Solitaire - Skill or Luck?

Is there a certain strategy for playing solitaire? (The card game with 7 piles) Or is it just luck? Does anyone have any strategies they’d like to share?

Sometimes, you just can’t win if you don’t cheat. I believe the game you are describing is properly called “Klondike.”

Both. The way the cards fall determines whether you have a chance to win any given hand. However, good play can maximize your winning.

That’s what I’m looking for. What is this “good play” you speak of and what are some strategies to obtaining it? I wish to “maximize my winning” because I always end up with $-1000 when I do Vegas scoring.

I’d have to say, that in my experience, both in cyberspace and meatspace games, Solitaire is five sevenths luck, three fourteenths skill, and one fourteenth magic (A.K.A. cheating). “Magic” can become a major factor in many card games; however, if done in any real casino, you might be treated like a witch and burned at the stake.

Little from column A, little from column B.

Go slow and don’t miss any moves.

And get the cards in a good sequence. How to do this without cheating is something I’ll leave to the imagination.

But since you play against your own past skill, the odds of winning the next game are almost identical to the one after that. In other words, luck overwhelms the skill factor.

A little of both, a combination a like to call “skluck”

(it’s mostly luck, if there are any real stratiges I have yet to find them, and lord knows I play that game enough)

As RealityChuck said, once the cards are dealt it’s then either possible or impossible to win.
If you work out how many possible hands there are, then how many of those are possible to win, you would then know exactly what proportion of luck there is in the game.

Some tips (the game my computer offers has 7 piles of cards, with progressively more cards in each pile):

  • with a choice, turn over a card in the pile with the most unturned cards

  • with a choice, turn over a card from a pile, not the pack

  • be prepared to bring cards back from the out piles if this will free a blockage

  • errrr, that’s it.

sorry if my jargon is unclear - I made it up!

re: glee’s first tip:

I don’t think you should always do this. If there are other piles that have kings showing, turning over a card in a short pile rather than in a taller one might (if you’re lucky) allow you to free up a space to put your King and will result in turning over more cards than you would otherwise get.

Not playing everything you can is the secret to Solitaire.

-Don’t use the bottom card even if there is a place for it–go through the cards one more time and see if there is one mid-pile you can remove

–If you deal a black king you could play, and there is a black queen showing, skip the black king and wait and see if you can get a red one.

–Don’t move cards up to the aces if it dosn’t gain you anything. If your red cards are stacked up to 4 or 5 and you havn’t got your black aces out you are going to have problems manipulating the little black cards.

Finally, like any card game it helps to have a good memory so that you can remember if there is a king of the right color coming up and so forth. Really sophisticated play involves doing things like figuring out: "OK, I need to remove exactly one card from the first three triads to pull that ace up. . . ". Of course, I think that Vegas style scoring charges you each time you flip the deck and redeal, which takes all the stadegy out, by my way of thinking. I understand that Vegas rules tend to do this for all rules–they are not big fans of stadegy out there.

I like FreeCell a lot better than regular Solitaire.

I agree that these are the prime strategies for maintaining some control over the game…otherwise it’s mindless card flipping. But I guess that’s the point isn’t it?

There’s probably not much in it, but I still think it’s better to aim for several short piles, rather than have one large one.
Even if you get the King out (which I agree is useful), you haven’t made progress on the big pile.

Eliminate luck - play chess!

My strategies:

  1. Don’t move cards to the Aces stack unless it gains you. Typically, I like to stack them symmetrically. I’ll flip up the Aces, and throw the two on immediately because there’s no use for the two in the playing area. But threes I might hold onto in case I turn up a later two and don’t have it’s Ace out yet. Extend that throughout the game.

  2. Using the above strategy, if I get a lot of cards up, but am kinda stuck with some covered, I’ll work just two columns, a red and a black, and leave the other two columns full stack in play. This leaves places to play the missing 2 or 3 that is still covered, but allows you to remove cards from the stack until you can remove, say, a 9 that is sitting on a covered stack. That takes having two or three long piles. Moving cards between the stacks in play.

  3. If I have a choice to play a card (say both red 4s are showing), pick the one with the smallest number of covered cards underneath. This opens holes to play kings.

  4. Going through the deck, I play turning three at a time, playing the third card. If it can’t play, I turn three more. Go through the deck at least three times. I picked this up off the computer version, I think.

  5. Don’t always play the last card when going through the deck. If you do, you can end up with a multiple of three in the deck, and then you only turn up the same cards each pass and block out the others.

  6. Make all plays you can with the exposed cards before using the deck. Look carefully each step to make sure you don’t miss any.

  7. Think ahead.
    I actually play 4 versions of solitaire, only one the conventional “klondike”. I intersperse the games for variety.