Which Games Are They?Solitaire card games played with a traditional deck of playing cards have existed for decades, going back as far as the 19th century. But there’s no doubt that the arrival of the personal computer into office spaces and homes has had an enormous impact in introducing these classic games of patience to the masses, and in popularizing them. Arguably the single biggest reason for this is Microsoft. Microsoft first began packaging a simple version of Klondike Solitaire with their operating systems with Windows 3.0, which was the third major release of Microsoft Windows, and came out in 1990. At the time, desktop computers had only just become a staple in homes and work-places. Part of the rationale for including a solitaire card game was to assist new users in learning how to use a mouse, and to help them become familiar with features like dragging and dropping, and the overall graphical interface of a personal computer. As Microsoft continued delivering new versions of their Windows operating system in later years, a couple of other solitaire card games were added, notably Spider and FreeCell. This development single-handedly revolutionized office-culture around the world. It’s a little known fact, but sources within Microsoft have stated that Solitaire is in fact the most used software program in the entire Microsoft family, even ahead of programs like Word and Excel. At the time, it even led to debates about whether introducing computers into the workplace would actually decrease productivity, due to real concerns that Microsoft Solitaire was leading to many hours of time wasted by employees.
KlondikeOverview: Klondike is the solitaire game most of us will be familiar with from our personal computer, or that we’ve seen bored staff playing in the office. It’s the quintessential solitaire card game that everybody should at least try once, and is the game most people have in mind when they think of “solitaire”. Its name has its origin in the late nineteenth century gold rush in the Klondike part of the Canadian Yukon, where prospectors would play the game in order to help pass the time. It sometimes goes under other names like Canfield (in the UK), although this latter name is technically incorrect, and actually refers a different solitaire game. Game-play: Using a single deck, the aim is to arrange all 13 cards of each suit in a complete sequence from Ace through King. These sequences begin with the Ace as the foundation and build upwards, hence games like this are typically described as builder type solitaire games. Cards are placed in an area called the tableau, and the initial deal involves laying out seven piles, ranging from 1 to 7 cards on each, and with only the top card of each pile turned face up. These cards can then be arranged within the tableau by building downwards in alternating colours, and moved between columns to in order to access other cards. Only a King or column built down on a King can be transferred to a free space in the tableau. Unlike an open game where all the cards are visible and face-up from the start of the game, Klondike is an example of a closed game, because not all the cards are known, and slowly become revealed as you make them available. Variations: The most common way of using the stock is to deal three cards at a time, but many people also play with an alternative rule in which you deal one card at a time, which is sometimes called Las Vegas Solitaire, and even played as a gambling game in some casinos. This gives you access to many more cards and increases your chances of completing the game successfully. To make the game harder, you can also limit the amount of passes through the deck to just three times, or only once. My thoughts: Depending on which variation you’re playing with and how many redeals you allow, a skilled player should be able to win standard game of Klondike nearly half of the time. It is very satisfying to finish a game and get all the cards onto the foundation, but be warned, because it’s also very addictive! Once you’re familiar with how the game works, you can polish off an entire game in as little as five minutes, making it an ideal choice for a casual game to keep returning to. It’s also a game you can get better at, and for some excellent suggestions on improving your strategy, check out the article 7 Strategies to Win Solitaire.
SpiderOverview: One of the two games that lurks most closely in Klondike’s shadow is Spider. Along with FreeCell, it has risen into prominence courtesy of Microsoft Windows, and chances are good that you’ve seen a version of it on your home computer along with other common games like Chess, Minesweeper, Hearts, and Spades. It is said to be a favourite of president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many consider it to be the best solitaire game since it gives a lot of room to overcome the luck of the draw by skillful play, and comes with a good chance of winning the game. According to Gregory Trefry’s Casual Game Design, by 2005 it had outstripped Klondike and become the most played game on computers that had Microsoft Windows, largely due the increased challenge it offers over the more luck-based Klondike. Game-play: A game of Spider uses two decks of cards, and the game starts after dealing out 54 cards out in a tableau of ten piles. Like Klondike, the aim is to get cards of the same suit in order from Ace through King, but in this case there are no foundations. Columns of cards remain in the tableau until you line up a whole column of a suit in order, descending from King down through Ace, at which point they are removed from the game. Cards can be moved within the tableau in a somewhat similar fashion to Klondike, but whenever you need fresh cards, the 50 cards remaining in the stock are dealt out 10 at a time across the entire tableau. Variations: In the standard form of the game, which is the hardest way to play, you play with all four suits, and while descending columns of alternating colours can be built, you can only move a stack if they are all of the same suit. This is generally considered the more Advanced form of the game, while an Intermediate form of Spider uses two suits and makes the gameplay easier by only using Spades and Hearts. The one suit game only uses cards from a single suit, and can be considered the beginner version, and serve as an excellent introduction to Spider. Officially all spaces in the tableau must be filled before dealing from the stock, but a more relaxed form of the game is possible by removing this requirement. My thoughts: Unlike Klondike, in Spider all the building happens within the tableau, so that immediately gives it a different feel. Winning Spider, especially in its standard form, can prove quite a challenge. But it’s also one of the best solitaire games in view of the analysis and skill it allows for. New players should begin with one suit Spider, and you can always progress to the more difficult and strategic versions later. Single suit Spider is easily winnable most of the time, and is a more relaxing way to play. But even an easier game of Spider will take two or three times as long as a game of Klondike. While taking longer to play, it gives more room for skill and thoughtful play, and comes with the reward of increased chances of completing the game successfully. Microsoft’s versions of Spider incorporated a scoring system, so that players could use “undo” in order to discover hidden cards and use this to determine their choices, but with a small point penalty.
