Learn how to play the great game of Klondike.

How to play: Klondike

The Pack

The standard 52-card pack is used.

Object of the Game

The goal is to get the four suits built onto the foundations from aces up through kings.

The Deal

Deal out 28 cards in seven piles as follows: The first pile is one card; the second pile has two cards, and so on up to seven in the last pile. The top card of each pile is face up; all others are face down.

The Play

The four aces form the foundations. As it becomes available, each ace must be played to a row above the piles. Cards in the appropriate suit are then played on the aces in sequence - the two, then the three, and so on - as they become available.

Any movable card may be placed on a card next-higher in rank if it is of opposite color. Example: A black five may be played on a red six. If more than one card is face up on a tableau pile, all such cards must be moved as a unit.

When there is no face-up card left on a pile, the top face-down card is turned up and becomes available.

Only a king may fill an open space in the layout. The player turns up cards from the top of the stock in groups of three, and the top card of the three may be used for building on the piles, if possible, played on a foundation. If a card is used in this manner, the card below it becomes available for play. If the up-card cannot be used, the one, two, or three cards of the group are placed face up on the waste pile, and the next group of three cards is turned up.

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  • If you have a card that needs to placed on a foundation pile but there is another card below it, what do you do? (I made up my own rule and said I have to put it in the stock pile but I’m pretty sure that’s not how you play)

  • I wanna play this game but I have a few questions to ask:

    1. Can you take back cards from the waste pile?

    2. Can a five of spades be placed on top of a six of clubs?

    Thank you!

  • 1. Are there any official rules regarding what happens to the stock and waste piles after the stock is emptied?

    2. Should the waste be shuffled before being used again as stock?

    3. If the waste pile is turned face down and used as stock again, is there a limit to the number of times this can be done before the game ends?

    4. If the three cards drawn from the top of the stock all end up in the tableau, may the topmost card from the waste come into play before drawing again?

    • The waste pile should just be turned over and reused. DO NOT SHUFFLE THE WASTE PILE.and for four, yes, it can.and for tree, no, the game ends either when you are unable to make any moves or all of your cards are on the foundation pile, making you win:)

    • The Bicycle Team
      April 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Kolby! Great questions!

      1. The official rules of Klondike are that you only go through the stock pile once and the game is over if you can’t make anymore moves and have exhausted the stock pile and top card of the waste pile. There are other versions of solitaire that allow you to reshuffle and reuse the waste pile.

      2. There is another version of solitaire called Canfield that allows you to reuse the stock pile, but does not allow you to reshuffle.

      3. Again, there are hundreds of variations and honestly people form their own house rules of how to play. We have heard of versions that allow you to reshuffle 3 times and others that allow unlimited reshuffles. The official rules of Klondike say no reshuffles at all.

      4. Yes, you may always play the top card of the waste pile on the tableau or the foundation piles. And actually, there is another variation here, sometimes people turn 3 cards at a time from the stock pile and sometimes people only flip 1 card at a time.

      Have fun playing!! Let us know how it goes! 🙂

      – The Bicycle Team

      • Thanks for the reply. I’ve been playing this game a lot recently, and my two new Club 808 decks make it even better. I find myself thinking differently about my moves with the physical cards than when I play computer versions of Klondike, and it’s been hard to find a good source of official rules. This is great information.

        • The Bicycle Team
          April 20, 2016 at 12:56 pm

          Great to hear, Kolby!

          We agree — we struggle when we play on the computer. Using physical cards is much better. Let us know how your games go or if there are others you have wanted to learn.

          – The Bicycle Team

  • Can a card be used in play after it has been placed on the foundation?

  • I love this game.

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