Single player card games aren’t just for people who don’t have someone else to play with. They were invented with a lot of thought and logic to give your brain a unique challenge.
These single card games, like every other card game, can be really interesting because they make your brain work hard, competing with your own creativity and strategic thinking.
If you find yourself alone and want to have some fun, there are plenty of card games you can play. Stick around as we share some to make your day more enjoyable.
Exploring the Best 16 Single Player Card Games
A single-player card game to have fun includes:
1. Forty Thieves
To play Forty Thieves, you’ll use two sets of regular playing cards. First, shuffle all the cards together.
Then, lay out 10 cards in a row face up. Place another row on top of those 10 cards, slightly overlapping. Repeat this process to create two more rows of 10 cards each.
The goal is to organize cards into piles for each suit, going from ace to king. You can move one card at a time within the layout or to the final piles.
2. Beleaguered Castle
Your ultimate goal of Beleaguered Castle is to shift all the cards into the middle area, making sure they’re all in order from ace to king and grouped by their respective suits.
Start by placing the four aces in a line down the center of the playing area. Then, create six columns on each side of each ace, and distribute the remaining cards among these columns.
You can move cards around the playing area, but there’s a rule. When you stack them, they must go in descending order (from king to ace).
Solitaire game is a favorite pastime for office workers and computer users everywhere. Although it’s usually played solo, some versions can involve two players.
If you’re not familiar with this time-consuming yet highly addictive game, it revolves around manipulating and organizing cards.
In the most common version, you start by dealing with shuffled cards in a specific layout.
The goal is to rearrange the deck by moving cards around based on their suit and rank.
4. Hope Deferred
Hope Deferred is a card game played with a special deck called a Piquet deck, which has 32 cards.
To create this deck, you simply remove all the cards numbered two through six. The objective of the game is to get rid of all the clubs in the deck.
How is it played? Deal three cards face up and remove any clubs. Then, deal four more rows of three cards each, discarding clubs as you go.
After five rows, shuffle the remaining cards and repeat the process two more times for a total of three shuffles. If, after the final shuffle, all the clubs have been eliminated, you win the game!
5. The Idiot
In homage to Dostoevsky’s novel rather than reflecting the intelligence quotient of its players, “The Idiot” stands out as a deceptively simple yet devilishly difficult Swedish card game.
Start with four decks of cards. Take one card from each pile and lay them out.
If there’s more than one visible card in each suit, remove the lowest one. Repeat this process until only one visible card remains in each suit.
Now, add four new cards on top of the existing ones and repeat the process until all the cards are used. When a pile is empty, you can move the top card from another pile to the empty one.
Canfield is a solo card game that adds its twist to the familiar Patience game.
Like regular solitaire and other single-player card games, Canfield is played alone using just one deck of cards.
Once the cards are dealt, the player draws them, aiming to cleverly move them around to build foundation piles.
Each move in the game involves thinking ahead, being strategic, and a bit of luck, making it a captivating solo experience.
If you enjoy bowling, you’ll have a blast with Bowling the card game. Get a regular deck and take out all the face cards, leaving only aces (like 1) through 10s.
Arrange 10 cards in a bowling pin shape, with one card at the bottom and up to four cards at the top.
The remaining cards go into three piles of five, three, and two cards each.
Your goal is to “knock down pins” by matching the values of the cards. For an extra fun touch, use a bowling score sheet to keep track of your game.
Imagine a solitaire game all about helping bees pollinate flowers — that’s Beehive! You aim to organize the deck into sets of four cards with the same number.
Start by creating a pile of 10 cards with only the top one showing, called the beehive.
Then, lay out two rows of three face-up cards, which are your flowers.
Play the game by sending bees to the flower garden and putting together sets of four cards.
Emperor is a fantastic solo card game that goes beyond just moving cards around.
It requires some serious card-playing skills.
The setup presents challenges that test your ability to handle and arrange cards effectively, making it an exciting experience for anyone who loves playing cards.
Klondike is a popular form of solitaire played in North America and Canada. It became so well-known that people often used the term ‘Klondike’ instead of ‘Solitaire.’
Before poker became a big deal, people at military camps, as they wrapped things up, began playing and sharing solitaire games like Klondike.
This trend caught on, and as fortune-seekers headed west, solo card games spread like wildfire.
Imagine lonely prospectors passing the time during long evenings with games of patience and luck. Klondike’s popularity soared when valuable treasures were discovered beneath the vast skies.
11. Napoleon at St. Helena
This is a card game inspired by the legendary French leader. To play, you need two full decks shuffled together.
The goal of the Napoleon at St. Helena card game is to move Aces to the foundations and build them up from Ace to King. You can only move one card at a time.
There are different variations of the game, including Lucas, Maria, Limited, Streets, Indian, Rank and File, Forty Thieves, and a personal favorite, Roosevelt at San Juan.
It’s a great way to pass the time and enjoy some card-playing strategy.
12. Devil’s Grip
Devil’s Grip is a card game that’s recommended for players aged 8 and up.
To play Devil’s Grip, grab two regular decks (without aces). Lay out three rows of eight cards face up, and keep the rest in a face-down pile as your draw deck.
The aim is to create piles in this order:
- 2, 5, 8, J
- 3, 6, 9, Q
- 4, 7, 10, K
Feel free to move cards around to make organizing the piles easier. Stack your cards in the right spots, filling in gaps from the draw deck.
Once you can’t make any more stacks, draw cards in sets of three to try and complete the order.
Accordion is an easy game with a simple goal: get all 52 cards into one pile. You lay the cards in a row and match them either by suit or value.
You can only match the most recent card with the one right to its left or the one with three cards to the left.
Keep going until you’ve used up the whole deck. Challenge yourself to see how few piles you can make each time you play.
It’s a game of matching and organizing!
Osmosis is a special kind of solitaire where you only match suits; the order of the cards doesn’t matter.
Start with a regular 52-card deck and lay down four face-up piles of four cards each. Then, deal one card face up next to the top row.
Your goal is to match the suit of that card with any of the cards in your four piles, creating foundation piles for each suit. You can only play a card with the same numerical value as one in the foundation above it.
For example, if your first foundation has a five, jack, ace, and two hearts, you can only use one of those cards to start the second foundation row in a different suit.
Pyramid is a card game we all love, next to the usual solitaire. It’s played with a full deck, and the goal is to build a pyramid with the cards.
You start with one card facing up, then add two cards on top, then three, and so on until you have seven face-up cards.
The objective is to clear the entire pyramid by pairing cards that add up to 13.
Remember, jacks are 11, queens are 12, and kings are 13 (and they don’t need a match to be removed). Keep the remaining deck face-down as your stockpile.
Single player card games are an excellent way to engage your mind and have some strategic fun, especially when you’re alone.
So, the next time you’re looking for a solo adventure, grab a deck of cards and play on.