How To Play One Hand Solitaire

James Lopez
August 2, 2023
How To Play One Hand Solitaire
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How To Play One Hand Solitaire: If you’re looking for a single-player card game that offers both challenge and relaxation, then look no further. One Hand Solitaire is a fascinating variation of the classic solitaire game, designed to be played with just one hand, making it a convenient and engaging option for solo gaming.

In this intriguing game, your goal is to build four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades), in ascending order from Ace to King. With only one hand at your disposal, each move requires careful consideration and strategic planning. As you delve into the gameplay, you’ll find yourself continuously assessing the tableau and searching for opportunities to create sequences and expose hidden cards.

The key to mastering One Hand Solitaire lies in your ability to think several moves ahead, recognizing potential pitfalls, and making wise decisions to achieve victory. While the rules are relatively straightforward, the challenge intensifies with each game, as you strive to improve your time and efficiency.

So, gather your deck of cards, take a seat, and prepare to embark on a thrilling solo adventure with One Hand Solitaire. Engage your mind, hone your skills, and experience the satisfaction of completing this delightful card game with finesse. 

What is One Hand Solitaire?

One Hand Solitaire is a solo card game played with a standard 52-card deck. It is a variation of the popular game “Klondike” or “Classic Solitaire.” The goal is to move all cards to the foundations in ascending order and grouped by suit.

One Hand Solitaire is a popular variation of the classic solitaire card game that offers a unique and challenging twist to the traditional gameplay. Unlike regular solitaire, where players use a standard deck of 52 cards and aim to build ascending sequences by suit, One Hand Solitaire is played with just one hand, making it an ideal option for those seeking a single-player card game that requires minimal space and setup.

In this game, players start with a shuffled deck of cards and aim to create four foundation piles, one for each suit, in ascending order from Ace to King. The main difference lies in the fact that only one hand is used to manage the entire gameplay, meaning players must strategize carefully and think several moves ahead to maximize their chances of success.

With its limited room for error and heightened level of concentration, One Hand Solitaire provides a challenging mental exercise that can be both relaxing and stimulating. It is a perfect choice for casual solo gaming during travel, short breaks, or anytime one seeks a bit of mental diversion. Whether played with physical cards or digitally, One Hand Solitaire offers an engaging and enjoyable experience for card game enthusiasts of all levels.

How To Play One Hand Solitaire

How do I play the game One Hand Solitaire?

To play, you can move cards from the tableau piles and the draw pile. You can build down in descending order, and you must alternate colors. For example, you can place a red 7 on a black 8, and then a black 6 on a red 7.

To play the game One Hand Solitaire, you will need a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The objective is to build four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades), in ascending order from Ace to King using only one hand.

  1. Start by shuffling the deck and dealing yourself 13 cards face-up in a row. This initial row of cards will form your tableau.
  1. Look for any Aces in the tableau and move them to the foundation piles. Then, continue by building on the foundation piles in ascending order, placing the 2s, 3s, and so on, until you reach the Kings.
  1. You can move cards between the tableau columns to expose hidden cards. Whenever you create gaps in the tableau, fill them with new cards from the deck.
  1. If you are unable to make any more moves or have exhausted all possible options, you can reshuffle the remaining cards in the deck and redeal. However, this should be your last resort, as the number of redeals is usually limited.
  1. The game is won when all cards are successfully placed on the foundation piles in ascending order by suit, ending with the Kings.

One Hand Solitaire requires focus, strategic planning, and a keen eye for potential moves. With only one hand at your disposal, every decision counts, making it a rewarding and challenging solo card game.

What are the tableau piles?

The tableau piles consist of the seven piles created during setup. Only the topmost card of each pile is face-up, and the rest are face-down. You can build down in alternating colors on the tableau piles.

In solitaire-type card games, including One Hand Solitaire, the tableau piles refer to the columns or rows of face-up cards that players use to build sequences and create potential moves. In One Hand Solitaire, you begin the game by dealing 13 cards face-up in a row, and these cards form the tableau.