FreeCellOverview: FreeCell emerged out of relative obscurity in 1995 as a result of its inclusion in Microsoft Windows 95. Even though it was created by Paul Alfille already as early as 1978, it was only when it was brought into the public eye with the help of Windows, that it quickly became an addictive pastime for many, and gained a loyal following. Just a few years later it was included along with Minesweeper in the chapter “Computer and Online Games” of the published version of Hoyle’s Rules of Games. Fan websites were even created for it with information about the different deals, and strategies. Game-play: At the start of the game, a single deck is dealt face up into eight columns. There are four foundation piles, and as in most solitaire games, the goal is to build cards from each suit in ascending sequence from Ace through King. But in addition to these foundation piles, there are four storage cells that can be used to temporarily store a card from the bottom of any column, and that’s where the real fun of FreeCell lies. Cards in the tableau are arranged down in alternating colours, and such sequences can be moved between columns – but only with the help of available cells – while a space created in the tableau can be filled with any card. Variations: FreeCell has inspired many variants and related game, which are too many to list. Several of these are true to the basic concept, but simply increase the number of cards in the game. For example, there is also a two-deck version called FreeCell Duplex. There is also a version with three decks and one with four decks. My thoughts: FreeCell has the distinction of being a solitaire card game that lends itself particularly well to a digital implementation. In the Windows version, each unique deal was assigned a different number, nearly all of which were solvable, and people could use this number to attempt the same deal as other players. The computer could also calculate which moves were possible and which were not. While later versions came with over a million unique deals, the original Microsoft FreeCell supported 32,000 numbered deals, dubbed as the “Microsoft 32,000”. In the hey-day of FreeCell in the mid 1990s, a crowdsourced project assigned all these deals to different people, successfully completing all but one of them. Given that all the cards are visible at the start of the game, FreeCell is an open game and you have perfect information to work with from the outset, so there are no surprises awaiting you. Winning requires sheer skill, and there is very little luck.
ConclusionThe above three solitaire games can all be described as builder-type games, and there are many other builder-type solitaire games that have been inspired by them or are related to them. The most popular ones besides the trilogy covered here include: Baker’s Dozen, Beleaguered Castle, Canfield, Forty Thieves, La Belle Lucie (Lovely Lucy), Scorpion, and Yukon. Each of these games is in turn a representative of its own family of games that provides variations of the same theme. So it’s worth trying each of these other titles too, to determine which ones you especially enjoy playing, and then exploring further within each family. But despite the tremendous diversity, these three reign supreme: Klondike, Spider, and FreeCell. Nearly everyone who has had a Microsoft Windows operating system on their computer at some point in their life will be familiar with one or all of these three solitaire games. This is particularly going to be true of those who were the early adopters of personal computers in homes and offices. Those who found themselves behind an office computer in the 1990s, lived in an era when video games weren’t nearly as advanced, impressive, or varied as what they were today. This was a time when social media didn’t yet exist, and when the world wide web consisted largely of text based websites that were accessed with slow dial up modems. In this environment, solitaire was the ideal companion for a lonely and boring day behind the computer, and a welcome distraction. The positive reception of Klondike, Spider, and FreeCell by this audience, has ensured that these three brands of solitaire will continue to have an enduring legacy, far beyond what even Microsoft ever imagined when first making them our friends. Almost 30 years on, these solitaire games have already stood the test of time, and will undoubtedly continue to be enjoyed by future generations. Where to play them? Head to Solitaired.com and try a game of Klondike, Spider, or FreeCell right now!
Knavery of the Rump (1679)
The HeadThis infamous fact shows some perspective on the people’s perception of Cromwell — a couple of years after his death, those who supported the monarch dug up his grave, detached his head from his body and displayed it outside of Westminster Hall on top of a pole. It remained there for 28 years.
French Republic Playing Cards (1793-1794)For obvious reasons, Liberal Republicans from France completely revamped their playing card deck in 1793. The rule of law, which suggests that no one is above the law, and the French Revolution, inspired the Revolutionnaire playing cards above. Since the French Revolution ultimately ended the monarchy, traditional court cards didn’t seem appropriate anymore. The Kings, Queens and Jacks were replaced by Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. This holy trinity continues to act as an important part of their national heritage. The “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” motto was even written into the constitution in 1958.
Army & Navy Deck (1865)
Anti-Religions Propaganda Deck (1931)
Atouts de la Vie Card Game (1940)
NEWS & ARTConnecting news and art through playing cards is such an innovative way to tell a story. 2020 has certainly been jam-packed with activity. So, if you’re looking to create custom cards similar to the ones above, then find a person who or an idea that is important to you and illustrate it onto any playing card product. Some of our clients, including our own company, created COVID-19 decks at the start of quarantine. These decks are informative and capture the pandemic in all its uncertainties. You think it, we print it. To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on the custom request a quote form. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk
Magic, games and cardistry. These are just three ways we use playing cards. But there’s actually more to a deck than meets the eye, and it’s a mystical eye at that.
Cardology is a science that connects playing cards and astrology to guide us through life. This ancient magical method is called many names including the Cards of Life. Regardless of whether you use a custom-designed deck from Shuffled Ink or an ordinary one off the shelf, the science is present and will uncover your purpose (if you wish to divulge).
