective is to move the cards into 8 foundation piles, starting with the aces. However, you can move only one card at a time. The trick is to get one or more columns empty. As with all other forms of solitaire, thinking and planning your moves wisely is critical here.

So these are some of the most popular variants of solitaire to download and enjoy. Now that you know about some of the most popular versions of solitaire, don’t miss out on this fun game. Download a solitaire app on your smartphone and enjoy playing. Happy gaming!

Leave a Reply