Throughout the game, you can move cards between the tableau columns, which allows you to uncover hidden cards and make them available for play. The topmost card in each tableau pile is accessible for moving to other piles or to the foundation piles, depending on the game’s rules.

As you progress, the tableau piles may become stacked with cards of different ranks and suits, creating a dynamic landscape where you must carefully plan your moves. Strategic decision-making comes into play as you consider which cards to move and which to leave in place. Properly managing the tableau is crucial for success in One Hand Solitaire, as it directly impacts your ability to build sequences and clear the tableau, ultimately leading to victory.

Understanding the arrangement and possibilities within the tableau piles is a fundamental aspect of the game, and mastering this aspect can greatly improve your chances of completing the game successfully.

What is the easiest solitaire game?

Klondike Solitaire is one of the easiest solitaire games to learn. It’s a great place to start if you are just learning how to play card games alone. Your goal is to organize all of your cards from Ace to King in a row (same suits).

The easiest solitaire game is generally considered to be Klondike Solitaire, also known simply as Solitaire. It is a classic and widely played one-player card game that comes pre-installed on many computers and mobile devices.

In Klondike Solitaire, the objective is to build four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades), in ascending order from Ace to King. The game starts with a shuffled deck of 52 cards, and players can draw cards from the remaining deck or move cards between the tableau columns.

The rules of Klondike Solitaire are straightforward and easy to grasp, making it accessible to players of all ages and skill levels. Its popularity can be attributed to its simplicity and the fact that it provides an enjoyable and relaxing pastime. The game also offers a good introduction to the mechanics of solitaire-type card games, making it a great choice for beginners to familiarize themselves with the genre.

While Klondike Solitaire is relatively easy to learn and play, it still requires some level of strategy and decision-making, especially if you aim to win consistently. For those seeking a casual and enjoyable solitaire experience, Klondike Solitaire remains a timeless and accessible option.

What is the trick to playing solitaire?

  • Target Larger Stacks First. 
  • Evenly Distribute Tableau Piles. 
  • Move Quickly If You’re Playing Timed Solitaire. 
  • Think about Color When Filling Spaces. 
  • Handle Your Face Down Cards First. 
  • Try Creating Stacks of Similar Suits. 
  • Avoid Emptying a Spot without a King. 
  • Make Same Suit Piles on an Open Board.

The trick to playing solitaire, like any card game, lies in mastering a combination of strategy, patience, and observation. Here are some key tricks and tips to improve your solitaire skills:

  1. Plan ahead: Always think multiple moves ahead and consider the potential consequences of each move. Look for sequences that can be built upon and try to create empty tableau spaces to give yourself more options.
  1. Expose hidden cards: Try to uncover hidden cards in the tableau as early as possible. Moving cards from higher-ranked piles to lower-ranked ones can help you expose face-down cards and open up more moves.
  1. Build foundations evenly: Avoid concentrating all your efforts on one suit’s foundation. Instead, try to build foundations evenly to keep a balance between suits and prevent getting stuck with too many cards of one suit in the tableau.
  1. Avoid unnecessary moves: Be mindful of moving cards between tableau piles without a good reason. Each move should ideally be part of a larger strategy to build sequences or clear the tableau.
  1. Use undos and hints sparingly: If you’re playing a digital version of solitaire, resist the temptation to rely heavily on undos and hints. They can be helpful for learning, but overusing them might hinder your development of strategic thinking.
How To Play One Hand Solitaire

What is the fastest Solitaire solve?

The fastest game of Solitaire Social was completed in 30 seconds. The world record in classic online solitaire, however, is five seconds.

Determining the absolute fastest Solitaire solve is challenging due to the countless variations of the game and the constant evolution of digital platforms. However, in the traditional Klondike Solitaire version, which is often used as the benchmark, the fastest recorded time to solve a game is around 30 seconds to a minute.

