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Is Every Game of Solitaire Winnable

Solitaire is an interesting game. Not only can it help pass time, but it also relaxes your mind and improves your focus. And you don’t even have to be a professional to enjoy this game. With many solitaire variants, everyone can find a game they love to play.

But because it requires some thinking and strategy, often people wonder whether they can win a solitaire game. What differentiates a winnable game from one that isn’t is if there is at least a path that can make someone win. A game can have a solution, but a player may still not win it. It is why skills and your ability to employ a great strategy matters when playing solitaire.

Is Every Game of Solitaire Winnable?

Not every game of solitaire is winnable. Some factors can increase a game’s winnability rate. Note that solitaire is a general term that describes many different card games each having unique rules and winning chances. Although different games may have different winning probabilities, there isn’t an absolute value. Therefore, there’s no way of ensuring that 100% of solitaire games can be won. However, this isn’t to discourage anyone from playing. While not all solitaire games can be won, many are winnable.

The Odds of a Solitaire Game

Almost 80% of solitaire games can be won. However, this doesn’t mean that players win 80% of the games played. Of all solitaire games, FreeCell and Pyramid have the highest and lowest odds of winning, respectively. Around 99% of FreeCell are winnable, but the figure reduces to 0.5-5.5% in Pyramid Solitaire.

Moves are the essential determiners of whether one will win a game. One bad move can change a winnable game into an unwinnable one. If a game has several paths that lead to victory, there are better possibilities of winning. But, a game with only one single path makes it hard for one to win since they can easily make a mistake, turning the game into an unsolvable one.

1 Card and 3 Card Deal Explained

One will have to make at least 76 moves and 60 moves for a 1 card deal and 3 card deal, respectively, to win a solitaire game. For those playing the 1 card deal, this means that 24 cards are well laid out and easy to pick, meaning that you have 24 automatic moves. Additionally 24 moves of placing those cards into the right pile. You’ll then be left with 28, which adds the total moves to 76 without backtracking.

If playing the 3-card deal, you’ll have groups of 3 cards where you have two mysterious cards after one is revealed. But sometimes, you are allowed to place a card at a time in a stack. Since one move unveils three cards, you can only draw from the deck eight separate times, then add cards into the foundation one by one. Then, there are 24 automatic moves for cards placed into the pile, totaling all the moves to a minimum of 60 times.

What about the Four Hands?

All solitaire games have four hands;

  • Winning hands
  • 50/50 hands (players can win or lose the game depending on the move they make)
  • Completely losing games- don’t have any victory path.
  • A completely unplayable game where players can find themselves with a wild deck card.

It is why you should know the odds of each game to help you determine from the start the hand that you have.


Most solitaire games are fun and exciting. However, they can be challenging, and even with a good strategy, you may still lose. Therefore, don’t focus so much on winning. Instead, think of this game as something fun. Because that’s really the whole goal of a game, isn’t it? To have fun, to laugh, and to just have a short break from the real world.

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