What is Double Solitaire?
Double Solitaire is also known as Double Klondike, and is a specific variation that supports 2-players playing competitively. While some people claim that Double Solitaire is a single-player game played with 2 decks, that specific variation is actually known as Gargantua.
How to Play Double Solitaire?
Double Solitaire is designed to be played with 2 players. All you need to play Double Solitaire are two decks of the standard Anglo American variety without included Jokers.
Note that the same rules can be used in 3- or 4-player games as well. However, those specific rulesets are known as Triple or Quadruple Solitaire.
Double Solitaire Setup
Before the game begins, the two decks are shuffled together. The cards are then dealt in an identical fashion to standard Solitaire or Klondike.
As with Classic Solitaire, the board is split into 4 main sections, these include the Table, the Foundations, the Draw Pile and the Talon.
The Table is the main section of play, and also where the bulk of Double Solitaire setup occurs. Each player will have 9 piles each. From left to right, a card is placed face up on the first pile, followed by 6 cards face down on each subsequent pile. On the next cycle, beginning with the second pile, one card is placed face up, followed by 5 cards face down on the next piles.
This continues until each pile has an increasing number of cards, with a single card placed face up.
In the Double Solitaire card game, both players share the same 8 Foundations. These areas are where players build their sets of a constant suit. Each Foundation begins with an Ace and builds towards a King.
Note that there are two Foundations for each suit since 2 decks are used.
The Draw Pile
Each player has their own draw pile, formed after the dealing phase with the remaining cards split in half.
The Talon is also known as the discard pile. These cards will be laid face up, away from the table.
Gameplay rules follow the standard Klondike or Solitaire rules. However, players play at the same time, and can play on Foundations created by the other players as well.
If an Ace is available on the beginning board, they should be moved onto the Foundations.
If a card is removed from the Table, and a pile is left with the last card unrevealed, the card is unveiled.
To move cards around, one can move lower ranked cards to higher ranked cards, provided that the cards are of a different color. As an example, if there is a 3♥ and a 2♥ card on different piles on the Table, one cannot move the 2♥ card to the 3♥ pile, since they are of the same color.
On the contrary, one can move a J♠ to a pile ending with a Q♦.However, this might not always be the best idea.
One cannot move multiple cards if suits are mixed. Since suits are always mixed in Classic Solitaire, that means that moves are always made one card at a time. For example, in the previous example, the Q♦ cannot be moved if the J♠ is below them.
The top card of the draw pile is unveiled to the talon, and if the card cannot be played onto the board, then it remains in the discard pile. Only the top card of the discard pile can be played.
How to Win
To win in Double Solitaire, a player needs to clear their board before the other player achieves the same goal.
The Double Solitaire rules are:
- Cards are dealt to both players in identical arrangement, forming an ascending number of cards from left-to-right. The bottom-most card of each pile is always face-up.
- Players move cards from the Table to the shared Foundations, beginning with the Ace of each suit. Note that both players share the same 8 Foundations.
- The draw pile can be revealed one card at a time.
- Cards of a lower rank can be moved below a card of a single higher rank, provided the cards are of different colors.
- The game ends when all cards are cleared for one player.
Multiplayer Solitaire scoring is based on the number of cards remaining for each player. Scores are calculated once either player wins the round, or both players fail to play out any moves and agree to end the game.
For example, if Player A wins the round, and Player B has 8 remaining cards on board, Player A is awarded 8 points.
The following is an example in two-player Solitaire, illustrating how the addition of a 2nd player changes the game. An example board state, with each pile being truncated to the last revealed card is provided below.
An example board state, with each pile being truncated to the last revealed card is provided below.
In this case, the draw pile has unveiled an Ace. Whenever a card can be moved to the Foundation, it is a good idea to do it immediately.
Here, on the 6th pile on the Table, the 2♠ can be moved to the Foundation, since the Ace of the suit is already available. This unveils the following card on the 6th pile.
Now, we see that we can move the 5♥ from the 6th pile to the 7th pile, which further unlocks move possibilities.
Here, there are no more available plays, however, the opposing Player begins a foundation with his Ace, the A♦. This opens up an opportunity to play out the 2♦ and 3♦ cards. This shows how you can use other players’ moves to play.
Since there are no obvious moves to work from, we can temporarily set the 4♠ from the draw pile to the 7th pile, since the 4♠ follows rank of the 5♥.
Since a 3♠ is unveiled, we can move that into the Foundation, and then that can be further extended with the 4♠ from the 7th pile. The game continues with intervention from other players.
Play Online for Free
Playing Double Solitaire online is possible via online simulators and downloadable Double Solitaire app. These include browser-based simulators and apps for Android and iOS.
- The main key in competitive Solitaire is to be fast. The same moves can often be done by your opponent as well. First come first served.
- You might want to hold off Aces until you have the corresponding 2s to prevent your opponent from stealing the Foundation.
- Unveiling hidden cards from the draw pile is always helpful, since it unlocks more moves.
- Be careful when moving Kings to empty piles, as the wrong choice can potentially limit your possible moves.
- Avoid emptying piles if you do not have access to a King whenever possible, as that limits the number of piles you otherwise have.
- If no moves are available, wait for your opponent.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to play Double Solitaire with one deck of cards?
While there are no variants of Double Solitaire that use only 1 deck, you can attempt to play using 7 piles for each player with 4 Foundations. This might result in more frequent unsolvable boards.
Can I play Double Solitaire with 3 players?
Yes. 3-player variants of Double Solitaire are called Triple Solitaire, but the rules are the same, but with 3 decks instead of 2.
Are there alternate rules in Double Solitaire?
Yes. Gargantua is the Single Player form of Double Solitaire, with the same rules, but without the 2nd player. Another enjoyable Single Player Solitaire variant is the Pyramid game.
Can you play Double Solitaire in teams?
While you can consider the opponent to be a cooperative partner, part of the fun of playing with two is the ability to affect your opponent by careful play, making the competitive variant more popular.
If you enjoy playing with two players or more you might also love our Spite and Malice instructions.