Achieving such an impressive time requires a combination of exceptional luck and skillful gameplay. The player must receive an ideal initial deal of cards that allows for quick and straightforward moves to the foundation piles. Additionally, the player needs to possess a deep understanding of Solitaire strategy, enabling them to efficiently navigate the tableau and optimize their moves.

Speedrunning Solitaire has become a niche interest for some players, and online communities and forums may exist to share records and discuss strategies. If you are interested in challenging yourself to solve Solitaire as quickly as possible, practice, quick decision-making, and a bit of luck will be the keys to success. But always remember, the primary enjoyment of Solitaire lies in its relaxing and mentally stimulating gameplay rather than the fastest solve time.

Can I move cards between tableau piles?

Yes, you can move cards between tableau piles. You can move a sequence of cards from one pile to another as long as you follow the descending order and alternate colors rule.

In most variations of solitaire, including the popular Klondike Solitaire, you are allowed to move cards between tableau piles under certain conditions. The tableau piles are the columns of face-up cards on the playing area.

Here are the general rules regarding moving cards between tableau piles:

  • You can move a single card or a sequence of cards that are in descending order and of alternating colors. For example, you can move a red 6 onto a black 7.
  • The moved cards must be placed on a card of the next highest rank in the destination tableau pile. For instance, you can place a red 5 on a black 6.
  • You can move a group of cards from one tableau pile to another if the entire sequence follows the descending order and alternating colors rule.
  • Spaces created by moving cards from a tableau pile can be filled with any available card.

Remember, you cannot move cards that do not adhere to the rules above. Also, specific solitaire variations might have slight variations in the rules, so it’s essential to be familiar with the specific rules of the game you are playing. The ability to move cards between tableau piles allows for strategic decision-making and is crucial to successfully solving solitaire games.

What can I do with the draw pile?

You can turn over one card at a time from the draw pile. If the draw pile is empty, you can turn it over and use it as the new draw pile.

The draw pile, also known as the stock, is an essential element in solitaire-type card games, including One Hand Solitaire and Klondike Solitaire. It is a facedown pile of cards that are not initially in play but can be used throughout the game to provide additional options for moves.

In most solitaire games, you have three main options when dealing with the draw pile:

  • Drawing one card at a time: You can turn over the top card of the draw pile and add it to the waste pile or directly to the tableau. This gives you more cards to work with and exposes new possibilities for building sequences.
  • Drawing three cards at a time: In some variations of solitaire, like Three Card Klondike, you can draw three cards from the draw pile simultaneously and use them to make moves. This option provides more choices and increases the complexity of the game.
  • Reshuffling the draw pile: When the draw pile is empty, some games allow you to reshuffle the cards in the waste pile and turn them face down to form a new draw pile. However, this option is often limited, and the number of reshuffles may vary depending on the game’s rules.

Effectively managing the draw pile is essential to your success in solitaire games, as it determines the cards available for play and greatly influences your ability to clear the tableau and build foundations.

How To Play One Hand Solitaire


A captivating variation of the classic solitaire game that offers a unique and challenging twist. By carefully managing a single hand and strategizing your moves, you’ve experienced the satisfaction of building foundations and clearing the tableau, one card at a time.

As you’ve discovered, the key to success in One Hand Solitaire lies in your ability to think ahead, plan strategically, and remain patient. Each game presents a new opportunity to sharpen your skills and optimize your decision-making.

Beyond the thrill of victory, One Hand Solitaire offers a relaxing and mentally stimulating experience. It serves as a perfect companion during short breaks, travel, or moments when you seek a solitary diversion.

As you continue to play and improve, you’ll find that the game’s simplicity belies its depth. Each move carries weight, and your choices shape the outcome of the game. With time and practice, you’ll hone your proficiency and develop your unique style of play. So, whenever you crave a challenging and rewarding solo card game, don’t forget to turn to One Hand Solitaire. Explore its nuances, relish the joy of solving each game, and revel in the simple pleasure of a well-played hand. 

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Author James Lopez

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