Does Skill Help You When Playing Solitaire? Or Is It Luck – Poker Fortress

Does Skill Help You When Playing Solitaire? Or Is It Luck – Poker Fortress

There is currently a raging debate on whether winning a Solitaire game depends on your skills or luck. While the ultimate objective of this goal is to win, there is a split, particularly among new players, on whether it takes luck or skills to win Klondike Solitaire games. 

Skill does help you when playing solitaire. For the record, winning a Solitaire game boils down to your skills and understanding level of the game. While luck might occasionally boost your chances, it is not something you can rely on every day, and only practice and patience can help you improve. 

This article will shed light on how skills and experience will inevitably increase your chances of winning. I will also shed light on how you can take advantage of your luck when playing Solitaire, and how you can boost your skills. 

Is Solitaire a Game of Luck or Chance?

The uncertainty that comes with playing solitaire games makes this card game refreshing and thrilling in equal measure. You never know which card is next, which pits you against a randomizing mechanism. 

Solitaire is not entirely a game of luck or chances. Of course, you will be lucky between the games, but you must have the skills to get your moves correctly. The unpredictability of playing this game makes it impossible to count on luck each time you play. 

This unpredictability is what often makes many new players look at Klondike Solitaire as a game of chances and not a game of experience. This claim is valid, at least to some extent. You are never sure whether you will start the game in a bad position or on a wrong footing. 

However, it isn’t easy to measure luck. While some people are always overly lucky, many others have minimum luck. Besides, unlike most games of chance, where your chances of winning or losing are not dependent on your level of effort, you need some skills and knowledge to play and win Solitaire. 

In Solitaire, luck may come when you least expect it. For example, a wrong move by your partner during a 2-deck solitaire version. While you could utilize such an opportunity to outplay your partner, luck only comes in handy if you have the knowledge to identify them when they arise and the skills to turn it into an advantage. 

A skilled player will win far more often over a sample of 1000 games than one that is less skilled in playing Solitaire. Luck does play a role over a smaller sample of games, but the more games you play the less it will matter when you look at your overall win percentage.

Is Solitaire a Game of Skills?

Like every game of skill, you need strategy, knowledge, experience, and tactics to win a solitaire game. It is a mind game that relies on your focus, concentration, and alertness. Again, you need to master the game rules and the required skills to win solo or double solitaire versions. 

Solitaire is a game of skills to some extent, since all moves require good strategy and understanding of the game. All actions require technique, regardless of how lucky you get with the cards. To use skills in solitaire, you must learn how to move the cards correctly. 

Still, you may lose even if you have the right skills but the wrong cards at your disposal. You could need both skills and luck, but being skilled is superior. This is what makes Solitaire a game of skills and not a game of chance. 

You will win more consistently if you have the skills and experience than when you only want to rely on your luck. Thus, it is essential to know how to play Solitaire, master the rules, and stay alert to get better results.

No matter how skilled you are you won’t win more than 81% of games in standard (Klondike) Solitaire over a big sample. An above-average player will win significantly more often than a beginner though.

How To Get Skilled in Playing Solitaire Faster

As a game whose success depends on your skills and expertise, patience and practice are part of what you need to be a better player. As you develop this, you should know the strategies that will boost your speed at solitaire games. 

The following are some of the tips and tricks that will help you get skilled in playing Solitaire faster: 

Know the Rules

Solitaire has a set of rules that you should know and understand if you want to improve your chances. The rules guide what you should or should not do and will help you make calculated moves as you play. 

Most solitaire rules are pretty basic and easy to understand. This explains why the card game is popular. The principal regulations include: 

It is possible to move a card or cards from one tableau to another as long as they are of different colors. Note that the card moved should be of an immediate smaller number than the one you put it over on the other tableau. You can move cards from the stockpile to the tableau columns or foundation if you find it impossible to play with what is available on the tableau columns. All face-up cards in the tableau should appear in descending order. It is only possible to move Aces to empty foundation piles since you should aim at arranging cards in ascending order on the foundations. You can only move kings to empty tableau spaces and not any other cards. You can clear the tableau faster than your opponent but still have lesser game points. The game is over if you manage to move all the cards to the foundation or if you find it impossible to make any further moves. 

Start Your Game Correctly and Play Carefully

Increasing your chances at Solitaire goes beyond relying on luck. Therefore, it is essential to be careful about your moves at the beginning and during the game. 

