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How To Play Scorpion Solitaire
The game of Solitaire has a unique history that dates back to the 18th century. Solitaire is also known as Patience, Kabal, and Success, among many other names. Although Solitaire is a single-player game to pass the time alone, it has roots as a competitive sport. Competing players would challenge each other for the fastest times, or most cards cleared.
Variations of Solitaire are as numerous as its names. The most famous variety of Solitaire is Klondike, included with early versions of Windows. Microsoft chose Klondike Solitaire for its simple rules and pick-up-and-play nature. However, those looking for a more formidable challenge might prefer Scorpion Solitaire.
This guide will explore Scorpion’s fascinating Solitaire variation, named for its challenging gameplay and risky maneuvers. Learn about this unique version below, and test your mettle alone or play against your friends.
Basics of Scorpion Solitaire
If you’ve played other variations of Solitaire, such as Klondike, learning Scorpion Solitaire will be easy since there are some similarities. Like other versions, Scorpion Solitaire begins with a standard deck of 52 cards. The goal is similar: to move all of your cards to the top four spaces called foundation piles, just as in Klondike.
You accomplish this goal by stacking the cards in the main play area, called the tableau. We will explain the particulars of stacking in the rules section, but first, we need to deal with the cards.
To begin, separate the jokers, and any guarantee cards from your deck and shuffle the cards. You can remove as many as three suits from play for an easier game or play with all four suits for a real challenge!
Deal seven cards in a horizontal row. The setup is similar to Klondike but not identical. In Scorpion Solitaire, you deal four cards face down in the row, and the remaining three cards are face up.
- Repeat the procedure twice more, dealing four cards face down and three face up in cascading rows below each column.
- Next, deal the fourth row entirely face up, and repeat this three additional times.
- When completed, you should have seven rows and seven columns of cards, with twelve cards facing down and thirty-seven cards facing up.
The three cards remaining in your deck are called the stock. These cards come into play when you are not able to move any cards currently on the playfield. For now, place the stock in the upper left corner of your tableau, above the card in column one. Keep the stock cards face down without looking at them.
Rules of Scorpion Solitaire
The goal of Scorpion Solitaire is to move all of the cards on the tableau, including your stock cards, into the four foundation piles. Each foundation pile is separated by suit and arranged from King down to Ace.
You make moves on your tableau similar to Klondike with a few key differences. You must build cards downwards in descending order: K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.
In Scorpion Solitaire, you must place cards onto matching suits; clubs on clubs, hearts on hearts, diamonds on diamonds, spades on spades. You can move any face-up card as long as you move all descending cards along with it.
If a column becomes empty, you may fill the vacant column with a King of any suit and begin building downward as usual.
There is also a simpler ruleset that allows any card to fill an empty column. However, in standard play, only a King may fill the spot. If you are practicing for competitive play, we recommend only playing with the normal rules.
Using your stock
If, at any point, you have no playable moves on your tableau, you may use one card from your stock of three. Stock cards may be placed at the tail end of any column, regardless of suit. Once your stock is empty, if you still have no playable moves, then the game is over.
You can play all three stock cards in a single turn before checking for available moves, but doing so may unintentionally hinder an open play. The choice (and risk) is yours!
Building the foundations
You must arrange all four suits into their respective ranks from King to Ace to win the game. Once you have an entire column formed into a homogenous descending chain from King to Ace, you can move that column into its foundation pile. When all four foundation piles are complete, you have won the game.
Unlike Klondike, you can not move cards individually to the foundation piles (even if they are free). You can only move completed chains of King down to Ace.
Ready to Play?
Whether you play alone or with a friend, Scorpion Solitaire is a fun and challenging variation that will test your wits and skills. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to practice Scorpion or other versions, you can play Solitaire online anywhere, anytime. Compete for the fastest time or just for fun; Scorpion Solitaire is early to learn but hard to master. Don’t get stung!