Solitaire Tutorials

Solitaire Terms

Available Cards - any card that is available for play and can be moved between piles, foundations, tableaus, spaces, freecells, etc.

Base - See Tableau

Blocked - When there are no moves available and you are stuck.

Build - When you place one card on top of another in order to create a sequence. See our Building page.

Colors - All cards are either Red or Black. Red if their suit is Hearts or Diamonds, and Black if their suit is Clubs or Spades.

Column - The layout of many solitaire games involves columns. Columns are groups of cards placed vertically on the table. Columns are usually built down starting away from the table and placing cards that overlap the card above it while building the column down.

Deal - The "Deal" is when you create the original game layout from the deck.

Fan - A series of overlapping cards spread out so that all the cards in the fan are visible. A fan usually has the cards fanned out from the bottom.

Foundations - Special piles used in some solitaire card games. In games that use foundations, the goal of the game is typically to move all of the cards to those foundations in order to win. In many solitaire card games, the foundations begin the game empty, and the first card that must be placed on it is frequently (though not always) an Ace.

Fully Packed Series - A series of cards that appears in order and can not be divided.

Layout - At the beginning of any solitaire game, you must deal the cards into a specific pattern on the table. This pattern may involve arrangements like piles, fans, columns, rows, etc. This initial pattern is known as the Layout.

Pile - Any pile of cards where the cards are stacked on top of each other. This can include fans, reserves, squared piles, or even empty spaces.

Rank - This is a number value assigned to each card. Cards with a number on them usually have a Rank that is equal to that number. Aces usually have a rank of 1, Jacks 11, Queens 12 and Kings 13.

Redeal - In some games you are allowed to 'Redeal' a part of your layout when you become blocked.

Reserve - See waste pile.

Row - Groups of cards placed horizontally across the table.

Spaces - Gaps in the layout or empty piles that can be played based on the rules of the given solitaire game.

Squared Pile - A pile of cards where the top card completely covers all of the cards under it.

Stock Pile - Depending on the rules of the game, after you have dealt out the layout, there may be cards remaining in the deck that have been undealt. In many games, this remaining deck can be used to deal other cards into the layout or a waste pile later during play.

Suite - A full set of all 13 cards of the same suit.

Suits - Each deck has 4 suits, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades.

Tableau - See layout.

Waste Pile - If the game you are playing has a stock pile, the cards are frequently dealt from the stock pile face up into a waste pile during play. Usually the top card in the waste pile can be moved into play from the waste pile, but this depends on the rules of the given game.

 
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