## Apr 3, 2010

### On Winning Percentages at Klondike Solitaire

Share
Some time ago I wrote about lucky runs in Microsoft's Klondike solitaire, a game that is my fallback brain-draining exercise. I recently checked my statistics over the last few weeks, and I noticed that my winning percentage topped the 10 percent mark over an extended sampling of over 350 games.

Typically I rack up winning percentages in the range of 7 to 8 percent in the three-card draw, three passes through the pile version of this classic card game. I am not sure if the higher winning percentage indicates that my skill level is improving or if this is just an extended hot streak.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of consensus among researchers about the probabilities of winning at Klondike solitaire. One mathematician suggests that between 82% and 91.44% of Klondike Solitaire games have winning solutions,while another study indicates that 2.5 to 10 percent of all Klondike games are unsolvable. Yet another group of researchers shrugged their shoulders and admitted that "one of the embarrassments of applied mathematics that we cannot determine the odds of winning the common game of solitaire."

Feel free to weigh in on the debate in the Comments section, as well as to offer your experiences with winning percentages at Klondike solitaire.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Hi, my name is Mary. I'm a solitaire addict.

I try to stay away, but I used to maintain a running list of winning scores for that game, only writing down when I had exceeded the previous high score. So I'm addicted AND an.all.y retentive.

bactitech said...

Lately I have become re-addicted to Klondike. I work second shift in a local laboratory and use it to wind down after I get home from work. I play on WIN XP so I have no idea of percentages, but I played recently on my daughter's computer that has Vista (she doesn't play) and the percentage that was showing was between 10-11%. I play till I'm stumped. Interesting there are others out there.

wes said...

I just watched my partner win 3 games in a row in klondike. This is the second time i have seen her do so in the last 6 months.
I did this 3x myself once in Australia and one here about 3 months ago.
These were on cards, not a computer.
I am curious - what is the record no of consecutive wins, and how does one prove this to Guinness?

Jay said...

Up around 11.75-12.5 % on the google app. No idea if this is good or not, but often end up with another 10% or so that are 1 card away from winning.

Anonymous said...

I've played 1526 games and won 226.
That comes out about14.8%. My solution is to GET A LIFE!

Anonymous said...

105 wins in 792 games 13%
Last windows install had several thousand games and usually 12-14% win rate

Jamie said...

I play an awful lot of Klondike solitaire - three card draw until there are no more plays. My stats run no more than 11% in roughly 200 game batch samplings - ever! And I am here to tell you that I am a very attentive player who misses nothing when it comes to possible plays to pull a game out.

I would be very suspicious if someone told me they are much above the 10% range.

Mike, as to the mathematicians not being able to get a firm handle on the objective odds of winning any one game, much less your relative win rate over thousands of games, I would guess it has a lot to do with the near infinite permutations involved in what is at heart a very complicatd game with 52 cards. Literally, several billion distinctly different scenarios are possible in any one game of solitaire. Chess does not come close in possible permutations given the same amount of moves in one session - at least I think not.

win said...

Wow! I'm not the only person who is addicted to solitaire as a method of turning off ze leetle grey cells... I also have tried to abstain, but the immediate gratification of winning, and getting better at winning, is so seductive! Anyway, my win percentage is up to 16% on the 3card draw solitaire.

knightrider said...

Not sure if this is the same game on the computer as it is on the iPhone, but it's called Klondike deal 3. I've had my phone for a couple years and have played something like 1400 games. I know. Disgusting. That being said, I was always around the 12% range for awhile and I think my worst losing record is 22. Anyways, because of the undue button to go back and make changes here and there I'm now at a win rate of 25.1%

I secretly think that's pretty good, but maybe the iPhone app is a lot easier?

Anyone play this ridiculously addictive game on their phone who's up that high in winning % ?

knightrider said...

I'm not sure if the iPhone version of this game is easier or not, but I have fought tooth and nail and now win at 25%

Thats based on something ridiculous like 1300+ games.

I use the undue button to try different things, but maybe that's kinda like cheating? Anyone else use this method or am I just juicing my stats.

Regardless, I secretly and stupidly am proud of my own pathetic accomplishment. ;)

Jamie said...

Knightrider, of course you're juicing your stats! Using the undo button is exactly like eating that piece of cake and pretending it's still in the fridge!

While I cannot document it, or prove it mathematically, I strongly suspect that in actual card-dealt klondike solitaire (three card draw)an actual winning percentage without any cheating at all would range from about 9% to 11% tops. I play it a lot, never cheat, and have done so for over 50years - I am now 71 years old. So, you might say my instincts here are pretty good judging from my own personal experience with the game - which is considerable.

Please remember, Knightrider, that when we play this game on a computer, we are not playing against a deck of cards, but rather a computer programmer's coding - and also the self-imposed limitations of the size of that program owing to the constraints of computer memory allocation or other device limitations.

In real life, the permutations of what can happen in any one game of three-card Klondike solitaire (in that exact same sequence you just witnessed playing) are beyond astonomical. However, the odds of winning taking the deck as a whole and not considering the mind-blowing permutations are another matter.

Mathemeticians still struggle with this one, same as they do the possibilities of what can happen on a chess board with 2 players, 32pieces and 64 squares. Even our most powerful computers cannot even begin to cover all the bases here.

So, stop cheating and go straight, you young whippersnapper!

bactitech said...

I notice that when I play on the computer, combinations seem to come up that would never come up if you dealt the cards yourself. A lot of times there are three 9's up, or three 10's up, etc. It's probably the way the game is programmed. I doubt whether you would get the same three cards up if you were dealing.