In one of our previous articles, Which Game Are You Based on Your Astrological Sign, we don’t venture into the realm of Cardology but rather relate your zodiac sign to a well-known card or board game. If you’re unfamiliar with astrology, then give it a quick read for an entertaining insight into the study.
Now, let’s explore Cardology as well as its origins, the birthday card chart and more.
The Mystic Test Book
Olney H. Richmond captured the true meaning of playing cards – Cardology – in his book The Mystic Test Book or the Magic of the Cards. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy to comprehend from start-to-finish, and there’s a clear reason why. When it was published in 1893, it was written for Order of the Magi members, a secret occult society revitalized by Richmond in the late 19th century.
Card Calendar Illustrated in the Test Book
A pack of playing cards is anything but standard. Each card represents our world in its entirety. Want to see for yourself? Take out any deck you can find and follow along!
1 deck = a year
52 cards in a deck = weeks in a year
4 suits = seasons in a year
12 court cards = months in a year
13 cards per suit = lunar cycles
red & black colors = day/night
A Deeper Look:
These excerpts from The Mystic Test Book further describe the relationship between the four suit cards and the Earth’s seasons:
Hearts as Spring: “In the Spring of the year, the birds mate. In the springtime of life or the first quarter, love is the master passion. The heart was therefore chosen as the emblem of the first quarter and the first season.”
Clubs as Summer: “Knowledge is best gained and retained in the summer of life…therefore the shamrock, or ‘club,’ became the emblem.”
Diamonds as Fall: “The third season, autumn, has for its emblem the diamond, representative of wealth. The third period of man’s life is the one in which he is best able to gain wealth…the crops are sold and the wealth of the harvest realized.”
Spades as Winter: Winter or the fourth quarter of the Zodiac is represented by the spade or acorn. By a strange and yet natural transformation, the acorn, which represented the symbolism of the death and burial of the physical form was changed … to the spade.”
With the Cardology Birthday Chart below, you can discover a lot about your past, present and future. Based on the Cards of Life, there’s a deep connection between your birthday/astrology sign and a deck of playing cards.
Based on your birth card, each component should resemble you personally. The suit cards have personality traits of their own while also making up the Earth’s seasons. The numbers further identify your attributes and the court cards carry their own set of inner rulings about your life. For example, if your birthday is June 24, then your birth card is the 6 of clubs. To see how the cards interact with your disposition, check out this article on Cafe Astrology.
Coincidence or not?
Now, it’s up to your discretion to accept the destiny shown in Cardology. In this article, we only scratched the surface on how playing cards reveal our character. There’s much more to the concept that even involves a bit of math, but we won’t dive too deep.
Let’s wrap this introduction to Cardology with a quote by Richmond:
“When we find a certain invention claimed by a large number of Nations, scattered over our globe, in widely separated locations, we must conclude that none of them were the inventors, but on the contrary, obtained the inventions of some nation proceeding them by many years.”
1. The PurposeStaying ahead of the game means constantly implementing new initiatives. If you’re a professional seeking to promote and market your brand or logo, an artist looking to use tarot cards as a canvas, or a card game designer working to crush your Kickstarter goal, then Shuffled Ink is best suited to bring your vision to reality. So, let’s run through the basics. Marketing 101
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the message/purpose?
- How will you promote this campaign?
2. Choose Your Custom ProductWe are positive that our dedicated service and graphics team will suit your needs and help cultivate your message. One of the fantastic parts about creating with us is that any product you choose is entirely customizable, so you make the rules. While Shuffled Ink provides the blank canvas, you are the artist — paint anything you like and in any color(s). Here are our products:
Playing CardsWe have a variety of clients with bold visions for their playing card decks. Here are some messages that are often pursued:
- Bringing Awareness: Speak to others through art. Many creators use playing cards to bring awareness to various subjects like saving endangered species and our ecosystems, portraying history, etc.
- Promoting Brand/Company: Our clients also choose to print their company emblem, website and/or social media links on their deck of playing cards. This may seem like a simple act, but the impact is tremendous. Now, every single person who interacts with your playing card deck will have access to your supplementary content.
- Merchandise: Selling or handing out company merch is a fantastic way to manifest your message into clients’ minds.
Astrodog Media is a Video Production Agency known for crafting high-quality videos and other digital media for businesses, agencies, and brands. The custom faces include different types of dogs floating in space and the backs show the logo.
Flash CardsIf your purpose relates to teaching or training a certain skill, then flash cards are the route to go. Our endless custom options are perfect for educational cards since every person has a different way of teaching and learning. Basically, you dream it, we print it!
- Train Employees: Creating PowerPoint presentations are not always an effective route for some business settings. These training flash cards encourage time management, communication skills, risk management, etc. It also reiterates the expectations that employers have for their employees and vice versa.
- Teach Interview Skills: It’s never too early or late to start prepping for an interview, which is why there will always be a consumer for this custom card product. Whether it’s their very first one or their hundredth, it’s important to cultivate how they are going to present themselves to a potential employer. Putting one’s best foot forward means that they aren’t reading off a script and studying the basic interview talking points. Rather, they are prepared for the most difficult questions.
- Learn a Language: Our clients are constantly setting the bar to new heights. An age-old skill like learning a new language can be interactive and exciting when you implement both visual and auditory elements. Our suggestion is to set your purpose apart from all others. Go against the grain and introduce a new way to learn a language. Consumers are always looking to try new things and if they like what they experience, then word will spread, and you’ll gain more clients.
Card Games/Board GamesThe overall purpose of card and board games is to entertain, but there’s obviously more to it than just that. If you’re looking to create a custom card game, the message should be locked down and clearly stated. A card game has a lot of different moving parts before it’s printed.
