~ 3 Minutes

How to Play Poker Solitaire: Step by Step Guide

Poker Solitaire, also called Poker Patience or Poker Squares, is an interesting solitaire game. It takes less time to play, and you can either play it professionally or pass time with it. To understand how this game is played, you should know how poker hands are ranked;

  • Straight flush- a straight and has same suit cards.
  • Four of a kind can also be referred to as quads.
  • Full house- combines three of a kind and one pair.
  • Flush- contains five similar suit cards.
  • Straight- features five cards arranged consecutively. For instance, Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack.
  • Three of a kind- sometimes called trips. These are three cards of a similar rank.
  • Two pair- pairs of two cards of one rank and another two of a different rank like two 6s of diamonds and two 8s of clubs.
  • One pair- two cards of one rank, e.g., two fives of a heart or a 9 and Queen of spades.

Setting Up

You play with the standard deck of 52 cards where you randomly deal 25 cards from this pack. These cards are put in an imaginary 5 by 5 grid’s left side. When playing, your goal is to make ten hands of poker, five in a row and five in a column. You should also ensure that you score as many points as you can. This game is won when a player scores two hundred points or 45-50, depending on the scoring used. Scores are given to particular hands. Let’s see what score each hand carries;

  • One pair- 1
  • Two Pairs- 3
  • Flush- 5
  • Three of a kind- 6
  • Full House- 10
  • Straight- 12
  • Four of a kind-16
  • Straight flush-30
  • Royal flush-30

However, note that this is a UK scoring chart. The US and Barry’s scoring feature different points.

Poker Solitaire Gameplay

Start by turning one face-up card, then proceed to the next. You can build your grid going up or down to the right or left, depending on what you prefer. However, remember that while you can place any card in the grid, you can also expand your grid in any direction. What’s essential is for the cards to touch each other, whether adjacently or diagonally. Also, note that once a card has been moved to a slot, that’s it. Therefore, make sure that you place the cards strategically.

If you are using Barry’s scoring, we advise laying out straights in one direction, either horizontally or vertically, and place four of a kind or full houses in the other direction. Having straights in horizontal rows will motivate you to place cards by themselves or with number five less or five more than those cards. As such, your straights will have a better formation.

Rows and columns on your grid represent a poker hand. Rows or columns with the better hand earn players a better score. For instance, one with straight is better than a row or column with three of a kind. Aim at increasing your overall score even as you fill the grid.

If you encounter an unplayable card, start a junk row or column for such cards.

Once you are done playing, you can decide to re-arrange the cards to help you score additional points. However, this works best for those with a straight flush as they can rack numbers of high value.

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