Solitaire and patience games

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Solitaire is a game of cards played by one person, the object of the game is to sort the cards in a specific manner according to a set of rules. There are many variations of the game solitaire including Klondike, Canfield and FreeCell. Solitaire seems to have originated in Germany or the Scandinavian countries, the term is derived from the French word solitaire, meaning alone, lonely. Solitaire is the North American word for this card game. The word solitaire is also used to describe a single gem or a ring set with a single gem.

Patience game is another name for the game of solitaire, mostly used in British English, though the word solitaire is becoming more popular world-wide. Presumably the term patience game comes from the fact that playing takes an enormous amount of patience. Solitaire and patience games originated as divination games with playing cards, today these games are purely for amusement and are mostly played on computer screens rather than with physical playing cards.


The app, described by developers as “the most diabolical version of solitaire” ever created, is the brainchild of an unexpected novice game developer – former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 84. (The Telegraph)

Solitaire is just enough thinking and enough routine to occupy my left brain, allowing more space for my right brain to breathe. (The Huffington Post)

The jeweler behind the giant round solitaire diamond on a diamond-studded band is none other than Ben Baller, a friend of Rob’s since they were teens. (People Magazine)

One-player card games are called patience games. (The Guardian)

I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of Spider Patience games I’ve played, or the hours spent idly surfing. (Wight Magazine)