Russian Solitiare - play for free, Comrade!

Da Comrade. Here at, you don't play cards; cards play you.

Russian Solitaire is basically Yukon Solitaire with one important rule change that makes Russian a much more difficult game: here you'll be building by suit instead of by alternating color.

Russian Solitaire actually shares some similarities to the classic solitaire game Klondike. This is especially evident when you play by hand. So let's talk about that first.

playing Russian Solitaire by hand

For this game, you will need a full card deck (minus any Jokers). First of course is to completely shuffle the deck. For the next part, it's exactly identitcal to Klondike:

You are going to build 7 columns. Start by placing one card face up in column 1, and then 6 cards face down in the remaining columns. Next, you will place one card face up on column 2, then 5 more cards face down in columns 3-7. You repeat this pattern until you finally place your last face up card on column 7.

This part is what is identical to Klondike Solitaire. At this point in Klondike, your remaining cards would be used for the stock pile.

In Yukon and Russian, there is no stock; what would've become the stock pile will instead go directly on the tableau (the 7 columns).

So here's where the instructions differ from Klondike.

For your remaining cards, add 4 cards face up to all columns except for the first column (e.g., 4 face up cards to columns 2, 3, 4, etc). If you have dealt things correctly, you will have no remaining cards in your hands.

So to reiterate, here is what things will look like for Russian/Yukon if everything went well: * first column: 0 face down cards, 1 face up card * second: 1 face down, 5 face up * third: 2 face down, 5 face up * fourth: 3 face down, 5 face up * fifth: 4 face down, 5 face up * sixth: 5 face down, 5 face up * seventh: 6 face down, 5 face up

Russian Solitaire rules

If you're playing with Yukon rules, the rules are somewhat similar to Klondike. If you're playing with Russian rules, prepare yourself for a much more hardcore experience.

In both games, the object is to move all cards to the 4 foundation piles. Rules for this are identical to Klondike: foundations are built up (ascending) from Ace to King and by suit.

On the tableau (the columns), stacks are built down (descending) from King to Ace. For Yukon, you play like Klondike by building down by alternate color. In Russian, you build down by suit.

However, where the rules for both games vary greatly from Klondike is in what cards are allowed to be dragged. In Klondike, you may only drag either the top most card or a "deep" card that's part of a valid stack. This part is still true for Yukon and Russian, but they have a new option: you can drag any card regardless of its position in a pile so long as its target card is the topmost card.

Let me give you some examples of valid moves:

In this first example, you've got a 3 of spades as the topmost card on one of your columns. And to clarify, visually, that 3 of spades is at the bottom of a pile, but it is stacked on top of all the rest of the cards in its column, hence why it's known as the top-most card.

In this scenario, we're looking at the 3 of spades as the target card. Now if this were Klondike, your only valid move would be to find a red 2 that was also the top most card of its column. In Yukon (which also plays by alternating color), this would also be a valid move, but here's where it gets crazy: if you find a red 2 anywhere in a stack, you can make the move. In Russian, since it's by suit, you will need to find a 2 of spades anywhere to make the move. So let's say you find that 2 card, but beneath it there's a 7, a King, a 3, and an 8. It doesn't really matter what. What you'll do is pick up that stack of cards starting with the 2 and ending with the 8 and put all of them on that 3 of spades we talked about.

Something that is also different from Klondike is that Aces can be moved onto 2s on the tableau (in Klondike, you'd normally immediately move the Ace to the foundations). This happens when your Ace card is not the top most card in its column. In this case, you may then move it to any legal 2 within the tableau regardless of what cards are below the Ace (legal of course being determined by whether you're playing with Yukon or Russian rules). And of course, once that Ace is the top-most card, then you would immediately move it to a foundation pile.

In this game, given how many non-sequential cards you can drag at once, you may find you end up with some very long columns. You'll need to have a good eye to spot all of your valid moves at this point. We suggest you start by examining target cards one at a time (remember, the valid target cards are only ever the top-most card in a column), and then examine every other column to see if a valid card exists somewhere inside of a stack. Oh and to clarify, columns can't be broken apart and moved onto themselves.

When you get a blank spot, any King may be moved onto that free pile. And we really do mean any because remember, it doesn't matter what cards may or may not be beneath that King card.

Like in lots of solitaire games, the ultimate objective is to move all of your cards to the 4 foundation piles. Just like in Klondike, the 4 foundation piles are built up (ascending) by suit, so from Ace to King. When you have fully built all 4 foundation piles, you win the game.

And let me tell you, when you play and actually win Russian Solitaire, that is something to be proud of because the odds of winning this card game are somewhere around 1 in 30.

Whether you win or lose, we salute you Comrade!

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