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Solitaire proves that the simplest games can be the most addicting. With nothing but a deck of cards, solitaire can provide hours and hours of fun regardless of if you’re 15 or 75. But what if you don’t have a deck of cards? In that case, you can still enjoy solitaire online with our selection of the top 7 best free solitaire games online.
What Is Solitaire?
Any single-player tabletop game is technically solitaire. However, when most people hear the term solitaire, they immediately think of a specific variant of solitaire with cards, called Klondike.
This best-known solitaire card game became popular during the 19th century, and its popularity skyrocketed once again when Microsoft decided to include it with the Windows operating system.
To play Klondike solitaire, you need a standard 52-card deck. The cards are arranged into four different piles: seven columns that make up the main table, four goals, the pile with face-down cards, and the preview pile with face-up cards. The goal is to move all the cards from the seven columns to the four goals.
The traditional version of Klondike gives players a very small chance to win (around 3 percent), but most modern computer implementations tweak the gameplay, considerably increasing the chance to win and making the game more enjoyable.
Besides Klondike, there are several other variants of solitaire you should know about:
- FreeCell solitaire: This variant of solitaire is easy to learn but hard to master. Unlike Klondike, FreeCell Solitaire can be won nearly every time.
- Spider solitaire: Played with two decks of cards instead of just one, Spider solitaire is far more challenging than Klondike, making it suitable primarily for advanced players who have outgrown Klondike.
- Pyramid solitaire: This solitaire variant is a classic pairing game where your objective is to find pairs of cards whose combine rank is 13. Pyramid solitaire is easy to pick up, and there are many other similar variants for players to enjoy.
- Scorpion solitaire: In Scorpion solitaire, you create sets of 13 cards down in suit from King to Ace from a single deck of cards, making this an easier and more accessible alternative to Spider solitaire.
- Yukon solitaire: Sharing many similarities with Klondike, Yukon solitaire is played with just one deck of cards, and the player is allowed to move entire groups of cards.
Microsoft Windows Solitaire
Many avid solitaire players have started with Microsoft Solitaire, a computer game that has been bundled with the Windows operating system since Windows 3.0, which was released in 1990. The game is based on a solitaire variant known as Klondike.
Microsoft selected solitaire to help users become familiar with the graphical user interface of Windows 3.0. The game turned out such a huge success that many businesses at the time complained about employees playing Microsoft Solitaire instead of working.
A modernized version of Microsoft Solitaire is included in Microsoft Solitaire Collection on Windows 10. Microsoft Solitaire Collection also includes FreeCell solitaire, Spider solitaire, Pyramid solitaire, and TriPeaks solitaire. Players can participate in daily challenges and events.
If you would rather play the classic version of Microsoft Solitaire and you have a copy of Windows XP lying around, you can copy the game files to any computer running Windows 10 using the following steps:
- Open Windows Explorer in Windows XP.
- Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\system32.
- Copy the following two files to a USB drive: cards.dll, sol.exe
- Insert the USB drive to the Windows 10 computer.
- Copy the two files anywhere on your main drive.
- Launch the classic version of solitaire by double-clicking the sol.exe file.
How to Play Solitaire?
Since there are many different variants of solitaire, each with its own specific rules, we’ll focus only on Klondike, the most popular solitaire variant.
In every game of Klondike, there are four card piles on the table:
- Goals: Four goals.
- Preview: Contains face-up cards.
- Pile: Contains face-down cards.
- Columns: Seven columns that make up the main table.
The goal is to move all cards from the seven columns to the four goals. There are two main rules to remember:
- All cards must be in the following order: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Jack, Queen, and King.
- Each goal can only hold one suit.
Winning Klondike is all about making the best possible choices, which is why it’s recommended to hold off unimportant moves and focus on those that provide the most opportunity to make other moves or expose hidden cards.
The good news is that most online solitaire games give players an unlimited number of undos, allowing you to go back and correct any wrong move. Some free online solitaire games also provide hints, which can be especially handy when you’re still learning how to play solitaire and often find yourself unsure which move to make.
Best Sites to Play Solitaire Online for Free
Just like all other card games, you can play solitaire on virtually any device, even a budget smartphone. All you need is an internet connection and one of the best sites to play solitaire online for free listed below.
1. World of Solitaire
World of Solitaire is a massively popular site with over 100 solitaire games, including Spider, Klondike, FreeCell, and Pyramid. It was created back in 2007, and it now has over 250,000 players who come back to it every day.
2. 247 Solitaire
247 Solitaire is a member of 24/7 Games, a large collection of online card, board, mahjong, and casino games. Just like all games from 24/7 Games, 247 Solitaire has an attractive design that makes it a real joy to play. Many different variants of solitaire are available, including Spider, Scorpion, Wasp, and Yukon.
Because 247 Solitaire focuses on simplicity, it doesn’t have too many features, such as hints and global leaderboards. That said, it has the most important feature of them all: undo. 247 Solitaire offers rules and strategy tips for each and every solitaire variant it has, so there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying a different variant every day.
Solitr is a one-man project that launched in November 2011. While it may not be the most visually pleasing version of solitaire you can play online, it’s one of the most functional. The site is supported by ads, which are displayed on the right side in a non-invasive fashion. Because the site relies on simple graphics and doesn’t display too many ads, you don’t need to be afraid to visit it even when connected to the internet over mobile data.
The person behind Solitr also created an online version of Spider, which you can access by selecting it from the top menu bar. The same menu bar also allows you to access mahjong and sudoku, both of which are hosted on different domains.
NetSolitaire is home to nearly 20 solitaire variants, including Forty Thieves, Easthaven, Baker’s Game, Eight Off, Golf Easy, Simple Simon, and other less common ones. NetSolitaire uses a beautiful deck of cards, and it has such useful features as hints, unlimited undos, and a score counter.
The site works great on all devices, but you should avoid using it on mobile data because it uses large image assets, and it wouldn’t take much for it to eat up your monthly data allocation.
5. Online Solitaire
Online Solitaire is a fantastic online implementation of solitaire that features unlimited free games, undos, and hints. You can toggle sound, set autoplay, turn 3 cards or turn 1 card at a time, and much more.
The same developer has also released solitaire for Mac and Windows, and you find links to them on Online Solitaire. Versions for Linux, Android, and iOS are in the works and should be released fairly soon.
CardGames.io offers a lot more games besides solitaire, including backgammon, checkers, chess, mahjong, minesweeper, reverse, sudoku, triangles, and Yahtzee, just to name a few. The site was created by Einar Egilsson, and you can get in though with him at @cardgames_io.
Like most other solitaire games online, CardGames.io is supported by ads, and you should turn off your ad-block before visiting to support it.
Arkadium is a company that provides publishers brand-safe content to help them build engagement, revenue, new traffic. They’ve created a whole host of games that website owners can implement on their sites, and solitaire is one of them.
In fact, Arkadium offers many different variants of solitaire, including classic solitaire, mahjong solitaire, spider solitaire, golf solitaire, and others. All variants utilize HTML5 and play pleasant background music, which you can turn off in the settings menu.