A deck of cards can be used for several games. From poker to "Go Fish," the 52-card deck can provide a lot of entertainment. When you are alone though, you may have trouble coming up with as many games to play, but one of the most popular single-player games is solitaire.
There are many different versions of solitaire, all with different rules to follow. The most common one is simply called solitaire or Klondike, and every game based off of that usually includes the solitaire name. These games include Pyramid Solitaire, Tri-Peaks Solitaire, Free Cell and Spider Solitaire. All of these games are played with a standard single deck of playing cards.
Deal seven cards face down across from each other. Add another row to the six on the right and continue down, eliminating one row in each turn until you place one card on the seventh row. Flip the top card over in each row and keep the rest of the pile in your hand or to the side--this is your draw pile. The object of the game to to make rows of numbers with matching suits in chronological order. For example, if you had the king of spades laying face up, you would move the queen of spades underneath it and so on until you have completed the whole row. Draw three cards from the draw pile at the same time. The top card has to be played before the other two cards are played. The game ends when you have cleared all of the cards, gone through the side deck three times, or dealt out one card at a time and dealt through that deck once.
Other versions of solitaire change the rules of Klondike a little bit. For example, in FreeCell, players have to match cards alternating from red to black instead of matching the same suits. In Tri-Peaks, you have to match the cards in numbered order and the suit does not mater. In Pyramid solitaire, you have to add two cards up to 13 and try to reach the top of the pyramid to win. Spider Solitaire is a lot like FreeCell, except it is dealt with cards face down instead of face up.
The game solitaire gained huge popularity with the release of Windows and new versions like Windows ME, XP and Vista. Solitaire games like FreeCell and Klondike come standard on these programs and provide computer users with boredom curing fun. Future releases have included solitaire and there have been several game releases featuring a large collection of solitaire games.
Solitaire games are usually single player, but with a twist on the rules and a little creativeness, you can expand the game to multi-player fun. Using two decks or two computers, load up the same version of solitaire. Count down and race to see who defeats the puzzle or lasts longer during the game. This can be expanded to more than two people and can turn into a tournament.
Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.