Card Games to Play by Yourself

By Carl Hose
Solitaire allows players the fun of cards without the need for opponents.

Card games are one of the oldest forms of entertainment. A simple game of cards among friends can provide hours of entertainment, but cards aren't only for groups. There are many games designed to be played by a single person. These games range from the quick and simple to complex games that can take hours to complete.

Classic Solitaire

There are many version of solitaire, most of which can be played with a single deck of cards. All of the games basically involve taking cards from your hand and placing them on rows of other cards to make suits. Your goal is to get rid of all your cards. Most solitaire games are relatively fast, though some versions are fairly complex.

Free Cell

The object of Free Cell is to build four foundation piles up in suit from aces to kings. Begin by making eight columns of cards, with seven in the first four piles and six in the second four. In addition to the foundations and tableau, there are four cells. Each cell is a storage place for one card. Any available card can be moved to an empty cell. Cards in cells can be moved back to the tableau or to the foundations. This allows you to manipulate the cards to make room for the cards you need top place in your piles to complete the game. You win the game when you have successfully placed all your cards in order by suit and alternating colors.

Klondike

The layout of Klondike consists of the deck in the upper left, four foundations to the right of the deck, and seven columns of cards called the pile or tableau. The object of Klondike is to build your cards face up on the foundations in sequence from ace to king. Only aces may be moved to an empty foundation, and only the next higher card of the same suit can be added to the foundation. The suits must be built in alternating colors. The object is to move cards from one pile to another, or to the foundation, until you have completed a suit. The game ends either when you have no more moves or you successfully build all of the suits.

Spider

This solitaire uses two decks of cards. You start with 10 piles and deal out 54 cards to these piles, six to the first four and five to the others. Turn the top card of each pile up. The object of the game is to build eight sequences down in suit within the piles, from king to ace), then move them when they are completed to the eight foundations. Only the top cards of the piles can be played.

You can move cards one at a time from pile to pile, or groups of cards as a unit if they are in sequence, to build your suits. When any tableau is empty, you can fill the space with any card or group of cards. Like other games of solitaire, the object is to build all of the suits successfully on the foundation slots.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.