Klondike Krazy said...

I too am addicted to 3 card Klondike and my winning percentage after 500 games without using the undo feature is 19%.

Jamie said...

Crazy, 19% is a very, very high percentage. It would appear you are a very attentive player and do not miss many plays.

Unknown said...

Yup, addicted. I've been playing draw three on my iPhone for several years and have a win rate between 12.5 - 13 percent. That's winners divided by total games. Over the several thousand games I've played, the winning percentage has stayed in that range, though, of course, the more you play, the more 'settled' that number becomes. I don't consider using undo or the ''replay the game' feature cheating! Just another way to work the maze.

Andy Sutton said...

I play a fair bit - 3 card draw and unlimited runs through the pack, and win 20% of games. There are strategies, and you certainly should not just move every card you can, but move a card only if it gives you a chance to turn over one of the overturned cards on the seven columns. That's the objective. Never use a card from the deck that you don't need to, because you might need that space for one in a column later. As soon Only deviate from this if you are stuck, so that you then get some different cards in the deck. Then use the first card from the deck that you are able to use, to get the maximum change in what appears from the deck. After a while you can get to anticipate what will be made available in the deck after you take a card out. Very occasionally you can bring a card down from one of the four 'Ace up' piles, but only do this if you can see how it will help you overturn one from one of the seven columns. I used to play by just moving everything I could, but that removes all skill and you'll just play the same game as the next person based on that deal (unless you miss something you could do). I know some of you are suspicious of a 20% average, but it works for me. Here in the UK this game is called 'patience', which is a good concept to apply. Don't rush, and have a purpose for every move which is to do with uncovering a card from the columns. If you don't know why you are moving a card, don't move it. Also, don't trap cards in columns by moving the top card from a column, unless you have a need to move a king to a column top. Don't put kings from the deck to a column top unless all other kings are out and there is a spare column, and then only if you want to disrupt the order of the deck. Just remember - all you are trying to do is overturn every card in the columns. Once you have done that a win is very likely, so make that your objective and don't deviate by doing random moves with available cards. You need to think ahead a bit. Similar skills to chess. It works for me.

David Currey said...

I play solitaire, 3 cards overturned at a time, infinite times through the deck, and I can always see all 3 of each set of 3 cards overturned. I normally play Windows solitaire. Others slow and aggravating. My winning percentage seems high, and I realize I'm not playing with a 3-times-through-the-deck limit, so maybe my Windows solitaire game is messed up and only giving me easy games to win. I win 27% of my games, and have played over 19,000 games on my current PC. I use my PC for music composition and listening, and I also play solitaire when I'm on the phone, and when I'm listening to music at a music contest website, so that explains my high number of games.

Andy Sutton has a lot of good ideas in his game play, and I use much of his strategy. One of my own strategies' purpose is to increase my number of passes through the deck. I call it "insurance". I never play the first card from the overturned 3 cards until all plays after it have been done. I also try to get "double insurance", where I hold on to 2 unplayed sets of 3 cards near the begining of the run through the deck. There are exceptions. If I can play all 3 of the first insurances's cards and still maintain the second insurance, that's sometimes good, especially if it gets an important card or 2 in play. Triple insurance is sometimes possible, but not usually worth the effort.

I've also developed a way of scoring where I "call" a game, which means I believe I'm going to win it. I get points for all the cards in the stacks that are still face down if I win, but subtract that many points if I lose. The rule is that I can't call a game with less than 4 cards face down. (A variation is that I can call with less than 4 cards face down, but I still subtract 4 points if I lose the game.) I seldom play this way, as it is tedious.

Anonymous said...

I've played many games of solitaire and I don't cheat or "undo". I play three card draw with unlimited runs through the deck. I use many of the same strategies that Andy talks about. My win percentage runs about 19.5. For a while, it was up around 22 but I kept playing and it has dropped. I have played almost a thousand games on this computer.

Saavik3110 said...

I have been addicted to Klondike solitaire draw three unlimited trips through the deck since my Grammie taught me to play it when I was 7. On my personal pc, my percentage is 18%, on my current phone that I've had for 2 months, it is 14%.

Anonymous said...

I am averaging in the 14.1 - 14.3% win rate at over 2700 games played, over 152 hours on my Klondike 3 app. This has been done playing over 3 years. A great way to fill down time and keep the gray matter active.

Jeff said...

Jamie, you are suspicious that someone else has a better winning percentage than you??? Are you truly that vain? Are you shocked to learn that there are people out there smarter than you

Anonymous said...

CALL FOR SOLITAIRE PLAYERS

This is a call for volunteers to play Klondike solitaire (standard Microsoft solitaire: Draw-3, Re-Deal Infinite, Win-52) and record the total number of cards on the suit stacks (foundation piles) at the end of each and EVERY hand in 100 consecutive hands, ranging from 0 total cards to 52 total cards, in chronological order as the hands are played. A hand dealt with no possible move has zero (0) total cards in the suit stacks. Please include volunteer's initials for unique data identity along with the series of 100 data observations.

The recorded data from as many volunteers as possible will be used for not-for-profit research, and the findings will be available to all volunteers.

Thanks.
BC
irienaturalATyahooDOTcom

Anonymous said...

I never realised the were so many other people out there that use this as a wind down game! my stats at the moment are 18% over 6700 games, (just went up to that last night!)

Anonymous said...

