Solitaire was originally included in Microsoft Windows to help users become acquainted with using the functions of a mouse such as clicking, dragging and dropping items. Just like how the computer mouse has become a familiar piece of technology today, the game has also become a favorite of millions of people worldwide. It is common to see people play the game on their mobiles and even look for tricks on how to beat solitaire opponents.
The origin of the game goes back to the mid-18th century, and it has gone through innumerable modifications. From the time when the game was played physically to the 21st century, where you can play solitaire online, it has changed significantly. To help you understand solitaire better, here is a detailed article on the game that has emerged as one of the favorites of all gamers.
The origin of playing cards dates back to the 10th century in China during the Tang Dynasty. Initially card games involved the shuffling and dealing of paper dominoes. In the 14th century, people from European countries like Spain and Italy began playing cards as a form of entertainment. The games were mostly played by the wealthy upper class, since card decks were meticulously handmade and expensive.
Though the true origin of Solitaire is still debated today, people speculate that the layouts of solitaire came from the layouts of tarot cards, which had long been used for fortune telling and divine predictions. The first printed references of solitaire appeared in the late 16th century in northern Europe. The game later arrived in France in the early 17th century. It is also said that Napoleon Bonaparte was known to have spent time playing the game during his exile at St. Helena in 1816, and hence it became a popular pastime among the population of France. To add on, a lot of the terms used in the game (e.g. tableau) and the names of some solitaire variants (e.g. Rouge et Noir, Coquette, etc.) originate from France.
It was around the same time that solitaire took hold of the English society. Prince Albert was known to play the game and eventually many books of solitaire rules began appearing in England in the late 19th century.
In the second half of the 20th century, various books on different variants of solitaire started coming up, and the game gathered a lot of attention. In 1990, the world saw Microsoft integrate solitaire as a game into its PCs. Today there are more than 100 distinctly individual solitaire games, with the number being even higher if one takes minor variations into consideration.
The rank of cards in solitaire is: K (highest), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (lowest).
Foundations: Foundation piles are four piles on which a whole sequence must be built up according to the suit.
Tableau: The seven columns that make up the main table form the tableau.
Stockpile: After cards are dealt at the start of the game, the remaining cards form the stockpile.
Waste Pile: The cards from the stockpile that belong neither in the tableau nor on the foundation piles are put in the waste pile.
When you play the game online on an app like Solitaire Gold, cards are dealt out in seven piles that form the tableau. The tableau increases in size from left to right, and the number of cards in each pile is the same as the number of the pile. This means the first pile has one card; the second has two cards and so on. The seventh pile is the last pile and has seven cards. Once the tableau has been set up, the cards will form a cascading staircase, which is a reverse staircase starting from the right. The top card on each of these piles faces up, and the cards below these are placed face down. The remaining cards form the stockpile, which is placed above the tableau. In the beginning, the foundations and the waste pile do not have any cards.
You start by transferring cards in the tableau and building sequences. When you uncover an ace, place it in the foundation pile. Continue transferring cards on top of each other in the tableau to form a sequence. If you reach a dead end and are unable to move any more, you can utilize cards from the stockpile by turning over the first card. If you cannot utilize the card in either the tableau or the foundation piles, move the card to the waste pile and flip over another card in the stockpile.
A space is created if a vacancy in the tableau is created by the removal of cards, and it is of huge importance as it can only be filled by a king. By filling a space with a king, a player can unblock one of the cards in another pile in the tableau.
The player needs to continue transferring cards in the tableau and draw cards from the stockpile until all the cards are built in sequences by suit in the foundation piles.
With players from all over the world being hooked on the game today, the solitaire game has definitely made its mark on the world. It continues to charm gamers with its rich history and highly entertaining gameplay.