Some of the actions you should consider are:

Look at the identity of your first card in the stockpile. Make it a norm to check the identity of the first face-down card on the waste pile whenever you start a game. That information should help with your first moves. You can determine when to move it to the foundation if it is an Ace, a 2, or any small value card or when to move it to any of the tableau columns. Move Aces and 2s to the foundation as soon as you find any of them. Ideally, it would help if you strived to build up the foundations as soon as you have an opportunity. One of the best ways is to move Aces and 2s when such moves are possible. Start with the Aces, then check if there are any matching 2s. Do not free up tableau slots unless you have a King to take up the spot. It is needless freeing up all cards from a tableau column by moving the cards to the foundation or another tableau. Holding onto such cards may only increase your game chances. 

Target Larger Stacks First

Interestingly, you should note that your chances to win Solitaire rely on how first you can flip open the downward cards on the tableau. Thus, whenever you have more than a single option, always choose the move that involves revealing a downward card. Showing lower cards will give you many visible cards and more opportunities. 

You can also achieve this by focusing on tableau columns with more giant stacks of invisible cards. If you have an opportunity to reveal face-down cards from several columns, consider revealing them from columns with longer heaps of face-down cards. Stick to this rule unless you have Kings, Queens, and Jacks lined up. In such a case, move them first to the foundations.

Aim at ensuring that the downward cards in each tableau stack are equal in number. Doing this will maximize your chances. As for the revealed cards, try to build them up on a single or two tableaus, as this will also ensure that you reveal more face-down cards. 

Be Careful With 5s, 6s, 7s, and 8s

Mid-range cards are pretty complicated to move. A small mistake with them will jam your game and make it unplayable. So, be careful when moving cards valued 5-9, as playing them too quickly will potentially stop your gameplay. 

Look out for Aces and move them to the four foundation spots. You can follow them up with the lower value cards but be a little more patient with cards from 5-9. You can, however, play these cards if they help you reveal lower cards. 

Create Stacks of Similar Suits if You Can

This strategy is essential, particularly if you have your eyes set on the end game. It also comes in handy in freeing up face-down cards still stuck under the tableau stacks. Moving cards to the foundation does not come automatically, and you may find it impossible, particularly at the beginning of each game. However, it is an option that you should keep in mind. 

For example, when you see a 7S card in any of your tableau piles blocking several face-down cards and you don’t have a 5H/4S, release 6C-5D-4S and 7C-6D-5C-4D if you have them in your tableau. You can then replace the 7S card where you had your 7C card to reveal cards previously blocked. 

This process will help you to build smooth stacks and comes in handy for organizing complicated cards such as those between 5 to 9, which could occasionally jam your gameplay. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Change Strategy

If you find it challenging to reveal downward cards in your tableau, you should consider switching your strategy. It does not make sense to stick to a guideline if the results are not promising. 

You can try moving all the kings in case you have suitable spaces. You can also try moving around any movable cards to the foundation of other stacks in the tableau and see if you have a solution to the jam. 

Again, it is essential to understand that some solitaire games are not winnable. So, freeze the game and begin afresh once you have exhausted all the possible tricks. 

Benefits of Playing Solitaire

The solo-player version of Solitaire is arguably noncompetitive. Yet, it remains one of the most popular card games, whether you go for the electronic or digital version. This game will help you keep away from boredom, but more importantly, it is healthy for your mind in the following ways:Improves CognitionTeaches Patience, Concentration, and FocusSoothes the MindIncreases Social PresenceImproves Problem Solving SkillsIt boosts your analytical skills and can double your decision-making skills and response time to general applications.If you can consistently be patient and pay attention to solitaire games, you will quickly develop these traits in the long run.Solitaire has incredible mind-calming properties. Anyone suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression will find the game soothing.Those who spend time alone can often suffer from loneliness. Online Solitaire will give such people a better sense of belonging as you can play it in turns.Solitaire stands out as a tool for problem-solving. With an ability to solve problems better, you will equally master the art of solving real-life problems. Table: Benefits of playing Solitaire


The debate on whether Solitaire is a skill game or a game of luck has only one answer—skills play more importance in improving your winning chances than luck would do. Thus, it is vital to master solitaire rules and strategies to have the upper hand. The above tricks will help you improve your ability to win solitaire games faster. 

Author: Ethan Moore