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Classic Solitaire, a game that never gets old

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I remember my introduction to computers in the late 1990s, just before I completed Senior Secondary School. My father got a desktop for home, and soon it became known as ‘my computer’ because I was the one who used it the most, out of my other three siblings. This was even before we got connected to the internet at home, long before we could enjoy bingo,  freespins no deposit 2022 Germany and other games!

So one might wonder, what was I hogging the computer to myself for, without any internet? Well, back then I would use it for music, movies, and games. I don’t even remember which version of Microsoft windows we started off with, but I remember it came with a suite of games including the Microsoft Solitaire.

Microsoft has included the game as part of its Windows product line since Windows 3.0, starting from 1990. By its 30th anniversary in 2020, it was estimated that the game still had 35 million active monthly players and more than 100 million games played daily, according to Microsoft.

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Solitaire refers to any of the various card games played by one person, with the objective to use up all of one’s cards by forming arrangements and sequences. I didn’t initially know how to play the game but after reading around, I found my way around it. It was addicting, and most of the games I played hung in the balance whenever I ran out of options. I won a few times, but most of the time I couldn’t complete a game.

I had not played Solitaire in a long while until I recently saw someone playing it on a TV show.  I got a little curious and got online searching for how to play Solitaire on my MacBook Pro. I came across solitaire.org, with a host of Solitaire games. I started exploring and even noted that there were various forms of the game than the classic one I was used to.  I soon found myself playing it each time I had some free time on my hands, with varying results each time.

The goal of the game is to stack cards into sequences based on suits and rank (from A to 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, J, Q, K) without mixing suits (that is hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs).  But it isn’t as easy as it sounds, and often I find myself blocked.

Classic Solitaire has three elements namely the draw pile, the foundations, and the table (or tableau).  The computer randomly shuffles 52 cards in the draw pile. You must stack the pile of cards in numerical order for each of the suits in the 4 Foundations spaces (which are left empty at the start of the game). The beginning foundation card is the Ace of each suit upon which the rest of the cards are stacked, all the way up to the King of that suit.

The Table provides a space where cards are temporarily stored before being moved to a Foundation, but not just anyhow, adding to the complexity of the game!  To move cards, you move lower ranked cards to higher-ranked cards but only if the cards are of a different colour. For example, if there is a seven of clubs and a six of clubs on different piles on the Table, you cannot move the six-card to the seven-pile because they are the same colour. However, you can move a six of hearts onto a seven of clubs, however.  Also, if a three of hearts becomes available and a two of hearts is showing on a Foundation pile, you can then move the card from the Table to the Foundation stack.

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The goal of Classic Solitaire is to transfer all cards from the Table to the Foundation. The game will end if no moves are possible, or if all cards are cleared. Fortunately, I have been able to win just once since I started playing online. However it is not all about winning, one thing I love about playing the game online is that, even without winning, I try to better my score each time.

I earn points 10 points when I play a card from tableau or waste pile to foundation; 5 points I play a card from waste pile to the tableau; and 5 points when I expose a card on tableau. I however lose 15 points when I remove a card from the foundation back to the tableau. I also lose points when I undo a move and 2 points every ten seconds without making a move.

If solitaire seems too complicated for you, you can try logic puzzles on the website, such as crossword. As someone who loves words and writing, the daily crossword also keeps me busy during my free time.

Each puzzle contains roughly 50 to 60 clues and the fun thing about playing online is that unlike the crossword puzzles in newspapers and magazines, as you enter letters, they turn green when you enter the correct word. If the letters are red it means the answer is incorrect, so you even know before moving on to the next clue.

You can also try these and other games online. I feel there are exercises for the brain, but I must warn you, they get addictive, especially if you are as competitive as I am!

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