- Identify the theme: Having a distinct, unique and fun game will help set yourself apart from other game makers. Right now, you probably have an idea of what the game will be about. For example, will it feature zombies, robots and aliens? Or does it follow a question/answer format (similar to Cards Against Humanity)?
- Establish the Rules: This is the fun part! You are the all-knowing creator who is bringing this game to life. But make sure to keep your game’s purpose in mind at all times. You don’t want to stray away from the designated message you’re trying to relay.
- Graphic Design & Game Pieces: Customize your game to your heart’s content, including but not limited to the card size, card stock, number of cards, spinners and dice, booklets, instructions and game tokens.
Tarot & Oracle CardsIf you’re passionate about sharing your knowledge and insight through tarot and oracle cards, let our team print your custom designs. Our clients use tarot to reimagine the world. These pieces are not only eye-catching but the meanings behind each one are equally enticing.
- Reinvent: Tarot has an extensive amount of history. Some clients enjoy reproducing decks that are decades old. This allows new tarot designers to reflect on the past and remember where the art form originated.
- Readings: Tarot and oracle readings can become quite deep and personal, so consider adding your own original designs to the deck.
- Market Art: If your art fits well in the spiritual realm, market using tarot or oracle cards. These decks include however many cards you desire, which allows for an endless supply of art concepts to dabble in.
3. ExposureWe’ve found that online exposure is key to relay your brand’s purpose with custom card products. Simply being active on social media is a beneficial form of marketing. Over the past couple of years, we have used social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to market our custom cards. Recently, we started posting content on LinkedIn, which is an incredible site for companies and individuals alike to network and craft a professional message.
4. Client Product ShopOnce your cards are printed (even if we didn’t manufacture your product), you have the option to become a member of our Client Shop.
- INCREASE AND DIVERSIFY YOUR SALES: Shuffled Ink’s goal is to invest in and cultivate a tight-knit community for our clients to feel comfortable marketing, promoting and selling their custom products. Many alternative online marketplaces charge significant referrals, percent of the sale and other exorbitant fees. This is not our approach! We truly believe that we will achieve our greatest success, by directly partnering and investing in our clients’ success.
- MEDIA PROMOS: Most e-commerce sites will put your product live on their site and leave it collecting dust. That is not our mindset. Our goal is to actively communicate with you to ensure your message is heard. We will work alongside you to market, promote and sell your custom products on our media platforms. Prior to publishing content, we work with you to perfectly cultivate your desired message.
Custom Cards with a PurposeWe’re more than happy to chat with you about any and all of your ideas. Our purpose is to assist you. When you choose us to print your products, all hands are on deck. After all, your success is our success. To receive complimentary samples of our card products, include your delivery address and phone number on your custom request a quote form. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Tarot Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Flash Cards at: ShuffledInk
- The cards represent the calendar of Old Japan.
- 12 suits dedicated to each month.
- Four cards per suit.
- The column on the far right represents the first month. Analyze from the bottom-up; the months are in order from right to left.
- Used for gambling purposes and to play the Japanese Flower Game.
The 131-Year HistoryThe Japanese government was against any Western influence, so in the early 17th century, they banned all playing cards and games that symbolized the culture. Yamauchi ended up successfully manufacturing the Japanese-inspired playing cards featured above. He worked around the restrictions by replacing the traditional Western-style suits, court figures and numbers with scenic nature landscapes. But the ban did not last forever. Once repealed on the cusp of the 1900s, Yamauchi established the Nintendo Playing Card Company. He continued to manufacture Hanafuda cards but added European-designed card products to the mix. On top of the tech consoles like the Nintendo Switch and Mario video games, Nintendo still creates playing cards to pay tribute to its roots.
Our StoryNo matter what industry you’re in, redefining your products to keep up with the times is perfectly practical. In 1999, Shuffled Ink’s first product was the Super Deck, which came with a map and a deck of cards that included discounts and coupons for attractions, dinner shows, restaurants, shopping and golf & recreation. We marketed this product to Orlando hotels until 2006 when we reconstructed the company’s vision and became a custom game manufacturer. Today, we produce top-quality custom printed playing cards, customized card and board games, personalized tarot and flash cards and more! While Nintendo’s reach is on a larger scale than our family-owned company, the principle remains. Innovation is key.
