Is Every Game of Solitaire Winnable?

Introduction to Spider Solitaire & Its Variants

As far as Spider Solitaire goes, it’s one of the most exciting card games that anyone can play using actual deck(s) of cards or the computer version online. Solitaire games come across as a fun way to spend leisurely time and relax your brain while improving focus. Of course, you do not have to be a professional to enjoy the game to its fullest. Since there are multiple variants of Solitaire, you’ll undoubtedly find a variant that you’ll like.

The list of variants includes the very popular Klondike, Spider, Freecell, Tripeaks, Pyramid, and many more. The different variants of Solitaire share many similarities, especially since they are designed to be played by a single player (hence, the name “Solitaire“). Nonetheless, more minor nuances of each game render them unique and challenging in their own right.

However, Solitaire also requires a certain level of strategy and thinking, making people wonder how to keep winning Solitaire games. What makes a Solitaire game winnable is the actuality of at least one or more paths leading to victory. However, players need to understand that winnability does not equate to the odds of winning. The games can pose multiple solutions, but the player may struggle to figure it out.

Is Every Game of Solitaire Winnable?

The shortest answer to that question is NO. While not every game of Solitaire is winnable, certain factors can increase the winnability rate. Since Solitaire is an umbrella term covering various card games, each with its unique rules and winning probabilities, assigning actual values to the latter becomes challenging.

There’s absolutely no way to ensure that 100% of games are winnable. Even when that’s the case, the game is delightful in its distinct forms, and the joy of winning is addictive. To sum it up, not all solitaire games can be won, but a solid number is winnable.

Around 80% of Solitaire games are winnable on average. The Solitaire variant with the best winning odds is FreeCell, which boasts a 99% winning probability. Oddly enough, Pyramid, considered one of the most straightforward variants of Solitaire, comes with the most negligible chances of winning, with odds varying between 0.5% and 5.5%.

What Percentage of Solitaire Games are Winnable?

The winnability aspect of Solitaire games depends on the variant in question. Mathematicians have developed a method of understanding difficult questions such as the percentage of winnable Solitaire games called Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo simulation offers a possible range of probabilities and outcomes for any course of action. Professionals in industries like finance, insurance, and engineering use this method for analytical purposes.

Although one can perform these calculations by hand, we use computers more often for repetitive actions (in the case of many games) and better accuracy. As playing all the games, each with its unique sets of possibilities, was practically impossible, a Jupiter Scientific team member played a hundred games with all face-up cards to ascertain winnability. They concluded that 79% of the games played were solvable. About sixteen games could not be won by any means. The final five games remained heavily disputed. Applying the Monte Carlo method showcased a 79% winnability.

The Odds of Winning Spider Solitaire

Ian Gent and Charlie Black from the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom took it upon themselves to write a computer program to calculate the odds in Klondike Solitaire – known as “Solvitaire.” The program was able to deal one million hands drawn at random and figure out the most efficient winning method in every game. They determined an approximate chance of 82% in winning. But, this number was based on the “thoughtful” variant, which implies that the player could peek and understand the positioning of all the cards.

The complexity of Solitaire increases with the number of suits used in play. Spider Solitaire four-suits is believed to be one of the most challenging games to crack. Moves are the ultimate determinants of whether a player wins the game or not. Even a single wrong move can alter the course of the game and convert a winnable game into an unsolvable game. When multiple paths lead to victory, the chances of winning are much higher. However, a game with only one single path makes it tough to succeed as a simple mistake could turn out to be costly and turn the game’s fate on its head. The completely losing games lack the existence of a victory path. Eventually, how many games you win should not impact the game’s entertainment factor.

What makes MPL’s Solitaire Games Winnable?

You can play both Cube Solitaire and Spider Solitaire on MPL. These online variants of Solitaire are thrilling, fast-paced, and fun to play for everyone. They strip down the sophistication of the games and make them quickly understandable with the objective to create winnable sets and sequences in ascending or descending order (based on the variant).

The games only use a single deck of playing cards on a standard layout – with the tableau piles, the stockpile, and the foundation – making it easier to play and less time-consuming. Also, the chances of winning depend less on solving the game objectives but on executing moves that add to the scoreboard. Since it’s a 1v1 scenario, all you need to win is to score more points than your opponent.

Spider Solitaire games come with a valuable “hint” button, which, while costs points, can offer an advantage early on. Another super helpful element is the presence of an “undo” button – which does not exist in the actual, physical version of the game – helping to reverse the most recent move. Since some moves can be costlier than others, the undo button comes in handy in understanding consequences and planning moves accordingly.

Since a timer applies, the faster you solve the game, the better your scoreboard and, ultimately, your overall winning chances. If you’re new to card games as a whole, we’d advise you to carefully go through in-game instructions or watch the “how to play” tutorial video for better clarity.

The Bottomline

Even when you know that you can win four of five games in Solitaire, you might still face roadblocks while playing. All you can do to counter that is to keep playing the game, work on your strategy and skills, and eventually turn things around. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect!

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