Solitaire is one of the most popular card games worldwide and a favorite for many traditional and virtual card gamers partly due to its many variations. A solitaire game is usually played using a single deck of 52 cards, but you can play several variations using two decks of cards. The most prevalent version is known as Double Solitaire.
You probably played 2 deck Solitaire wrong. Also known as Double Klondike Solitaire, this is a version of Solitaire that you can play like regular Solitaire, but with two decks of cards instead of one. The game’s objective is to create eight foundation piles arranged from King to Ace, top to bottom.
Double Solitaire is a pretty fun version of the solitaire card game, but it’s easy to play it wrong since it’s very similar to regular Solitaire. Therefore, I wrote this article as a definitive guide to playing two-deck Solitaire, highlighting the games’ history, rules, and strategy tips. Read on to learn how to play the game the right way!
What Is 2 Deck Solitaire?
2 Deck Solitaire is a card game that you play using two decks of cards. There are a lot of card games and a few solitaire games that use two decks of cards, and you can set up all of them reasonably quickly.
Double Solitaire, the most popular two-deck card game, is an easy game to set up and play.
The goal of Double Solitaire is to construct eight foundation piles with cards of identical suits, beginning with Ace and working your way up to the King. Double Solitaire is typically played using two decks of 52 cards and by two persons.
Each player receives a deck and creates their tableau.
The card arrangement in Double Solitaire is identical to regular Klondike, except there are two more columns in the game because of the extra cards. The gameplay is also quite similar, but there are differences due to the additional cards in the game.
The increased number of cards in Double Solitaire also means that the game is longer than regular Solitaire, with the typical game taking roughly 7 minutes to complete. However, there is a far larger probability of winning Double Solitaire than standard Solitaire due to the game’s extended playing time and bigger deck.
Double Solitaire is regarded by many as the more competitive version of the solitaire card game.
How To Set Up Double Solitaire
Double Solitaire’s set-up and gameplay are identical to that of other solitaire games, but players can either play with the aces after the cards have been placed or use cards from the stockpile. A double solitaire game is over when all players’ cards are exhausted.
Here are the steps to setting up two-deck Solitaire:
- Get two decks of cards. The most peculiar thing about the game is the presence of two piles of heart, spade, club, and diamond cards. Conversely, you can always use a computer to set up a game.
- Take out the joker cards from the decks. Joker cards are meant to serve as replacement cards and are not inherently needed to play a game. There should be two joker cards in each deck you have.
- Shuffle the cards. Shuffling your cards is necessary to make the game playable. Ensure you shuffle the decks one at a time if you want to play the game competitively.
- Build the tableau using each deck. This step is a precursor to the actual gameplay and a crucial step in setting up the game. There are more details on building a tableau in the next section of this article.
- Put the remaining cards in a pile to the side. These leftover cards are stockpile cards used to move the game forward. You’ll need two stockpiles if you’re playing with someone else.
Playing Double Solitaire
You can play a game of double Solitaire by yourself or against someone else. Both gameplays are fundamentally different, but their differences are enough that I need to explain them in separate sections.
Single Player Double Solitaire
Start by shuffling the cards together. Afterward, form nine tableau columns by placing a face-up card on the first column and dealing eight face-down cards from right to left.
Therefore, the first column will have only one card—the face-up card.
Deal two face-up cards on the second and third columns and face-down cards on the remaining six columns. Then deal five face-down cards from the right column to the left column, and place one face-up card each on the fourth and fifth columns.
Again, deal four face-down cards from the sixth column to the ninth column and another three cards from right to left. Place one face-up card on columns six and seven, two face-down cards on the eighth and ninth columns, and another face-down card on the last column.
Finally, deal face-down cards on the last two columns and place the leftover cards in a pile, which will be your stockpile. You can then play the game as usual.
Here’s a table so you can be sure you’ve set up your cards the right way:
|Column||Number of face-up cards||Number of face-down cards|
There’s also a row of eight foundational columns in a game of double Solitaire, and you move Aces to this row to start winning foundations. You have to build each pile from Ace to King to win the game.
You can move cards from tableau columns to foundation columns during the game as long as they follow the sequence in which you’re to build the column. Note that each foundation column can only be created using cards of the same suit.
Additionally, you will have two of each suit since two decks are in play.
During the game, you can move cards between tableau columns as long as the pile is built in descending order of alternating colors. Therefore, you create cards from Kings to Deuces, ensuring each card is in the sequence. That means a “complete” column (King to Two) will end in the same color as it started.
You can also move piles of cards across tableaus as long as they satisfy the condition above. However, if you are left with a face-down card when you move a card or piles of cards, you need to flip that card the right way.