Create Your OwnThe playing card decks we all know and love are custom products, so who’s to say that you can’t create an iconic deck that’s similar to the Hanafuda cards? At Shuffled Ink, we have a vast amount of resources available. Not only is our graphics team by your side throughout the entire design process, but your artwork and colors will remain in its original form when printed onto our well-crafted card stock. Feeling inspired yet? Request a quote and get started on your special card project today! ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk
When Did Solitaire Games Start?As it turns out, playing solitaire games with a traditional deck of playing cards places us in a fine tradition with a long history – long before they ever came to your personal computer – because people have been enjoying them for over two hundred years already. Germany is a likely place of their origin, and there’s a recorded mention of them already in the late 18th century. But their popularity especially bloomed in France in the early 19th century, and that’s when some of the best solitaire games were devised. It is also in these French roots that the alternative name “patience” appears to originate, along with other common solitaire terms like “tableau”. From France they eventually spread to English speaking countries, much like playing cards themselves did centuries before, and eventually solitaire card games became a popular international phenomenon enjoyed around the world. Even Napoleon is said to have whiled away many hours playing solitaire while in exile on St Helena. When you’re playing a solitaire card game today, you’re sharing in activity that has been enjoyed by many generations before you, and many of the great solitaire card games available are time tested and proven classics. But while solitaire card games have been around for a long time, the development of the personal computer was a real catalyst in popularizing them with modern audiences. Microsoft Windows has long had the practice of distributing a game of Solitaire with their operating systems, much to the relief of bored sales assistants and office workers around the globe. That single handedly turned solitaire one of the world’s most popular activities to do on a computer. Ever since the release of Windows 3.0 in 1990, Klondike Solitaire has been a staple on most personal computers, and it has now given hours of amusement to billions of people around the world for three decades. Countless people still turn to it for their quick five minute fix, which will of course be repeated many times over! Today Microsoft’s solitaire package has grown to include Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks, making these the most familiar forms of the game for the average person. Besides computer software, today there are also many websites where you can play a variety of different solitaire games online. Digital implementations like this allow us to play solitaire more quickly and easily, without all the hassles of set-up, shuffling, dealing, and moving columns of actual cards, making it even easier to fill a few spare moments. Besides simplifying the book-keeping elements of the game, they’ve also enabled versions of the game to be played that would be more difficult to do in person, like one suit Spider, where multiple sets of the same suit are used. The result of the digital revolution means that solitaire card games are booming like never before, and even people who don’t even own a physical deck of cards can spend countless hours enjoying different forms of these classic games. With a long history steeped in tradition, the computer age has injected solitaire card games with new energy and new possibilities, and there’s never been a better time to explore what these games have to offer.
How do Solitaire Games Work?There are an incredible amount of different solitaire games in existence, and they comprise an enormous family of games in their own right. But many of them do follow a somewhat similar pattern. This usually involves laying out cards on a tableau or layout, with the goal of moving them to foundations, where you build up each suit in sequence from Ace through King. This is accomplished with the help of turning up undealt cards from the stock, and by building and transferring columns of cards within the tableau that match in value, suit, or colour. That’s a game of solitaire in a nutshell. But these games do have their own unique terminology, and this can best be understood by explaining how a typical game works, so let’s dive into a little more detail. First you create an initial array of cards by dealing them in an initial tableau as prescribed by the rules of that particular game. In some games the cards dealt to the tableau are all face-up, creating an open game. In a closed game some cards are dealt face-down, so you have incomplete information at the start of the game. These cards only become revealed when cards blocking them have been moved, making them available to be turned face up or moved. Face-up cards in the tableau are usually placed in an overlapping configuration or cascade, so that you can see their indices, and so you can plan accordingly. Depending on the game, the arrangement can be in overlapping rows, or overlapping columns. Your primary aim is to get cards onto the foundations, which in most solitaire games must begin with an Ace. Once you’ve placed an Ace, you can build up that foundation by placing further cards from that suit in sequential order. Your ultimate objective is to successfully build all the cards onto these foundations, in which case you have won the game. In solitaire card games, the standard sequence goes from Ace as the lowest ranked card to King as the highest ranked card. Usually you can only build from Ace through King, but some variations allow wrapping of a sequence so that an Ace can continue from a King, which is also called building around the corner. To achieve the goal of playing all the cards to the foundations, you must manipulate the cards within the tableau, in order to get access to the cards you need, and to uncover face-down cards. This happens by transferring face-up cards, either individually or in columns, from different areas of the tableau, assuming these cards are free to be moved and are not blocked by others on top of them. Building cards in this way usually happens in ascending or descending order of rank, and is a key element of good game-play. Usually if the aim is to build up cards in ascending sequence to the foundations, then cards in the tableau may be built down in descending sequence, often in alternating colour. If you create a vacancy in the tableau by removing all the cards of a pile there, you can strategically use this space to manipulate the tableau to your advantage by starting a new column of cards there. Often the entire deck isn’t dealt out at the start of game, and the rest of the cards are considered the stock, which you bring into play by dealing them face-up into a separate pile called the waste (sometimes called talon, although confusingly in modern usage this term is often used instead to refer to the stock). These are often dealt one at a time, but in some games, like the extremely popular Klondike, there are variations where you deal them three at a time. In some variations you can only go through the stock once, while other solitaire games may allow a certain number of redeals, or even an unlimited number. Not all games of solitaire can be successfully completed, but this is not necessarily the fault of the player. Sometimes a random deal will be theoretically unsolvable, and part of the challenge and fun of solitaire is to see whether or not you can achieve a win with a hand that you’ve been dealt. But you can’t just blame the deal, because poor choices can lose a game in which you might have achieved a much better result with optimal play. You definitely learn to improve your play, and strategic choices will usually be rewarded!