Request for Clarification:

On July 5, Jamie said:
"And I am here to tell you that I am a very attentive player who misses nothing when it comes to possible plays to pull a game out."

QUESTION: Do "possible plays" by Jamie include not only legal moves but also strategies implemented throughout the hand? If so, what are those strategies or decision rules?

A working hypothesis is that there is a significant difference in the win rate for different "styles" of playing Klondike solitaire (Microsoft solitaire: Draw 3, Re-Deal Infinite, Win 52).

A win-rate comparison between hand-dealt and computer-dealt solitaire games is not valid, and a win-rate comparison between solitaire games dealt by two different computer programs is not valid, because their win rates are not commensurate. Nevertheless, the win rates for different “styles” of playing the same computer-dealt solitaire game may be validly compared and tested for statistically significant differences. Microsoft solitaire appears to be the most widely available and easily accessible form of Klondike solitaire and could be used for comparisons of different so-called styles.

Anonymous said...

I've been playing on my laptop for 4 to 5 years. Just finished my 4000th game out of those, I've won 734 games or 18%. Longest winning streak is 6 and longest losing streak is 36.

Anonymous said...

I've played around 1000 games and only
Won 50, the fewest moves I've used to win in 3card draw is 92 moves

Anonymous said...

History Mike began by saying:
"Some time ago I wrote about lucky runs in Microsoft's Klondike solitaire, a game that is my fallback brain-draining exercise. I recently checked my statistics over the last few weeks, and I noticed that my winning percentage topped the 10 percent mark over an extended sampling of over 350 games."

QUESTION 1: What is the Version number of your Microsoft Solitaire, found in Help > About Solitaire > in the application?

QUESTION 2: Where do you find the statistics for your Microsoft Solitaire application? What statistics are provided?

QUESTION 3: Is there any way for a player to control which hands are entered into the statistics? If so, how can such hands be deleted from the samples?

Thanks for the information.

Jon said...

Well, I do the undo/redo method and while some people may consider it cheating, I take it as a extra challenge because you have to be aware of all the possible turns you may have played wrong. Sometimes I play and replay the same hand for 15 minutes or more until I either win or attempt every conceivable possible way to move the cards and conclude that there are no winnable combination of moves. I no doubt have missed a few opportunities to win here or there, but over time I feel that my win percentage is close enough to the real limit. I've restarted my stats 4 times for various reasons over the years since I first got Windows 7 and I have consistently ended up with the exact same percentage once I had a large enough sample of games played.

I play one card draw and consistently acheive a winning percentage of 81%. Again, I have repeated this exact percentage on three different laptops once I got to a certain number of games played (usually around 300 or so) and was able to maintain that percentage the more I played.

So I think in draw one, at least in Windows 7, the best possible percentage of winnable games is around 81%.

Anonymous said...

Comparing percentages of winning Klondike Solitaire hands may not be comparing apples to apples.

It is reported that Vegas scoring on some Klondike Solitaire (Draw 1, Recycle 3, Win 52) is based on a Win-Bet Ratio of \$5:\$52 = 1:10.4 = 10:104. The Win-Bet Ratio of 10:104 is equal to 10 divided by 104, or 0.09615 = 9.615 percent.

It seems that the player pays \$52 in advance for each hand before the cards are DEALT in each hand. The player does not get to look at the dealt hand before deciding whether to pay to play it. The player "wins" or is paid \$5 for each card in the foundation (suits) piles at the end of each hand.

If the player averages 10.4 cards in the foundation (suits) piles in each hand DEALT, regardless of whether the hand is played according to the casino rules or other rules, then the average monetary payoff is \$5 multiplied by 10.4 = \$52, or breakeven.

If an individual can genuinely, legitimately, consistently achieve an average greater than 10.4 cards in the foundation (suits) piles on each hand using the Vegas rules, then that player can go to Vegas and become rich.

Based on 100 consecutive games of Microsoft Solitaire (Draw 3, Recycle Infinite, Win 52) that I recently played as a test, the average percentage of 10.4 cards in the foundation piles) occurred along with 7.77 percent Wins (52 cards), based on extrapolation of the line from the plot of the data (X = Number of Foundation Cards versus Y = Number of Wins) from all 100 games.

In other words, if I had been able to achieve an average of at least 10.4 Foundation Cards per hand or an average of at least 7.77 percent Wins for all the hands DEALT, I would have made money using non-Vegas rules, because the profitable hands dealt would have more than paid for the unprofitable hands dealt. But my average for 100 consecutive hands dealt was less than 10.4 Foundation Cards and less than 7.77 percent Wins.

What is your breakeven percentage of Foundation Cards and of Wins for all hands dealt?

Anonymous said...

The files that contain the Microsoft game statistics are located:

C:\Users\(user name)\AppData\Local\Microsoft Games\Solitaire(or spider, chess, etc..)

You can copy the files from that location into the same spot on the newly installed machine. All your stats will be with you.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft Solitaire scoring varies depending on selected options.