Only Kings can fill empty tableau columns since they are the base cards for tableau sequences. The stockpile has a place in the game, and you deal out cards when you want to or if you have no more moves left.
However, there are two rules for dealing cards from the stockpile.
You can either deal with three cards at once or just one card at a time. Of course, you’ll need to decide on what rule to follow before you begin a game.
The cards from the stockpile should be kept in a separate pile, separate from the foundation and tableau columns. You can move stockpile cards wherever you choose, as long as you follow the rules of tableau and foundation sequences.
You can always recycle the stockpile when it gets exhausted. You need to pick up the flipped-over pile you made from the stock and turn it face down.
You can do this as many times as you need to until you win or run out of moves.
Two-Player Double Solitaire
The gameplay for the two-player version of double Solitaire is similar to that of the single-player variant.
However, you set up two eight-column tableaus for each player when you play the game. Additionally, you must shuffle each deck separately, so you don’t have multiple cards in each player’s pile.
The table below looks at the number of open and face-down cards each tableau column will have after you have set up the game.
|Column||Number of face-up cards||Number of face-down cards|
There’s a single shared foundational row when you play two-player double Solitaire, and anyone can create and build on any pile in the foundations. There are also no turns in competitive double Solitaire, and anyone can play at any time.
There are a few ways to win competitive double Solitaire. You can win a game of double Solitaire if you clear all of the cards in your tableau and stockpile. You can also win if you complete four foundational piles.
The winner is the player who has played the most cards if you cannot finish a game.
Scoring in Double Solitaire
Many online versions of the game have scoring systems that you can use in single-player games and two-player matches. You can use these points as the decider in case of a draw or test your overall performance compared to other players and tournaments.
You get 50 points when you flip over a card in the tableau columns. However, the number of points you can get this way is capped at 1800 points.
Moving a card from the stockpile to the tableau columns is 25 points, with a maximum of 1475 points per match. While moving cards from tableau columns to foundation piles gives you 50 points (maximum of 5200 points per game).
Finally, you get 75 points if you move a card directly to the foundation piles from the stockpile. There are no maximum points you can make from this play, so try to do this as often.
Negative scoring is a staple of a few games, and Double Solitaire is one of them. You lose one point every second and 25 points if you use the undo button. Returning a card from the foundation to the tableau column will cost you 75 points.
Double Solitaire also has a completion bonus for when you finish the game. The bonus results from the difference between your score at the end and ten times the time taken to complete the game.
Variations of 2 Deck Solitaire
Double Solitaire is not the only two-deck version of Solitaire out there. Various versions have different rules, set-ups, gameplays, and scoring systems. You can easily play most of these less popular variations of two-deck Solitaire online or set them up yourself.
Here are a few variations of two-deck Solitaire:
- Algerian Patience
- Mount Olympus
Some of these games are single-player versions, but there are also many two-player variations of two-deck Solitaire.
Algerian Patience is a skilled-based version of two-deck Solitaire. It is an unusual and challenging two-deck card game compared to other versions of Solitaire. The goal of the Algerian Patience is to create eight foundations of similar suits in ascending or descending order.
Matrimony is largely luck-based and is a challenging game to play. You can use a few strategies to get ahead of the game, but there are a couple of rules and two variations of Matrimony. The biggest difference is that one foundation pile starts with a Queen of diamonds instead of a King. All others are normal.
Freecell is a strategy-based version of two-deck Solitaire that promotes solitaire skills and rewards careful decision-making. The game is different from other solitaire games in that there are very few impossible deals.
All the cards in Freecell Solitaire are face-up, and there are no hidden cards from the beginning.
Alhambra is a single-player solitaire card game you play using two decks of 52 playing cards. You build the initial foundation piles using one King and one Ace from each suit, and the foundations are built upwards from Aces and downwards from Kings.
Alhambra has two variations, which are Granada and The Reinforcements.
Mount Olympus has a unique twist, in that it asks you to create stacks of cards with odd and even, and its foundations start with Aces and Deuces.
The game’s tableau starts with a line of nine cards, which is also constructed down at two-card intervals. The gameplay works in the same way as Spider Solitaire, with an additional nine cards added from the stockpile every time you visit.
You play Two-deck solitaire games using two decks of 52 cards. The most popular of these is Double Solitaire, popularly called Double Klondike Solitaire. You can play solo matches of Double Solitaire or play competitively against another player.
Double solitaire is one of my favorite versions of solitaire. The game is easy to set up and its rules are simple so you can start playing it as soon as you finish this article!
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