Solitaire is a game that just about everyone is familiar with. After all, if you spend a lot of time on the computer, odds are that you’ve played the MS Windows version that comes with every PC at least once. You may have gotten out a deck of cards and started dealing a hand for yourself every now and then. You might have even found some Solitaire games online, and tried out these once or twice.
While you may have played the game before, how much do you really know about it? For instance, did you know that the playing cards used to play games like Solitaire were actually invented in China? The Tang Dynasty was the first civilization in recorded history to use the cards, and that was way back before the 9th century. Online variants like the ones on Fexi might be what you’re familiar with, but you should know that old documents and correspondences mention the cards. In ancient times, various members of the upper classes would play games using the cards with one another.
Various decks of cards were invented, some outlasting others and eventually resulting in the playing cards we know today. As time passed, various different card games began to spring up and become widely known. Of these, Solitaire was one of the most famous and popular. The fact is that are many different kinds of cards that fall into the category of Solitaire—which is really just the name used to refer to any tabletop game that one plays solo. Klondike Solitaire is the version that most people think of when Solitaire is mentioned. It’s a fairly simple variant of the game, which allows for a large number of winning combinations.
Besides Klondike, there are also many other Solitaire variants, also called Patience games. As a matter of fact, Patience is the term one uses when referring to Solitaire games you play with actual playing cards, in real life. In addition, there are also non-card based Solitaire games like Mahjong and Shisen-Sho. These Asian games have also successfully transitioned to the PC version, with Mahjong games having been around since almost just as long as PC solitaire. Aside from these, there also exists a peg solitaire game, which some consider to be less of a Solitaire game and more of a puzzle. All these games are playable alone, and some of them can be played with friends when a few modifications are made to the rules.
A faction of Solitaire pros considers FreeCell Solitaire to be far superior to its Klondike ‘cousin’, since successful FreeCell gameplay depends largely on strategy and foresight. The luck element, which is fairly central to Klondike can be eliminated almost entirely in this version of Solitaire. The basic strategy pointer in FreeCell is to try and move the Ace cards to the home cells as quickly as possible. If there’s a pile of other cards on top of the aces, your main goal should be to free them up early on in the game, since otherwise you risk running out of available moves. The second strategy tip for this game comes from its very name: the point is to keep at least some cells free at all times. When all the cells have been filled, you will be left with virtually no space to move.
Cruel Solitaire is also a favorite version for many. The goal is the same as with the Klondike version – to stack the four suites in the home area. However, the main thing you need to pay attention to in this game is re-dealing cards. In Cruel, there will always be four cards in each stack, and they will be the very same cards you know are in the maneuver area. Figure out what card comes next and you’ll be securing your chance at winning.
Nowadays, you can play any version of Solitaire at any time you choose, with the advent of online gaming. There are so many games available to play online, and so many different Solitaire variants and versions, it’s a great way to waste a few minutes or a few hours. Playing Solitaire online can be a lot of fun, and if you know a bit about the history and traditions behind Solitaire, it can make your gaming even more enjoyable.
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