Microsoft Solitaire > Help > Contents > Index > Scoring Systems >
To choose a scoring system:
1. On the Game menu, click Options.
2. Under Scoring, click one of the following options:
Standard
The Standard option works as follows:
o If you move a card to a suit stack, you get 10 points.
o If you move a card from the deck to a row stack, you get 5 points.
o If you turn over a card in a row stack, you get 5 points.
o If you move a card from a suit stack back to a row stack, you lose 15 points.
o If you are playing with the Draw Three option, you lose 20 points every time you go through the deck after the third time.
o If you are playing with the Draw One option, you lose 100 points every time you go through the deck after the first time.
o For timed games only, you lose 2 points every 10 seconds of play, and you receive bonus points at the end of the game. The shorter the game, the larger the bonus.
Vegas
The Vegas option works as follows:
o You start the game with a debt of 52 dollars, which represents your wager.
o You win 5 dollars for every card you play on a suit stack.
o The object of the game is to earn more money than you wagered.
o If you are playing with the Draw Three option, you can only go through the deck three times.
o If you are playing with the Draw One option, you can only go through the deck once.
None
The None option works as follows:
o You start the game with no debt (wager) and no money.
o You can play the game with the timer turned on or off.
o The object of the game is to play all the cards. You don't win or lose any money.
o You can go through the deck as many times as you like whether you are playing with the Draw Three option or the Draw One option.
Note:
• On the Game menu, click Options to specify whether to draw one or three cards at a time. These options are scored slightly differently.

The location of Microsoft Solitaire statistics varies among Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Anonymous said...

Are there any cheats in Microsoft Solitaire? What are they?

Yes. When playing Draw Three, you can hold down Ctrl-Shift-Alt and click on the deck to get one card. That makes most games winnable.

Anonymous said...

The following 7-column table with headings on the first line provides a benchmark for comparison based on four sets of game options, ranked by increasing order of difficulty.

Microsoft Solitaire: 100,000 Random Hands Played with Optimum Strategy*

Option Set | Draw | Cycles | Win or Profit | Standard or Vegas | Wins % | Win Ratio
1 | 1 | Unlimited | Win 52 | Standard | 53.313% | 1 in 1.9
2 | 3 | Unlimited | Win 52 | Standard | 17.774% | 1 in 5.6
3 | 3 | 3 | Profit 11+ | Vegas | 8.794% | 1 in 11.4
4 | 1 | 1 | Profit 11+ | Vegas | 4.620% | 1 in 21.6

*Using empirical algorithms; no cheating; no silly mistakes.

Anonymous said...

So much comparing apples to oranges to bananas. For Klondike draw 3/unlimited cycles through the deck, there are three different variants. #1 No undo, #2 Vista's last move undo, which does NOT allow you to peek at a facedown card, and #3 Windows 7 unlimited undos, which allows you to see what the facedown card is before undoing it.

On Vista, I used to play #2. My winning percentage was 33%. Now on Windows 7, I use #3 (except I don't peek at facedown cards when choosing which face up card to move). My winning percentage is 50%. But to get that, I'll often undo back to the beginning multiple times to see what the winning line of attack is. You can call it cheating, but it's also a way of learning how to be a better player (although there's a lot of luck in winning an individual game, of course).

Anonymous said...

The forgoing post by another Anonymous contributor on August 23, 2012, may explain a lot of the variance in the reported statistics for Microsoft Solitaire across its different operating systems. Here are some additional points for consideration.

What constitutes a hand of solitaire?

I recall reading somewhere about Microsoft Solitaire that if a hand is ended in less than 30 seconds, then it is not scored by the software application. If so, this may inflate the Win:Loss Ratio statistic by reducing the number of hands played and lost by default in the denominator but not changing the hands won in the numerator.

How many different hands of Klondike Solitaire are possible?

A combination is an arrangement of objects in which the order is not important. A permutation is an arrangement in which the order is important.

In Klondike Solitaire, the order of the 52 cards in the shuffled deck is important. Each of the 52 unique cards could be numbered from 1 to 52 by ranking the four suits from highest to lowest, e.g. Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds, so that the Ace of Diamonds is card No. 1 and the King of Spades is card No. 52.

How many permutations are there in a deck of 52 cards? Before answering that question, let’s calculate the permutations in a deck of 3 cards and a deck of 5 cards. The formula is the same: Number of permutations in an N-card deck = N! (N factorial).

3! = 3 x 2 x 1 = 6.

5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 = 1.20 x 10exp2.

52! = 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x ... x 3 x 2 x 1 = 8.065817517 x 10exp67.

1 Million (M) = 1 X 10exp6; and
1 Trillion (T) = 1 x 10exp12.

52! = 80.658 MTTTTT.

If every possible permutation of Solitaire hands is given an unique number, then a sufficiently random pseudo-random number generator (RNG) function would not repeat itself before exhausting all of the possible permutations, say at least 8.1 x 10exp67 in total.

It is usually not clear whether the RNG function in any given solitaire software application is sufficiently nonrepetitive, but regardless of the software used, a randomly selected arrangement of 52 unique numbered cards can be processed and dealt in less than one second with personal computers.

Anonymous said...

I play the one card draw-once thru the deck option. I play with my own deck of Kem cards; I don't trust anyone else . . . the web, the phone, etc . . . .shuffle and eal for me. After thousands and thousands of games, my average return is 40 bucks . . . so it costs me 12 bucks to play one game.rmk/akron

daemonsquire said...

I'm with Jon, in his 15 Aug 2012 comment: I s'pose it's a different sort of game than most people (or at least most commenters here) are playing, but I prefer using the "undo/redo" feature, and pushing for the limit of the statistically possible. The challenge is to make note of every fork in the road, every option I chose not to take, whenever I come to a dead end, and then back track and take the new path, until I'm either victorious, or it becomes apparent that no route to victory exists.