Resources for Playing SolitaireHow to learn Most solitaire card games are easy to learn, and you’ll find plenty of places online that provide lengthy lists of the different solitaire card games that exist, along with rules for each. As always, a good place to start your journey is Wikipedia, which has a page offering a list of common favourites. There are many websites set up by dedicated solitaire enthusiasts, some of whom have created software to help play the game on your mobile device or personal computer. These software programs typically go far beyond the two or three versions that Microsoft Windows has available, and offer you one hundred or more different ways to play. Many of these also serve as a resource, like BVS Solitaire Collection, and besides the software they have created for Windows, Mac, and iOS, they also host comprehensive rules. The Solitaire Game Rules page will help teach you Klondike, the most well known solitaire game, and introduce some variations. In former times, the only way to learn how to play solitaire was by having the good fortune to be taught it in person by someone you know, or by wading your way through a pile of written words in a book. I remember trying that latter method as a teenager, and often giving up in frustration, as I tried to make sense of the words and turn them into an arrangement of cards on the table, as part of an unsuccessful attempt to figure out the rules. Nowadays it is so much easier to learn how to play solitaire, by simply playing it with a digital implementation that automatically enforces the rules and teaches you how to play. This makes it much more realistic to try new forms of solitaire, and I highly recommend this as the best way to learn, and to enjoy playing. Where to play There are several websites that offer solitaire card games, and enable you to play for free straight from your web browser. My personal site of choice recently has been Solitaired, which I can recommend. It has over 250 different solitaire variations, is ad-free, and I’ve found the gameplay smooth and straight-forward. Other sites to try include World Of Solitaire, Classic Solitaire, and Solitaire Network, which also offer an extensive number of different solitaire games, supply rules for each, and provide free online play. If you’re looking to explore the wonderful wide world of solitaire games beyond the limited menu provided by Microsoft, another alternative is to get some dedicated software for your personal computer or mobile device. Recommended commercial options for Windows include BVS Solitaire Collection, as well as SolSuite 2020 and Pretty Good Solitaire. The Python Solitaire Game Collection doesn’t have as slick graphics, but it’s completely free, has an extensive collection of games, and there is also a companion Android app that is also free. There are many free apps available for iPad and iPhone, but these tend to be supported by ads, which can become a little annoying. Of the free apps available, I’ve had good success with Solebon Solitaire (Solebon), Solitaire City (Digital Smoke), Full Deck Solitaire (GRL Games), Solitaire Suite (Rikki Games), and 250+ Solitaires (Alxanosoft), all of which get you started with a very strong selection of the most popular solitaire games. The commercially produced apps tend to offer more games or polished features, and I suggest the following as the better ones: BVS Solitaire Collection (BVS Development), Solebon Pro (Solebon), Pretty Good Solitaire (Thomas Warfield), Solitaire Forever II (Solitaire Forever), and Hardwood Solitaire IV (Silver Creek Entertainment). If you’re looking for a smaller collection of favourites to start with, try Solitaire Till Dawn (Semicolon), Astraware Solitaire (Astraware) or Solitaire Deluxe 2 (Mobile Deluxe), all of which are free and offer around a dozen or two popular favourites for free. Naturally once you’re familiar with the rules of a particular solitaire game that you really enjoy, then you can grab your favourite custom deck of playing cards, and use that! There are miniature decks available for this purpose, but I think you’ll get most satisfaction if you play with an attractive poker-sized deck. You will often need a decent amount of space to work with, and I highly recommend playing with a quality deck of playing cards to make your shuffling and dealing more pleasing on both a practical and an aesthetic level. If you need suggestions for a modern high quality deck, I suggest checking out the selection of Theory11 decks at PCD here. What to play It’s important to realize that not all solitaire games are like the classics familiar from Microsoft Windows, such as Klondike and Spider. You should make an effort to explore the diverse range of solitaire games available, and even if you think you don’t like Solitaire card games, it could just because you didn’t like the one or two forms of the game you have tried until now. To get you started in your search, here’s a list of some of the more popular solitaire games, arranged in different categories according to type: ● Adding & Pairing: Golf, Monte Carlo, Pyramid, TriPeaks ● Builders: Baker’s Dozen, Beleaguered Castle, Canfield, Forty Thieves, FreeCell, Klondike, La Belle Lucie (Lovely Lucy), Scorpion, Spider, Yukon ● Non-builders: Accordion, Aces Up, Calculation, Clock Patience, Cribbage Solitaire, Gaps (Montana), Grandfather’s Clock ● Others: Miss Milligan, Osmosis, Sir Tommy, Sultan (Emperor), Windmill I also highly recommend Bowling Solitaire by genius game designer Sid Sackson. It is entirely unlike all the other solitaire games mentioned, but is an incredibly thematic and clever game.
1. MagicIf you have an interest or background in magic, then you already know this, and it may even be the main reason you own a deck of playing cards in the first place! Every kid growing up should learn at least a few good card tricks, and all you need for that is a decent quality deck of cards, and the help of your public library, or of course the internet and youtube. Any set of playing cards will work, but ideally you want cards that handle well.
2. CardistryCardistry has been defined as “the performance art of card flourishing”, although “juggling with playing cards” is an equally apt description. Many readers have probably heard of cardistry before, but for the doubters, I can assure you that it is a real thing, and it even has a Wikipedia page on the subject here! Cardistry is about doing things like fanning and cutting cards in a creative way and with a high level of skill, thereby turning it into a performance art. Instead of doing ordinary cuts and shuffles, expert cardists are able to do one-handed cuts, complicated shuffles, turnovers, tosses, and catches, in a way that is a beauty to watch. You can even buy decks of playing cards that particularly lend themselves well to cardistry. A good example is the Virtoso deck, which was specifically designed for cardistry, and has a real visual appeal when fanned and flourished. Search for “cardistry” on youtube and you’ll find lots of tutorials to get you going with any deck.
3. Card gamesThere are many wonderful card games that can be played with a deck of cards, including popular traditional favourites like Bridge, Hearts, Spades, Euchre, Rummy, and Cribbage. And if you like the excitement of gambling style games, there’s Poker, Blackjack, and many more. Besides the traditional favourites you might already know, there are many excellent card games, and in most cases you can learn the rules for free online. The best website on games with playing cards is easily Pagat.com here. Some easy games that I highly recommend trying include Knock Out Whist, Blitz, Scopa, and President, while games like Oh Hell give room for more skill. If you need more suggestions for great card games, check out this list of my personal favourites here. There are some great books on the subject too, with David Parlett’s Penguin Book of Card Games being the most comprehensive – it’s a great resource, and will help put those arguments about rules to rest once and for all!
