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Last Updated: May 26, 2020

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Solitaire

Introduction

One of the most frequent questions I get is on the probability of winning a game of solitaire and/or it is possible to at least gain an advantage under the standard rules. It isn't often that I say this when it comes to gambling, but my answer is "I don't know." It would seem nobody does. The purpose of this page will be to only to comment on the Klondike version of solitaire, which seems to be the form most frequently used in gambling. I am going to assume the reader is already familiar with the basic rules.

Wins quoted in this article are taken from the "Mini Games" menu from the 5Dimes Internet casino.

Vegas Variant

In the Vegas variant, three cards are turned over from the Stock at a time. A configurable rule is how many times the player may play through the Stock. Here are two gambling variants I'm aware of:

  • Three Passes — In the "three passes" version, the player may pass through the Stock three times. The cost to play is 11.4 times the money returned per card. For example, the player might bet $57 and get back $5 for every card he puts in the Foundations. In an "all or nothing" version, the player will win 7 for 1 if he gets all 52 cards in the Foundations, or nothing.
  • Unlimited Passes — In the "unlimited passes" version, the player may pass through the Stock as many times as he wishes until he has no possible legal moves left. The cost to play is 30 times the money returned per card. For example, the player might bet $30 and get back $1 for every card he puts in the Foundations.

Strict Variant

In the Strict variant, one card is turned over at a time and the player may go through the Stock once only. The cost to play is 10.8 times the return per card placed in the Foundations. In an "all or nothing" variant, the win is 10 for 1 for placing all 52 cards in the Foundations, or nothing.


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