Can You Always Win at Solitaire? What Is a Good Percentage?

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy playing Solitaire every now and then. It’s a fun and easy way to pass the time, after all. But can Solitaire always be won or solved, and what is a good percentage to aim for?

You cannot always win at Solitaire. This game is based on Monte Carlo Simulations, so there will be times when the odds are not in your favor regardless of your skill level. However, an optimal percentage to aim for is a 50-80% success rate.

This article will delve into the fascinating world of Solitaire and provide insights into the game, how often people win, and what factors can affect your chances of winning. 

Can Solitaire Be Impossible To Solve?

Solitaire can be impossible to solve. On average, 21% of solitaire games are impossible to win due to the random shuffling of the cards. For beginners, the odds of losing can increase due to a lack of understanding of how to play the game correctly.

There are a few ways a Solitaire game can become impossible to win:

  • If the player has no more moves left, the game is considered “stuck” and cannot be won.
  • If the player gets stuck in a loop where they repeatedly keep moving the same card, the game is also considered “stuck” and cannot be won.
  • If there are no more possible moves left given the current state of the board, the game is also considered “stuck.”

A game of Solitaire is won if all cards are moved from the tableau to the foundations. However, this doesn’t always mean the game is solved, as there are several possible card configurations that can lead to an unwinnable state.

solitaire possible to win
Even if your every move is perfect you will still not be able to win 21% of Klondike (standard) Solitaire games. There are other Solitaire variants that let you win more often (FreeCell) or only just 1% of the time (Pyramid Solitaire). It all depends on the challenge you want to have.

For example, if the top card of the tableau is a King and there are no other cards you can move to the foundation, the game is effectively over. Similarly, if there are no more cards to draw from the stock, you may find it impossible to solve the game.

Also, the order of the cards is random, and there’s no guaranteed way to get all of the aces into the foundation slots. As a result, Solitaire can be a frustrating game for those looking for a guaranteed win.

The following table summarizes the odds of winning Solitaire games:

Average odds of winning Solitaire in general80%
Average odds of winning FreeCell99%
Average odds of winning Pyramid0.5% to 5.5%  
Table: Odds to win different Solitaire games

How Fast Can You Solve Solitaire?

You can solve a game of Solitaire in 11 minutes on average. However, the time it takes for the average person to solve the game can vary widely. Some can take as little as two minutes, while others can take up to 9 hours and 30 minutes to finish Solitaire.

That said, the average time to solve a game of Solitaire can go down with practice. The more you play, the faster you’ll become at solving the game. You should also account for the fact that some people are naturally faster at solving puzzles and games than others.

How Often Do the Best Players Win at Solitaire?

The best players win about 80% of their Solitaire games. However, this number can decrease if the player is tired, stressed, or distracted. Furthermore, some variants of Solitaire are easier to win or take relatively less skill than others.

As with any game, the best players tend to win more often than others. This is especially true for Solitaire since it’s a game of skill and strategy. The best players know how to make the most of their cards and minimize their chances of losing.

What Is a Good Percentage of Wins at Solitaire for an Average Player?

A good percentage of wins for an average Solitaire player is between 40% and 60%. Your win percentage may be lower if you’re playing a difficult variant (such as Spider Solitaire) or if you’re a complete beginner to the game.

In general, the average player can expect to win about half of their games of Solitaire. This number can go up with practice and experience.

Here’s a table summary of how to improve (or maintain) your odds of winning based on your winning percentage:

Your Winning PercentageWhat To Do
More than 60%  Even skilled players struggle to get a win percentage above 60%. Great job, you are better than the big majority of players.
40 to 60%You are probably an average player. Keep practicing.
Under 40%You are probably a below-average player. Read strategy guides and practice more often.
Table: Percentage of wins for an average solitaire player
solitaire win percentage
Let’s be honest. In your first dozen or two games, the win percentage will be very low. With software Solitaire games it is easy to track how much you are improving, but even for the tabletop playing you can easily keep the track and check every 10 games if your winrate has improved. After a while, you might even become good enough to go and play head to head or try playing Solitaire for real money.

What Is a Good Percentage of Wins at Solitaire for a Beginner?

A good percentage of wins for a beginner Solitaire player is between 25% and 50%. This range will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep practicing. Further, your win percentage will likely increase as you become more familiar with the game.

Most beginners can expect to win about half of their games of Solitaire. If you’re one of them, it’s essential to focus on playing each card correctly and understanding the game rules to increase your chances of winning.

if you find Solitaire hard to play, then you are not alone. There is skill behind playing solitaire. You can read why many players find solitaire so hard on this link.

The following table will come in handy if you need guidance based on your performance as a beginner:

Your Winning PercentageWhat To Do
More than 50%  For a beginner, this is above average. Keep practicing.
25% to 50%For a beginner, this is average. Keep practicing.
Under 25%You are likely below average for a beginner. Read strategy guides and practice more often.
Table: Percentage of wins for a beginner solitaire player

Factors That Can Affect Your Win Percentage in Solitaire

There’s more to playing Solitaire than dealing out cards and seeing who can win. Several factors can affect your chances of winning, some of which you might not even know or expect.

Here are a few factors that can influence your win percentage in Solitaire:

The Difficulty of the Variant You’re Playing

There’s more to success when playing Solitaire than knowing which cards to move where. For example, games like FreeCell and Klondike are generally easier than Spider or Pyramid, as they allow for more strategic planning and offer more opportunities to make “correct” moves. 