4. Solitaire gamesThere’s some terrific solitaire games that you can play on your own with a deck of cards, and it can be a good way to pass the time, or even to enjoy your favourite custom deck of cards. Personal computers have popularized solitaire games like Canfield, Klondike, Freecell, and Spider, but there are many other excellent solitaire games out there. A good place to get started is the Wikipedia page on the subject here. If you’re new to this kind of thing and want to begin with something fairly easy, I’d suggest Golf, Pyramid, or Monte Carlo. For something more challenging, try a fan game like La Belle Lucie, or one of its easier variants (e.g. The Fan, Bristol).
5. ArtworkMany crowdfunding projects for playing cards offer an add-on option to purchase an “uncut sheet”. This is a complete printed sheet showing all the cards in a deck prior to them being cut into playing cards. I never really saw the value of this, but a family member recently bought one of these uncut sheets and put it into a glass frame, and it looks absolutely amazing! Or try making your own with your favourite custom deck. Especially with a creative and artistic deck, putting playing cards on display in this way can turn them into beautiful works of art. These works of art make great decorations to hang on the wall, while also giving a tribute to your passion for playing cards and magic.
6. BookmarksA deck of playing cards can make a great supply of bookmarks! Especially if it’s a special custom deck with nice artwork, but is a little too worn for continued official use, why not re-purpose the cards and use them as bookmarks? I’ve often done this, and my playing cards have often found themselves doing wonderful service to keep track of which effect I’m working on in my magic books, or even as a handy marker in a fiction novel I’m reading at the beach or beside the pool. Any custom deck will work, but cards with metallic ink or foil backs make especially classy looking bookmarks!
7. House of CardsBuilding a house of cards, or a “card tower”, is not as easy as it looks! Also called “card-stacking”, there’s a Wikipedia page here devoted to this subject too. Bryan Berg (USA) created a world record 72 stories in 1992, and since then has kept and broken this and numerous other related records, including the tallest house of cards, and largest house of cards. In 2010 he built a replica of a hotel, which took 44 days and 218,792 cards (more than 4,000 decks) – it weighed over 250kg, and was 3 metres tall and 10.5 metres long. See a video profile about Bryan here. Some googling will help you find some techniques to improve your card stacking abilities.
8. PolyhedralsGeorge Hart has some great ideas for using playing cards to create complex polyhedral shapes. You can find out more at his website here, which includes full instructions. A great idea for math class perhaps?
9. Impossible BottlesPut a deck of cards into a bottle! Wait a moment, you say, that’s impossible! Well, isn’t that why they call it an impossible bottle?! But there are ways to do this, although you may have to dig a little to find the secret. Some Kickstarters offer these as add-on options for purchase with a new deck of cards. Jamie Grant is a well known creator of these, and his impossible bottles typically cost $100-200. So unless you’re really keen, perhaps this is something to the experts. I’m certain there’s only one way to get something into a glass bottle, and that’s through the neck, and it’s a very time-consuming, difficult, and near-impossible job. I know someone who makes these as a hobby, and they are impressive and mystifying to see firsthand, but they do require a lot of effort to create.
10. Card ThrowingHave you ever tried throwing a card? It’s much harder than it sounds, but there are techniques you can learn to throw playing cards long distances and at high speeds. It’s not that difficult to learn the proper grip and method for throwing a card. To get some idea of the basics, head to Wikipedia again here. If you get real good, maybe you can start competing with Rick Smith Jr, who is the world record holder for throwing a playing card 216 feet and 4 inches at a top speed of 92 miles per hour. Seriously! When you’re as good as him, you actually can slice fruit with a playing card! There are several instructional DVDs available that will teach you how to do this kind of thing, but for now you can check out Rick Smith Jr’s tutorial on youtube here. But even if you aren’t ready to start destroying fruit, it’s a lot of fun to try, so I definitely recommend giving card throwing a shot! You can even buy special cards designed for the purpose, like the Banshees deck, which add a “sonic scream” when the cards whip through the air.
11. Fortune tellingOne of the oldest forms of fortune-telling is called cartomancy, and uses playing cards. Personally I don’t give it any more credibility than reading palms, tea-leaves, stomach rumbles, or cloud shapes, but it certainly uses playing cards. Many specialty Tarot and Oracle decks exist. But cartomancy can also be done with a standard deck of 52 cards and Jokers as well. While any deck will work, some decks like the KADAR Fortune Playing Cards are especially geared to this purpose, and they work great for magic too.
12. Bicycle NoisemakerHow do you make a bicycle sound like a motorbike? By affixing a playing card to your bike frame with a peg, and having the card flap loudly on the spokes as the wheel turns. Using playing cards to soup up bikes and make them sound like an engine is something that kids have been doing for years – certainly I did it many times in my childhood! Nowadays you can even buy an official product (Turbospoke Classic) to do this. But using a playing card works just as great for kids today as it always has! If you need help figuring out how to do this, head to Instructables here for directions.
13. Emergency KitWhen you’re really stuck, you never know how a playing card might come in handy. Do you have a wobbly table that needs levelling out due to an uneven table leg? Playing cards are perfect to use when you need just a few layers underneath that one table leg to get things straight. Has that steak dinner left something between your teeth at a fancy restaurant? In a pinch, you could even use a playing card as a toothpick, and while it wouldn’t be my first choice for re-purposing a deck of cards, in an emergency it might work! Playing cards to the rescue!
