# Can you have a game of solitaire where no moves are possible

Assuming you play Klondike solitaire where you pull 3 cards at once, can you have a game where 0 moves are possible and no matter how many times you replay the deck nothing happens?

What about if you play in a way where you draw the cards 1 at a time?

Certainly with Klondike solitaire. I call that a “Perfect Loser”.

I may be possible with one card at a time, but I’ve never encountered it. However I almost always play Klondike solitaire.

Unless I have misunderstood the question, nearly every game ends that way.

I always play turn one at a time. I win it about 60% of the time. Some games end unable to make any positive move. Occasionally one will end with no cards to turn and no legal move to make.

Let’s move this to the Game Room.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

My understanding is that the question is about a game that starts that way. That is, from the first deal of the layout, it’s impossible to move any of the cards between columns, or to play any of the cards that come up in the pile.

It’s definitely possible either way. Have four 4s and three 2s face-up. The only cards that could be played are aces and 3s. There are 21 face-down cards, so if all 8 of the 3s/aces are in there, you’ll lose without a play. (The odds of all of that happening have to be very very remote.)

Yes of course this is possible when turning 3 cards at a time. There are 7 visible cards at the end of the piles and 24 in the hand. If you turn them three at a time you see 8 of them (and these will repeat if you play none). So you see 15 cards. There are 22 non-ace red or black cards so all 15 could be from them.

It’s also possible for this to happen with a single card turn. Suppose the 7 visible cards are 2 black kings, 2 black queens, 2 black jacks, and one black ten. If all 4 aces and both red queens, both red jacks, both red 10s and both red nines (12 cards in total) are among the 21 down cards there will be no moves possible.

I didn’t think about it, but it is that easy. All you need is 4 of one number of cards and 3 of a different number 2 below it. Then the only cards you can play are the card between or below the two and aces and if those are all locked up on the table then nothing happens.

Having played 100s of games of solitaire and never running into a game where no moves were possible, I hadn’t considered this situation. But it is totally possibly.

Four 8s and three 6s on the board, with the four 7s, four 5s and the four aces on the table face down then nothing can happen.

I have a Klondike (turning 3 cards) game on my iPhone that detects when there are no more moves and ends the game. At least once, I’ve hit the new game button and immediately gotten the “Game Over” screen.