I'm on Android, looks like the program is just "Solitaire", v 1.12.2, and I play with a single card deal. The program keeps stats on winning percentage and time, so I'm trying to extend the first and shrink the second. Unfortunately, the button to "Accept" the stats is adjacent on the screen to the button to "Clear Stats", thus every so often, my clumsy thumbs start the whole count over. Currently, I've won 543 of my last 643 games, for a percentage of 84.4479%, and my fastest game was resolved in 1m43s. I feel like I remember having clocked in at 1:12 at some point in the past. On the other hand, games frequently stretch into 10 or 15 minutes, and I've managed to resolve some particularly tangled decks after about 25 minutes. Yes: it's some kind of "fun" to be that far into a game, and sense that a winning path hides, waiting to open up behind one counterintuitive play!

After my first hundred games, it becomes a challenge to push the winning percentage up into the 87% range. I tickled that, briefly, within the last 100 games of this go-round, but the last 30 games or so have seen my rate declining. I also derive pleasure, win or lose, from hitting some sort of round number, like a percentage point with few or no trailing decimals, or one that I recognize correlates to a simple fraction. In the past hundred games or so, I've been landing on 85.71429% repeatedly--presumably every seven or fourteen games or so, since it indicates I'm winning 6 out of every 7 played. Maybe that'll turn out to be the simple "magic number" that represents the mathematical ultimate probability of winning, over the entire 7 quadrillion possible combinations of deals!

Or not.

Anonymous said...

Just played 100 games of Vegas 3 card three times through the deck with unlimited undo and won 40 games.

Anonymous said...

I've been playing single card(standard) Klondike for years on Windows 7. My winning percentage is currently 40% and is typically between 40 and 42% I like to monitor the time and am usually between 2 and 3 minutes per hand. I suspect that if I start playing Vegas style (3 card) my winning percentage would drop significantly.

Alex Ross said...

I started using undo to see what percentage of wins it is possible to get and out of five hundred games my winning percentage is 80%. This leads me to believe that it should be possible to win nearly every game. I preferred playing freecell and spider solitaire because there is always a solution in each of those games. Solitaire was frustrating because I believed that it was impossible to get a high winning percentage but now I'm not so sure that's the case.

Steve Carter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am finally up to 16% in 3-card-draw Solitaire. Once in a while it falls back to 15%, but so far so good! I think if I had started out knowing what I was doing a little better, I would have a better percentage than that right now. Sometimes though, you just don't get the cards...it's impossible to win when there are no plays to be made.

Anonymous said...

I get a consistent 11%

Anonymous said...

I have been playing the Windows 7 Version since January 2103, and after 967 games, I cannot get better than 17% wins. But I have had to cheat to get there. Fortunately, this version allows do-overs.

Dam Site Drifters said...

I'm running around 14.5 percent (three card draw)

No real strategy used, other than trying to reduce the longest rows whenever possible - without really worrying about the draw pile.

Michael Kraft said...

I'm doing Klondike 3-card draw on an android. So far over 300 games. I only use undo on some occasions. Had one 3 game streak. Averaging just above 17%.

I have looked for years for a blog like this, discussing win percentages in the way I was hoping to see it. I have played Klondike Draw-3, Re-Deal Infinite, Win-52 for something like 15 years, maybe longer, over 10,000 games. I have developed a suite of principles and strategies which seem to work well. My main strategy has been to alternate between using redo and then running several games without redo and measuring my win percentage. My average using redo over the last 2300 games has been 32.4%. I am currently doing a 100 game average without using redo to see how it compares to others on this blog who are playing the same game without redo. I have done a fair amount of research on the best solitaire strategies, and my conclusion is that the most effective strategy is to have an entire stable of strategies, then to recognize the uniqueness of each situation, and to apply the strategy I have found to be most effective in that circumstance. Will keep everyone posted.

Anonymous said...

I have developed a set of rules that have boosted my win rate from 15% to 33%. to get this rate I have to concentrate very hard on the card order in the reserved deck. There are choices to make that can lead to a win or a loss which makes the game partly based on dumb luck. My single best rule is to find a lock card that the key card can open. The key card is the uppermost card in the first flop of three from the reserved deck. The lockcard is on the playing columns. So if the key card is a red jack then make sure that there is a black queen on the playing columns. I would like to know what the Monte Carlo method gets for a best possible win rate, when it takes into account real choices the same as a human must take,

just curious do you use undo??? never heard a score that high!

35%! 3 card draw!

Vinr said...

I play 3 card Klondike in the Chrome browser; the app is called Solitairey – Beautiful. This Klondike app is programmed with unlimited undo, a restart button and stats. My challenge is to try to win all the winnable deals, using the undo and/or the restart button. I play the game for one purpose and one purpose only; to hopefully establish new neuron connections (increase my processing potential). My winning percentage is 72%. My only strategy is simple logic and common sense.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm on Wind 7 Pro 64bit and play the standard solitaire, 3 card draw. My highest percentages are on a new install and it declines the more I play. I've reinstalled win 7 several times on this machine and some times I've started with winning percentages around 50%. At present the current installation is between 6 and 12 months old and I started high (don't remember the exact percentage) but a few weeks ago it declined from 20% to 19% where I've remained for a while.

Frankly, it makes me wonder if MS and their system uses this to collect user information. Now, would they do that. I do believe many of the games which often come installed with commercial computers (I build this myself) have tracking software.

A quick Google search found this:
http://rt.com/usa/internet-giants-track-users-185/

Maybe they are testing persistence. How long will be go on doing this?

Oh well!