Playing Card Art
1. Personal Branding Your ArtEvery creator must establish his/her brand. A personal brand is how an individual’s business is perceived based on actions taken to market product(s) within an industry or a community. This means that your artwork should exemplify what you stand for as an artist. Luckily, the possibilities to create are endless. Your 54-card poker-sized deck comes with two jokers, all of which are customizable. Your card project can feature 54 different art designs, 4 consistent artwork sets for each suit, one illustration set to the card backs and faces, etc. With any idea that comes to mind, we will ensure that your vision comes to fruition. Now, there are more card options to choose from when promoting your artwork. If your art fits well in the spiritual realm, market using tarot or oracle cards. These decks include 78 cards, which allows for an endless supply of art concepts to dabble in.
Tarot Card Art
2. Custom PackagingPresentation is equally as important as the art you choose to showcase. After all, the card packaging will catch the consumer’s eye first. Just like the card backs and faces, the packaging is completely customizable. Here are our specialty box options:
Custom Two-Part Box
Custom Tuck Box
Post-Consumer Custom Tuck Box
Hard Clear Plastic Case Classic
White Window Tuck Box
3. Social Media ExposureNowadays, social media is among the main tools used in business and personal marketing. If you don’t have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, we highly suggest that you create at least one. These platforms are perfect for publicizing your exclusive illustrations and products. We recommend that you include your social media handle(s) or website(s) on the deck of cards. This directs future and current consumers to your supplementary art pieces and collections. Gaining followers on these media sites will only increase website traffic and engagement.
4. E-Commerce SiteOnce your art is printed on any of our custom cards, consider establishing an online store to support your product(s). Setting up an e-commerce site makes it easier for clients to purchase your designs, whether they are featured on a deck of cards or canvas. If you aren’t interested in creating your own online platform, Shuffled Ink will lessen the load by selling your card products in our Client Product Shop on Shopify. Even if we didn’t manufacture your product, you’re still able to sell in our shop! Alternative online marketplaces charge significant referral and percent of the sale fees, but this is not our approach. We achieve our greatest success by directly partnering and investing in your success. After all, our motto since 1999 has always been “Your success is our success”.
How It Works?Our Client Product Shop works in two easy ways:
- Purchase bulk inventory for Shuffled Ink to store and sell
- On-demand production arrangements that allow you to sell your product without having to purchase bulk inventory
- % of sale or referral fees
- setup or service charges
- monthly minimums or inventory storage costs
Market Your ArtThe sky is the limit when it comes to creativity and customization, which is why we don’t charge fees for extra colors. Whether you prefer a matte, smooth or linen finish, your art will remain in its truest, original form when printed onto our well-crafted card stock. The principles of marketing are constantly changing. So, take advantage of your opportunities and get your art out into the world with our playing card products. ● Official Shuffled Ink website: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Playing Cards at: ShuffledInk ● Make Your Own Custom Card Games at: ShuffledInk
Cool Hand Luke (1967)Paul Newman has acted in numerous films that feature America’s favorite card game. This scene in the movie Cool Hand Luke is known as one of the most accurate portrayals of poker. Newman’s aloof character, Luke, starts off by betting a mere dollar. This gives off a lack of confidence, insinuating that he does not have a good hand. But that is only the beginning of his bluffing skills.
The Sting (1973)Set in Chicago during the 1930s, two con men played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford scam mob boss, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) and acquire a generous amount of money. The showdown between Newman’s and Lonnegan’s character is filled with suspense, tension, and above all, deceit. While poker players lead their opponent astray with his/her stature and expression, Redford actually cheats to win. The deceptive switch occurs between 0:59 and 1:15.
Casino Royale (2006)If produced effectively, audiences often praise films that incorporate poker into the narrative. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the game, the scene’s atmosphere is often still captivating. Many viewers end up holding their breath in anticipation of how the scene will unfold. Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig as James Bond. The setting takes place at a high-stakes Texas Hold’em tournament. In this scene, 007’s convincing poker face leads his opponent off course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJtzqqkC6sw
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)This comedy film sheds light on the times when poker games end poorly for the players. Nicholas Cage’s character, Jack Singer, ends up losing $65,000 to a professional gambler and con man (James Caan). Singer’s does, in fact, have a good hand but his fatal downfall is that he bets more money than he actually has. Nonetheless, this is the catalyst for the plot of the movie. To pay off his debt, he allows the con man to take his fiancée on a vacation to Hawaii.
Friends: Season 1 Episode 18 (1994 – 2004)“The One With all the Poker” Poker and its many variants are played quite seriously, which is why Hollywood likes to portray it as such. But there are shows and movies that add comedic relief to the game. In this episode of Friends, the gang sits down to play poker. The game starts with Phoebe hilariously revealing the cards she needs and Rachel offering up her own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsq2sJL7SM
Play Your Cards RightWhether it’s just for fun or, as Monica Gellar calls it, “serious poker”, our 54-card poker-sized decks are suited for any poker setting. Here are a few features that put us ahead of the game in the custom playing card arena.
- Print custom backs and/or faces – same price
- Choose standard bridge or poker size – same price
- Print 1 or 1 million decks
- Pricing starts at $17.60 for a deck of standard cards
- Pricing at 5,000 decks starts at $1.61 each
- Print 1-4 CMYK colors – same price
- Premium and casino cards stock available
- Custom sizes are available