The Competitive Edge: Strategies for Winning at Online Solitaire

Playing Cards Game on Black Background

Solitaire had been around for centuries even before Microsoft popularised it by adding it to their operating system. While it might look like a simple game, it has a lot of depth, and players must routinely implement strategic thought to ensure a win. However, the game still requires some luck to win, which makes it even more surprising and unexpected. Here are some tips that can give you a competitive edge and increase the likelihood of winning.

Handle Larger Stacks First

Solitaire requires exposing cards so you can place them in the designated piles and stacks. When doing this, it is best to choose ones that have a big stack behind the card facing you. Handling these bigger stacks first can help you reveal useful cards when playing solitaire, and you can use them when building piles as you reveal more cards.

Distribute Your Piles

Many new solitaire players create larger piles for easier pile management. This is not always the best strategy because you might cover cards that would have helped you elsewhere. Instead, it is better to create separate piles that are roughly the same size.

However, you can combine two smaller piles if you will reveal a down card. Once you do this, try placing piles of the same size close to each other if you have the space. Doing so will make it much easier to see the piles and decide which cards to pick. It can also save you time if you are playing competitively.

Have a King Before Clearing a Pile or Spot

You might want to remove all cards from a pile or slot so that you have fewer to work with. However, do not do this unless you have a free king. Why? Because clearing without a king means that slot will remain empty until you get one. You will play with one less slot and at a disadvantage until that happens, which can hamper your chances of winning the game.

Avoid Building Ace Stacks Until You Have To

Another common mistake new players make is building their ace stacks from the start. Doing this can cause serious issues as the game progresses and you try to arrange the cards below. You might place a card in an ace stack and find out you need it later in the game. Because you cannot recover it, you will get stuck.

However, having it below would allow you to manoeuvre until you can access and use it. Waiting to create ace stacks until later in the game is, therefore, the most advantageous and strategically-sound option.

Move Your Aces and Deuces First

While you should avoid moving cards to the ace piles until you have to, it is different for aces and deuces. These cards do not benefit you if you leave them in the lower piles, and they might even block cards you might want to use.

Instead of allowing them to lock you in, move them and keep building your piles below until you are ready to move more cards to the ace stacks.

Create Piles of Similar Suits

You should try to have as many accessible cards as possible when playing solitaire. It is better strategically to build piles that only consist of the same two suits. For example, you might have two piles with clubs and hearts.

If you ever need to get to a card, you can flip through these columns to get to it. However, you might not be able to do so if you have piles with different suits. 

You will have nowhere to place the suits that do not match and end up struggling if you are not careful. The risk is being unable to reach the underneath down cards because there will be cards on top of them.

Switch Your Strategy if You Must

Sometimes a strategy or guideline does not lead to the outcome you want. You should be ready to switch your strategy if it is not working. However, refrain from doing so until you have to.

Winning online solitaire games requires strategic thinking and planning. It also requires thinking ahead because moves that seem safe now might ruin your game later. With the right strategies, you should be prepared to win your next game, whether you are playing alone or competing in a tournament.

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