Tom

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous from August 23, 2012. Since that post, I've boosted my win percentage up to 62% on the same Draw 3, unlimited times through the deck using unlimited redos. And its still climbing, after about 1,500 games.

On other sites, I've read that somewhere between 80-90% of games are winnable using this method. If I were to reset, I think I could win about 70-75% of the games going forward.

Tom E said...

I play Klondike 1 card unlimited draw. I played 12,000 games on my win7 computer and maintained a win percentage of 43%. I'm now using win8.1 , played 1,300 games so far and won 900. That's 69%. I've had several runs of 16 consecutive wins. My best so far is 23. Longest losing streak is 7.

But I cheat. I will first look over a large number of hands until I see what I have established to be a winning pattern on the tableau (it doesn't cost anything to keep hitting F2 a bazillion times). Then I'll play. I often win straight up but when I don't, I'll ctrl+z my way back to where I think I might have made an error, correct it and finish.

They say that about 79% of Klondike games are winnable. I guess I'm trying to see if I can actually reach that high. I take a screen shot at every milestone so I can look back and smile at my achievements. I also don't share my stats with anyone. If I did, they'd probably try to have me committed...

I definitely need to get a life.

Sheila said...

I found this site while trying to find out the odds on winning 5 games in a row. I play a lot of solitaire while listening to music or when eating a meal alone. Almost daily. I play with the deck of cards turning 3 at a time with all 3 cards visible. Tonight I was playing at the table and my husband sat down to eat and watch my playing. He has witnessed me winning 3 games in a row 3 years ago. Tonight, unbelievably he witnessed me winning 5 games in a row. The cards were shuffled well, at least 5 to 8 times between games. I really could not believe this could happen without cheating or an out and out trick involved to fool your husband or significant other. At 66 years of age I seriously doubt I will live long enough to repeat this run of luck. We have checked a number of sites trying to figure the odds and no one seems to have an answer to the probability of this happening even once. Sheila in Georgia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheila,
From the comments above it looks like a tpical chance of winning a gameis about 10% or 1 in 10.
So the probability of winning 5 games in a row is 1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10 x 1/10 x1/10 which equals 1/100000 or, 1 chance in 100000!
(This is about the same chance as purchasing a winning ticket in a lottery in Autralia).

Solowell ... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Futuresight888 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dig Solitaire said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I'm all for purchasing a winning ticket in a lottery in Autralia. I'd even do it in Australia.

Monica Hall said...

The 'undo' button is your friend, if you want to win at Microsoft Klondike. It's not strategy - it's observation and memory. Remembering what's in the 3-card deal stack you're overturning, and how any placements of cards will affect its next sequence. And always test which option seems the best when, say, you have two black sevens in the tableau and a red eight to which you could move one of them, bearing in mind the stack of course. Success does not lie in maths - it's far too complicated for that sort of thing. You need a basically scatty but occasionally brilliant human brain and memory + the fact that the program allows the 'undo' button. I manage over 25% wins using the undo button, but I'm sure I wouldn't get more than 8% without it. And anyone who plays Klondike in a casino, given their conditions, is quite mad ...

Anonymous said...

Robin Lloyd said...

I play the Solebon 1 card iPhone game and so far on 169 games have 100 per cent wins. Then again I think all the games here are "winnable" maybe not so elsewhere

Anonymous said...

My win average on my phone app is 40.9 percent with a best time of 44 seconds and an average time of 1 minute and 4 seconds.

MARGE Donnelly said...

After nearly 1,500 games, I float between 15 and 16%. I thought this was lower than what would be attainable, but in looking at the comments, it seems fairly good, or at least ok.

Anonymous said...

I play occasionally and in 269 games I've won 71 games which = 26% wins.
I use single card draw.

Anonymous said...

Ok must be doing something crazy with windows 10 version because I am consistently getting about 85% on Draw 1 allowing multiple trips through deck with no cheating.........not lying on this ...usually about 6 minutes a game. I just never play a card to the tableau unless it allows me to uncover a card on same or can predict doing it after I have gone through the deck to make sure I can in a few
passes.

Unknown said...

I'm at 19.75% percent without cheating.

johnb said...

What is "cheating"? I often use "Undo", sometimes for many moves when I think I've made a wrong move. (Win 7 Solitaire, 16615 games, 50% won, high score 720)

ibo6120 PrivateEmail said...

iPhone, Solebon Pro, 25336 games, Klondike draw 3, play until no plays left, win: 19.8%. When started was ~12%. Went online and researched strategies: went up to 17%. Developed my own strategies: 19.8%..

Tim Synge said...

I am playing Klondike on the iPod Classic. I draw one at a time and allow multiple runs through the deck. My average over the first 4,000 is 57.775%. I have just discovered, thanks to hovering on the clickwheel for too long by mistake, that you can "Undo" one move (more limited than the multiple "Ctrl Z" Undo in Windows). I have started to take advantage of this and have now an average of approximately 62% in the games 4,001 to 4,400. I am confident that I make mistakes and have lapses in concentration, so there will be someone out there who is doing better than this. Anyone else still using the iPod Classic implementation?

Tom R said...

I play the Klondike 1 I am up to 4015 games, played the last year or so, I play while whacking TV, I use the undo about the third of the time I am in my 80,s so the undo is handy but not to brag I just hit 49 %.

COBLER said...

DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR MATH EVEN THOUGH I'M AN ENGINEER. I PLAY SINGLE DRAW KLONDIKE BUT CANNOT SEEM TO GET ABOVE A 55% WIN RATIO AND I'VE PLAYED ALMOST 1600 GAMES.
COBLER

Randy Hogue said...

