Clock Solitaire (Rules and Instructions)

If you’re a fan of single-player card games, don’t miss out on the simple yet challenging game of Clock. My Clock Solitaire rules guide explains how it’s played. 

Never heard of Clock? Maybe you know this game under one of its other names, including Travelers, Four of a Kind, Hidden Cards, and Sun Dial.

Like most single-player card games, Clock is based on the principles of Solitaire (check classic Solitaire rules).

What makes this game unique is the original round-shaped layout of cards.

This Clock Solitaire rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Clock Solitaire?
  • What you’ll need to play Clock Solitaire
  • Clock Solitaire rules
  • How to play Clock Solitaire (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Clock Solitaire (our guides)

Continue reading and learn everything you want to know about how to play Clock Solitaire.

What is Clock Solitaire?

Clock Solitaire Card Game Info image

In Clock, your goal is to sort cards into thirteen individual piles based on their ranking without getting stuck.

Unlike some other versions of Solitaire, it’s a perfectly straightforward game. But don’t get tricked: winning Clock is certainly not easy!

Number of Players: 1 player

Ages: 7+

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Length of Play: 15 – 30 minutes

Category: Solitaire-type card game

Similar to: Solitaire, Diplomat, Free Cell 

Main Objective: Get all the cards in their place before revealing the last king.

Why We Love It: Depending solely on luck, this single-player game is an undemanding pastime for all types of players.

What You’ll Need to Play Clock Solitaire

Clock Solitaire is played with a standard 52-card deck. You won’t need anything else for this game. 

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Clock Solitaire Rules and Instructions

Your task in Clock Solitaire is to sort the cards one by one by their ranks into thirteen individual piles. The trick is you cannot choose the order in which you reveal the cards.

In fact, the only moment when you can affect whether you win this game or not is when you shuffle the cards. Therefore, pay particular attention to the initial preparation of the game.

Starting the Game

The setup is pretty simple:

  • Shuffle the entire deck of cards
  • Deal twelve cards face-down into a circle, mimicking the design of the analog Clock
  • Deal one more card to the center of the Clock
  • Repeat the deal four times, creating thirteen piles of four down-facing cards

When you have no more cards in hand, you’re ready to start playing.

How to Play Clock Solitaire

Each card rank has its prescribed spot around the circular layout, similar to hours on a clock dial:

  • Aces have their spot at one o’clock
  • 2s to 10s are copying the standard layout of the dial
  • Jacks go in the place for eleven
  • Queens are substituting twelve
  • Kings occupy the spot in the middle of the circle

On your first turn, flip the top card of the central pile. Place the card face-up under the pile in its correct place, letting the card protrude so it’s visible.

Example: If your first card is Queen (regardless of its color or suit), place it underneath the pile on the spot for 12 o’clock. 

Next, flip the top card of the pile where you’ve just placed the previous card (…in our case, this would be the pile at the 12 o’clock position).

Again, find the correct position for this card and place it under the pile of cards currently occupying this spot. 

Continue until all the cards are facing up and placed in their correct positions.

However, once you flip the fourth king, the game is over – you are not allowed to move any more cards. 

Clock Solitaire Scoring 

There is no scoring in Clock Solitaire. The only thing that matters is whether you manage to place all the cards in their correct spots before you turn over the last king.

If you achieve this, you win. If you don’t, you lose the game.

If you want to track your success despite losing the game, you can count the remaining down-facing cards to see how close you were to winning.

How to Play Clock Solitaire – Video Tutorials 

Clock Solitaire Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to beat Clock Solitaire?

In the game of Clock, you rely entirely on chance. Once the cards are dealt, it’s determined whether the game can be won or not, so you cannot ‘beat’ the game with skills. 

What are the odds of winning Clock Solitaire?

Statistically, the odds of winning this game are 1/13.

Can kids play Clock Solitaire?

Yes! Clock is one of the most straightforward games from the solitaire family. If a child is familiar with the clock face, they are ready to play this game.

Other Similar Games to Clock Solitaire (Our Guides) 

If you like Clock Solitaire, maybe you’d like to read our guides to some of the best Clock Solitaire alternatives: 

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