Playing Computer Solitaire

With the proliferation of desktop personal computers and laptops, the card game of Solitaire has enjoyed a revival as a popular computer game.

Solitaire Differences Between the Card and Computer Versions

The game can be downloaded and played from the hard drive of one’s computer, or played on a hosting web site while the player is connected to the internet.

The Fundamentals

The basic principles, rules and aim of playing computer Solitaire are the same as those for the card version.

Convenience

The computer version is more convenient because whenever a top card is removed, the card below is automatically revealed by the program. It is not necessary to do manual flipping of cards.
If a card can be moved to the Foundation, a simple right click of the mouse will send the card to its right place.

Once all 52 cards have been revealed by the player, the program automatically moves the cards to where they belong in the Foundation, thus completing the game.

Enhancement of Enjoyment

To make the game more enjoyable, players have the option of customizing the look of the game according to one’s preferences. One can select the desired visual theme, as well as the pattern for the back of the cards. There is also the option to turn the background music and sound effects on or off.

Element of Competition

Solitaire, by virtue of its name, is originally intended to be played alone. For the computer version, that is still possible. However, there is additional scope for challenging oneself in terms of the time taken to complete each game.

Another aspect for a player to monitor his/her improvement is via the number of points scored within the designated time frame. The system awards points for every card that is revealed from the Tableau and Stock, rearranged within the Tableau, or moved to the Foundation. The more cards moved to the Foundation, the higher the score.

After all the cards have been moved successfully to the four columns of the Foundation, bonus points will be awarded for speed and unused time. A player’s high-scores are saved in the system for future reference, serving as another measure of progress.

With the time limit and points system in place, a player can go on-line and compete against another player real-time to see who gets a better score. To add to the excitement, some web sites even allow multiple-player competitions, with the one having the highest score being declared the winner. Winners in these on-line competitions stand to earn credit points and sometimes, even cash.

Penalties

Players should note that there is usually a limit on the number of times that the cards in the Waste can be replayed.

For Klondike-1, after all the cards in the Stock have been played and transferred to the Waste individually, each replay of the stack of cards will incur a huge penalty of 100 points, deducted from the total score achieved.

For Klondike-3, where three cards are displayed from the Stock each time, the cards in the Waste can be replayed up to three times. Each subsequent replay carries a smaller penalty of 20 points.

Ten points will also be deducted when a card is moved from the Foundation back to the Tableau.

In general, computer Solitaire is a good and cheap way of passing time and to improve one’s strategic thinking skills.

By trying out different variations of Solitaire on web sites such as Solitaire Network, one can also get to better understand these games, and even play them using cards.