I play a lot of Klodike on Windows, three card draw.

A year ago my winning percentage was 12% but not it is 13%. It toggles between 13-14 not 12-13 btw.

I seen someone say here that they were very attentive and never miss a trick. Well that is not the answer to winning. Sometimes you let a trick stay for a better play later.

For Instance, you have two red queens laying in your row. A spot opens up to put a king on and the first king you see is red. Well, I would let that go in hopes of getting a black king. That way I can take up one of the red queens and possibly lay down another king.

That is just one example out of others like that.

I bring cards up and down from the aces in the upper row down to the other cards in the lower row to get more tricks. My father would have told you that will illegal moving, but the computer wouldn't let you do it if it were illegal.

Anyone doubt my winning percentage state so. I can take a picture of my stats any time.

My fastest win was 2 minutes 58 seconds. I had gotten it down to 2 minutes 50 seconds on another computer cut I lost that stat when I changed computers and operating systems. Had to download it from the internet too, as MS quit putting it in the operating systems.

Randy Hogue said...

I play a lot of Klodike on Windows, three card draw.

A year ago my winning percentage was 12% but not it is 13%. It toggles between 13-14 not 12-13 btw.

I seen someone say here that they were very attentive and never miss a trick. Well that is not the answer to winning. Sometimes you let a trick stay for a better play later.

For Instance, you have two red queens laying in your row. A spot opens up to put a king on and the first king you see is red. Well, I would let that go in hopes of getting a black king. That way I can take up one of the red queens and possibly lay down another king.

That is just one example out of others like that.

I bring cards up and down from the aces in the upper row down to the other cards in the lower row to get more tricks. My father would have told you that will illegal moving, but the computer wouldn't let you do it if it were illegal.

Anyone doubt my winning percentage state so. I can take a picture of my stats any time.

My fastest win was 2 minutes 58 seconds. I had gotten it down to 2 minutes 50 seconds on another computer cut I lost that stat when I changed computers and operating systems. Had to download it from the internet too, as MS quit putting it in the operating systems.

Vaibhav Sharda said...

Loved the blog! You can find more designs here! Will appreciate the feedbacks!
Handbags

Anonymous said...

Kinda?

Don Smith said...

I just completed 1000 games of Microsoft Klondike (Windows 10) winning 396/1000. 3 cards, unlimited times through. I used every trick in the book... lots of undos, moving cards from the foundation (aces) down to the tableau, and cherry picking (only play games that have multiple moves and no duplicate cards on the initial deal). The first 1000 games I played, I won 17%, then 26% and now 39%. I might be able to improve upon this, but I'm now sick of playing... and it is quite a time sync... Let's see... average 4 mins/game, that's 4000 minutes, which is about 66 hours (almost 3 full days!).

jasonbourne said...

I win about 25% - 40% of Microsoft Klondike. The trick is to not play every hand, but shuffle and deal until you get an ace or nice mix of red and black sequences where you can play multiple moves on the first deal. The other trick is to ctrl-z back when you are stuck towards the end. There will usually be a card that blocks you. Once you find it then ctrl-z back until you can remove it. This could mean going back through a few deals. Do not put a card over it until you can remove it somehow. The ctrl-z is one of the advantages of being able to play as the software will remember the moves you made so you can backtrack through the deck. The other trick is to not play too often and kill too much time. This is an unproductive game, so find some other hobby for your leisure time. Get out and mingle. For Spider Solitaire, there is software that one can download to put a Debug Menu on it. I think it's for the Microsoft developers to test their game. It's one of the ways you can beat Spider Solitaire as well as Hearts. I haven't played Klondike that long, so haven't looked for the Debug Menu.

jasonbourne said...

BTW if you think I'm cheating with the installing the debug menu, then you do not understand the game. The software is made to defeat you. It's not really a random game. In other words, it's a rigged game. Thus, one has to fight fire with fire in order to beat the software. The game is a time killer. Please, these games should not be your hobby or else you need to get a life. If you're waiting for something to cook (on a timer), waiting in line, can't sleep or just want to kill some time, then this is the way to go. I would say you are being productive in trying to kill time. Other times, I read a book, magazine or the internet. Please be smart and learn how to beat these rigged games or find the Debug Menu. You'll enjoy the game more for some reason if it's rigged to win instead of to lose.

Mike Scott said...

As of today I have a 96.35% win rate in solitaire on my phone. I have won 185 games and lost 7

johnb said...

I've been playing Solitaire, draw one, standard scoring on two consecutive Windows 7 computers for years and eventually my stats always approach 50%. I'd like to know more details from people achieving anything vastly different.

Mike Scott said...

As of today I have a winning streak of 215 games I've won 232 games and lost 7 my win percentage is 97.07%

Tom Elliott said...

That's an incredible run Mike!!

Followup to my post from Feb 08, 2014. Started fresh using the old win7 version in early 2015. I had a win streak that topped out at 65 games with a win % of 83 after 1,464 games. Now, on Windows 10 (since v 1024, July 2015), I've have played 3,833 games with a win % of 85 and longest win streak of 37 games. I wish we could post screenshots here...

Tom Elliott said...

...this is draw one, btw. It would be nearly impossible to rack up a win percentages like these in draw 3

Tom Elliott said...

New milestone today: Longest win streak = 43!!

Anonymous said...