On the other hand, variants like King Albert and Golf are typically more challenging, as they involve linear thinking and often require luck and skill.

If you’re looking to level up your Solitaire game, choose an appropriate variant for your skill level. With a bit of practice, you’ll be racking up the wins in no time.

The Number of Players

For example, if you’re playing a game like Klondike with three other people, your chances of winning are lower than if you’re playing by yourself. Each player will be drawing cards from the same deck, meaning the likelihood of all players having the same cards increases.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t win when playing against others. It just means your chances are lower than if you play solo.

The Type of Deck You’re Using

Did you know the deck you’re using can also impact your Solitaire win percentage? If you’re playing with a standard 52-card deck, your chances of winning are slightly higher than if you were playing with a specialized deck with 78 cards.

The fewer cards in the deck, the higher your chances of winning. This is because there are fewer possible combinations of cards, so it’s easier to create a winning hand. Also, special decks often have additional suits or jokers, making the game more challenging.

A standard deck of 52 cards is most commonly used to play solitaire. You can however play double deck Solitaire or a specialized version with 78 cards.

Your Level of Experience

If you’re a beginner, your win percentage will likely be lower than if you were an experienced player. This is because beginners are still learning the ropes and are more likely to make mistakes. Of course, this doesn’t mean beginners can’t win; it just means their chances are slightly lower. With practice, beginners can quickly improve their Solitaire skills and increase their win percentage.

The Amount of Time You Spend Planning

When playing Solitaire, it’s essential to take the time to plan your moves. If you’re the type of person who likes to race through the game without thinking, your win percentage will likely be lower than if you take the time to plan each move. If you don’t take the time to plan, you’re more likely to make mistakes. 

In addition, if you don’t have a plan, you’re less likely to notice when there’s an opportunity to make a strategic move that could increase your chances of winning.

The Amount of Luck Involved

Finally, it’s important to remember that Solitaire is a game of chance. No matter how skilled you are, there will always be an element of luck involved. For example, you might be playing a game of Klondike and have the perfect hand, but the cards just don’t fall your way. On the other hand, you might be playing a game of Spider and make a few lucky moves that help you win.

Tips To Improve Your Solitaire Win Percentage

There’s a reason Solitaire is one of the most popular computer games of all time. It’s challenging, it’s addictive, and it’s a great way to use up your extra free time. But what if you want to up your game?

Here are tips to improve your Solitaire win percentage:

Take Your Time Before and When Playing

As I mentioned before, one of the most important things you can do to improve your win percentage is to take your time. You’re more likely to make mistakes if you rush through the game. 

Here are a few guidelines to help you take your time:

  • Don’t start playing until you’re ready to focus. You’re more likely to make mistakes if you’re tired or distracted.
  • Make sure you understand the game and all its rules before playing. The last thing you want is to make a move that costs you the game because you didn’t know the first thing about how to play.
  • Once you start playing, take your time and don’t rush through the game. If you need to take a break, do it. It’s better than making a mistake that costs you the game.

Stick to a Standard 52-Card Deck

As any solitaire enthusiast knows, there are countless variations of the game, each with its own set of rules. Although this can make for an exciting challenge for some people, it can be frustrating if you’re trying to improve your win percentage.

One of the simplest things you can do to increase your chances of success is to stick to a standard 52-card deck. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to mix things up by using different decks or adding extra cards to the mix.

Not only does using more cards make it harder to keep track of what’s going on, but it also increases the odds that you’ll make a mistake.

Get Familiar With the Different Game Variations

While sticking to a standard 52-card deck will help you improve your win percentage, getting familiar with the different game variations is also essential. There are dozens of Solitaire games, each with its own rules. The more familiar you are with the different variations, the better your chances of success. Luckily, you can find instructions for many of the most popular games online or in books.

Use a Solitaire Strategy Guide

If you’re serious about improving your win percentage, you need to start using a Solitaire strategy guide. There are dozens of these guides available, each with useful tips and strategies for various situations and written by players who likely have more skill and experience than you.

While it’s critical to take your time and learn the game, using a strategy guide can help you quickly improve your skills. Plus, it’s great to see how quickly you can improve your win percentage by following a few simple tips.

If you need a comprehensive strategy guide, go with The Complete Book of Solitaire from Amazon.com. It’s packed with information on all the different game variations, plus tips and strategies for improving your game.

You can also read my article on strategies that pros use to achieve the highest win percentage in Solitaire.

Practice Frequently

As with any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. So, if you want to improve your Solitaire win percentage, you need to start practicing more often. One of the best ways to do this is to find a Solitaire game online and play it frequently. Not only will this help you hone your skills, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Here’s a video that may come in handy if you need tips and tricks for winning Solitaire:

Join a Solitaire League or Tournament

If you’re looking for a more competitive way to practice, consider joining a Solitaire league or tournament. These are a great way to meet other Solitaire enthusiasts and test your skills against some of the best players in the world. Not only will you have a lot of fun, but you’ll also learn a lot about the game and how to improve your win percentage.

Conclusion

Solitaire is a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. While it may seem like a simple game, there’s a lot of strategy and skill involved. As a result, it’s impossible to win every game, even for the best players.

That said, the best Solitaire players have a win percentage averaging 80%. For the average player, a reasonable percentage is about 50%. Luckily, there are several things you can do to improve your win percentage, like practicing consistently, using a strategy guide, and familiarizing yourself with the different game variations.

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