Klondike Solitaire Rules 

 A player laying out the cards according to classic Klondike Solitaire rules.

Klondike—the original Solitaire and the reigning champion of all its variations. A perpetual fan favorite, its simple rules and challenging gameplay make it one of the most played card games around the world. Using this step-by-step guide, you’ll be playing Klondike Solitaire like a pro in no time. Let’s get into it! 

How to Play Klondike Solitaire 

There are three things to cover before you can master this game: 

  • The layout of the cards
  • The instructions for game play
  • The rules


The classic Klondike Solitaire layout consists of four components: 

  • Stock: The shuffled deck from which cards are drawn, either one or three at a time. The added challenge of the three-card draw attracts experienced players, but beginners often opt for the one-card draw.  
  • Foundations: Four suited piles are the final destination for all the cards in the deck. They’re organized according to suit and they’re built in ascending numerical order from ace to King.  
  • Tableaus: Seven columns store cards until they can be moved to their final destination. The tableau on the left has one card that is face-up. Moving to the right from there, each column increases by an additional card. These cards are face-down, but the final card on each column is dealt face-up. Tableaus are built in numerical order opposite from the foundations, descending from King to ace. Within each column, the cards are organized in opposing color order with no regard to suit. Red cards can only be played on black cards and black cards can only be played on red cards.  
  • Waste: Receives cards dealt from the stock that can’t be played on the tableaus or foundation piles. Once the stock is fully dealt, the waste pile is reused as the stock pile to continue the game.  


 The standard tabletop layout according to Klondike Solitaire rules.


Gameplay Instructions 

Once the layout is set up, follow these steps to start playing: 

Step 1: Draw from the stock and place playable cards appropriately. First, see if it can be played on the foundation piles. If not, find a spot in one of the seven columns. If the card is still unplayable, place it in the waste pile. Whether drawing one or three cards at a time, remain consistent throughout the game. 

Step 2: Build the tableaus using cards of alternating color and in descending order. Card sets can be moved from one tableau to another to free up unexposed cards.  

Step 3: Once a tableau is empty, keep using that spot by putting a King there. it can be filled with either a King or sets of cards from another tableau that has a King at the head.  

Step 4: Deal cards from the stock to the waste pile one or three at a time, depending on which draw option you choose.  

Step 5: Whenever a spot opens up, the top card of the waste pile can be played on the foundation piles or tableaus. 

Step 5: When the stock is empty, the waste pile is reused as the new stock. Repeat these steps until there are no more moves. 

To win at Klondike Solitaire, order a deck of 52 cards into the four foundation piles. If the foundations aren’t finished and you can’t make any more moves, the game is over.  


Klondike Solitaire Rules 

Believe it or not, you already know some of the rules. However, we’ve compiled this list so you can reference them easily: 

  • Foundation piles must be built with cards of the same suit, starting from the ace at the bottom to the King at the top. 
  • Tableaus can contain cards of different suits, as long as they: 
    • Alternate in color ex. Red Queen, black Jack, etc.  
    • Descend in order ex. Eight of hearts (red), seven of spades (black), etc.  
  • Face-down cards at the end of a tableau must always be exposed. 
  • The Card on top of the waste pile can be placed on the columns or on the foundations if there is an opening. 
  • Cards from the stock can be drawn and dealt to the waste pile one or three at a time. 


Watch this video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to play Klondike Solitaire: 


Klondike Solitaire Trivia 

♦️ Did you know that the odds of winning classic (Klondike) Solitaire is only one in 30?  
♣️ Did you know that ‘Klondike Solitaire’ got its name from the Klondike gold rush in Canada? 

♥ Did you know that 28 cards out of 52 are dealt in the Klondike Solitaire tableaus? 

♠️ Did you know that Microsoft debuted its version of Klondike Solitaire, named Microsoft Solitaire, more than 30 years ago? 



Klondike Solitaire is a game of skill, strategy, and chance—just like the adventure of striking gold in Yukon many years ago. This game teaches players patience, decision-making, and calculation. 
What’s more, learning how to play Klondike Solitaire opens up a whole world of Solitaire variants based on classic Klondike Solitaire rules. So try your hand at this venerable game and fall in love with Klondike Solitaire. 


Play Klondike Solitaire Now with Arkadium 

Did you know we are the official designers of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection for Windows 8 and 10? That’s right, we are the creators behind Microsoft Solitaire. If you’re looking for a high-quality game of Klondike Solitaire, you’re in the right place. 


Klondike Solitaire - Play Online for Free | Arkadium 


Klondike Solitaire rules test not just your skill but strategy and risk-taking. Try it now with our free, online Solitaire games—no download needed! All of our games are browser-based and can be played anytime, anywhere. 

Learn how to play Klondike Solitaire and discover more free online games at Arkadium, home of the world’s best games available to play online.