I just looked at my stats and I have played 13,421 games, won 5,460 ( 40%) longest winning streak 9,losing streak 19. Single card draw. I hit undo all the time. Today is the first time I have ever looked at my stats. I don't think I'll check it again for a long time. Don't really want to get hung up on that. Anyway fun game!

Tom Elliott said...

Of course, I also use undo, but there’s more to it than that…

Rather than accepting the next hand that's dealt, I will scroll through a number of games, looking for patterns in the upturned cards at the top of the 7 piles. (In windows solitaire, you only get charged with a loss if you actually start a game. There’s no penalty for scrolling by hitting f2 over and over).
The patterns I look for in the original deal all include the same types of symmetry, for example:
• Any run of 4 cards or more (e.g. J, 10, 9, 8)
• 2 runs of 2 or more where the same numbers shows up on top (eg red and black 10 + red and black 9 but also includes a red or black 8)
• Any kind of symmetry that might include say, 4 piles that look something like: one with a black 7, another with a black 5 + one with a red queen, another with a red 10)

There are other patterns but to really illustrate the point I’d have to show you. This blog doesn’t seem to have a means to post images. If there’s a way to do it here, I’d like to know how. Can anyone help me with that?

Anyway, by playing only the hands that have these patterns visible in the upturned cards at the outset of a game, I’m able to maintain an average of 85%. In fact it’s steadily increasing over time. However, after playing close to 4,000 games, the number of games I need to play to move up a percentage point is staggeringly high at this point.

Tom Elliott said...

...this also leads to long win streaks if you play the right cards

Tom Elliott said...

Also, you might think that you've been dealt an unplayable hand, but maybe it wasn't unplayable at all. It might be necessary for you to replay the hand several different ways before you can find the key. In a case like this, you must decide which alternate move you'd like to try, then remember the steps you made after that point and go back in time to the point of change. You must also remember each of the steps you wish to avoid so that you can reinvent your future!

Yes, I know it sounds like cheating, but to me it's the joy of finding out what went wrong and searching for a solution. When it's successful, the feeling is quite satisfying.

Never accept a loss...that's my motto while playing this game.

Tonight, I logged a 50 game win streak! That's a first for me. This streak is still running. Now I'm going back to try and reach 51

Tom Elliott said...

Also, you might think that you've been dealt an unplayable hand, but maybe it wasn't unplayable at all. Rather that accept the loss, you could reply the hand a different way, or several different ways, until find the key. In a case like this, you must decide which alternate move you'd like to try and then undo back in time to the point of change. You must also remember each of the steps you wish to avoid so that you don't make the same missteps on your way forward!

Yes, I know it sounds like cheating, but to me it's the joy of finding out what went wrong and searching for a solution. When it's successful, the feeling is quite satisfying. It's not following classic solitaire rules by any means, but it isn't breaking any of Microsoft's Solitaire rules. Instead it becomes a great puzzle solving exercise.

Never accept a loss...that's my motto while playing this game.

Tonight, I logged a 50 game win streak! That's a first for me. This streak is still running. Now I'm going back to try and reach 51.

I'd love to share some images of my stats and examples of hands that are almost guaranteed to win, but I can't figure out how to post images here. Anybody have ideas on that? What about the HTML tags suggestion below the comments box...is that how?

Tom Elliott said...

Also, you might think that you've been dealt an unplayable hand, but maybe it wasn't unplayable at all. Rather that accept the loss, you could replay the hand a different way, or several different ways, until you find the key. In a case like this, you must decide which alternate move you'd like to try and then undo back in time to the point of change. You must also remember each of the steps you wish to avoid so that you don't make the same missteps on your way forward!

Yes, I know it sounds like cheating, but to me it's the joy of finding out what went wrong and searching for a solution. When it's successful, the feeling is quite satisfying. It's not following classic solitaire rules by any means, but it isn't breaking any of Microsoft's Solitaire rules. Instead, it becomes a great puzzle solving exercise.

Never accept a loss...that's my motto while playing this game.

Tonight, I logged a 50 game win streak! That's a first for me. This streak is still running. Now I'm going back to try and reach 51.

I'd love to share some images of my stats and examples of hands that are almost guaranteed to win, but I can't figure out how to post images here. Anybody have ideas on that? What about the HTML suggestions below the comments box...is that how?

Tom Elliott said...

At the start of this blog, 7 years ago, History Mike pointed out the following: "One mathematician suggests that between 82% and 91.44% of Klondike Solitaire games have winning solutions". I've already exceeded the lower, now I'd love to at least reach the higher. I've already played over 4,000 games using the Microsoft UWP version of the game. I can't stop now!

Tom Elliott said...

If I could post images, I could also prove to you that I'm not full of s***.

Win streak now at 55 (still alive):

Games played 4,050
Games won 3,445
Win % 85.1

Best time: 1:33 (93 secs)*

* Note: My best time in Win7 Solitaire was 80 secs...faster end-play in that game by far. Since the Win 8, 8.1 and 10 UWP version, you have to play every card to the foundation. You used to just right click and everything that follows suit would just shoot up there

Tom Elliott said...

I found the solution to posting stats etc. I just uploaded some of them to my Google+ page. By the way, I just hit a personal win streak record of 70!!! This proves that the sky is the limit using my formula. Check out my posts on Google+. Just click the alien radish!

Tom Elliott said...

I found the solution to posting stats etc. I just uploaded some of them to my Google+ page. By the way, I just hit a personal win streak record of 70!!! This proves that the sky is the limit using my formula. Check out my posts on Google+. Just click the alien radish!