Double Solitaire Rules

Take classic Solitaire, add a second player, and enjoy a competitive patience-style card battle. Our Double Solitaire rules guide explains all the details.

Double Solitaire (or Double Klondike as it is also known) follows the classic Solitaire rules. The main difference is that this game is played by 2 players with 2 decks of cards.

Like in Speed (see Speed card game rules), the opponents can play Double Solitaire simultaneously, each racing to play cards from their side to the piles in the middle.

Alternatively, you can play a turn-based version of the game, which we’ll explain shortly.

Key highlights of this Double Solitaire rules guide:

  • What is Double Solitaire?
  • Double Solitaire rules
  • Double Solitaire scoring 
  • Double Solitaire rules in pictures 
  • How to play Double Solitaire (Video tutorial)

Continue reading to learn how to play Double Solitaire step-by-step.

What is Double Solitaire?

Double Solitaire Card Game Info Image

Double Solitaire is easy to learn yet hard to win. The players compete in sorting the cards by suits and numerical order, with speed being the primary key to success.

Number of Players:

Age: 12+

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

Length of Play: 10 – 30 minutes

Type of Game: Competitive patience-type card game

Similar to: Gold Rush, Trigon, Diplomat

Main Objective: Play your deck by suits and numerical order onto the 8 foundation piles before your opponent.

Our Take: Solitaire mustn’t be just single-player fun. Double Solitaire is also known as “social solitaire” since it adapts this exciting game for two players. 

What You’ll Need to Play Double Solitaire?

If you plan to play Double Solitaire, get the following:

  • Decks: 2
  • Number of Cards: 104
  • Cards Omitted: Jokers

Double Solitaire Rules

If you like to play the classic game of Solitaire (or you play online Solitaire), this double version of the game will surely feel familiar.

First, each player grabs one of the two card decks and gives it a good shuffle before swapping decks with one another. Now you must create the initial card setup.

Cards Dealing Rules

While preparing to play, both players need to set up their layout, which is the main playing area for Double Solitaire. It consists of 7 piles of cards.

The first pile contains 1 card, with the number of cards increasing by 1 until the seventh pile, which contains 7 cards. All the cards are facing down except for the top one.

Leave space for the 8 foundation piles (2 for each suit) in the center of the table where both players can reach them. 

Tip: If you’re playing the turn-based version of Double Solitaire, this gets shared between both players. Otherwise, each player uses their own 4 foundations.

Each opponent places the remaining decks face down on the side as their respective stockpiles.

Race or Turn-based Solitaire?

As I’ve already hinted earlier, there are 2 ways to play Double Solitaire:

  • Play it as a race, where two players compete in speed side by side following the classic Solitaire rules, or
  • Play a turn-based game where each opponent has their own turn, following the instructions below.

Starting the Game

Each opponent overturns the topmost card on their stockpile, and whoever has the lowest-ranked card gets to start the game.

The card order in Double Solitaire goes (from highest to lowest): 

  • King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace

How to Play Double Solitaire

In terms of gameplay, Double Solitaire follows the same rules as single-player Solitaire: The players try to sort all their cards by suit and numerical order.

On a player’s turn, they may:

  • place an Ace onto the foundation to start the sequence
  • play the top card of their discard pile to the layout or foundation, or
  • move cards around the layout itself. 

A player may only move a card to the layout if they can place it on top of another up-facing card of the opposite color, and it’s also the next in the sequence.

Ensure the cards overlap so you can see them all.

Example: A player may move a red 7 on top of a black 8, a black 6 on top of a red 7, etc. The player can also move entire sequences of cards if the conditions above are met.

If a player comes across 1 of the 4 Aces, they can add it to the foundation pile. They can then add cards of the same suit on top if placed in numerical order

An empty space in the layout can be filled by a King, providing you with access to the cards underneath it in a pile. 

If a player cannot make any more moves, they end their turn by flipping one card from their stockpile over (= discard pile). 

Then the next player starts their turn.

Play continues until all 8 foundation piles have complete suits (Ace to King).

Double Solitaire Scoring

Usually, Double Solitaire/Double Klondike doesn’t use a scoring system. Whoever moves all (or most) cards onto the foundation piles wins the game.

Alternatively, if you play with two decks of different colors, you can go through each of the 8 piles at the end of the game and count up the cards as follows.

Card Values

  • Every card = 1 point
  • Every Ace to start a pile = 5 points
  • Every King to finish a pile = 5 points

Whoever accumulates the most points at the end of the game (or after multiple rounds) wins the game.

Double Solitaire Rules in Pictures

Step 1

Double Solitaire rules 1 image

Each player sets up their layout consisting of 7 piles, ranging from 1 card to 7 cards with the top card facing up. The rest of the deck is your stockpile. 

Step 2

Double Solitaire rules 2 image

You aim to play all your cards to the eight foundations (two for each suit) in a sequence from Ace to King.

Step 3

Double Solitaire rules 3 image

On your turn, you have three options: Add the top card from your discard pile to the layout if you can…

Step 4

Double Solitaire rules 4 image

…place an Ace (followed by 2,3, 4…K) onto one of the foundations to create a sequence, or…

Step 5

Double Solitaire rules 5 image

…move the cards around the layout, matching them in consecutive order and opposite colors. 

Step 6

Double Solitaire rules 6 image

The turn is ended by drawing one card from the stockpile and placing it onto the discard pile. 

Step 7

Double Solitaire rules 7 image

The winner is the opponent who moves all their cards onto the foundations first – or at least most of them if both players eventually run out of moves.

How to Play Double Solitaire – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

What if neither player in Double Solitaire can make any more moves before the foundation piles are completed?

This is a blockage, and the game ends there. Proceed to the scoring part of the game, awarding the win to the player with the most cards in the foundation pile or the most points.

Do players need card decks with different backs in this type of Solitaire?

Players prefer to play the game with decks of different colors, as it’s then easy to tell which opponent played which card in the foundation pile. Nevertheless, it’s optional. 

How many cards are dealt from the deck in Double Solitaire?

Two decks minus the Jokers get used in Double Solitaire, so players need 104 cards to play. Each player’s layout contains 28 cards, with the remaining cards in the 2 stockpiles.

Other Similar Games to Double Solitaire

If you like Double Solitaire, check out some of our guides to other patience-type card games:

Article by:
Read all the articles (121) written by Lucia Fajnerova