The Best One Player Card Games Both Kids & Adults Will Love

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As we are a homeschool of one, we have to find ways for our son to play on his own. I can’t occupy him all the time! So we have played a lot of one player card games over the years. These are the best one player card games we both love to play.

If you are looking for other one player games for kids check out over 20 of our favorite board games.

The best one-player card game that I know, was one that was taught to me many years ago. In fact, I introduced it to my son and he now loves it too. This game may have other names, but I have never come across it anywhere else. So for now, it will be known as Chinese Patience.

one player card games

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One Player Card Games

Our favorite playing cards are Theory 11, as you can see below we have the Star Wars Darkside edition. But they also make Marvel, Harry Potter, plus lots more. Check out Theory 11 for yourself, but the quality and pictures are excellent. They make a perfect stocking stuffer for kids and adults!

Chinese Patience

Chinese patience is played with one deck of cards, with all jokers removed.

chinese patience

It is much simpler than Solitaire, in that it doesn’t require as much space for its layout. 

One simply shuffles the deck and lays down three rows of three cards, face up. Once the initial nine cards are laid down, then the idea of the game is to start finding two cards from any suit, that add up to thirteen.

For example, a seven and a six will add up to thirteen, as will a ten and a three, or a five and an eight. Incidentally, the aces are worth eleven just so that the two will have some company.

When a pair of cards that add up to thirteen are spotted, the game gets underway and you must cover them up with fresh cards from the deck. In other words, the purpose of the game is to keep on finding as many combinations as possible in order to reduce the cards in your hand, to zero.

What about the court cards? Well, when one comes across a set of Royal cards; Jack, Queen, and King (any suit), then they must be covered up as well. But, be careful not to exceed the limit and cover all four combinations of court cards before the game is done, otherwise, the final outcome will not add up at all.

There is no cheating in this game, as you will only have yourself to answer to and besides, if and when the cards are exhausted from your hand, there should be three court cards remaining, accompanied by three sets of cards that add up to thirteen.

Solitaire

One player card game - solitaire

When thinking of one-player card games, the first game that comes to mind is without a doubt solitaire.

Solitaire is a great game, whether you’re attempting to pass the time during a power outage or you’re playing a game on your computer while waiting for those last five minutes of your workday to go by.

During a game of solitaire, it’s just you against the deck of cards.

There are several ways in which to play the game of solitaire. Some play using a points system per game. Some choose to see each match as an individual game of win or lose. Sometimes solitaire is played in a manner that allows the player to use each card in the stack. Some solitaire players choose to use a three-card draw which allows the player to use only every third card from the stack.

To set up a game of solitaire, the player lays out seven cards in a straight line from left to right. The first card is placed face up. The next six cards are face down. Then the player places a card face up on the second card, and the next five face down. A face-up card is then added to the third pile, with the next four receiving face-down cards and so on until each stack shows one card face up. The remaining cards are placed in a stack face down near the seven stacks to be played.

The goal of solitaire is to establish four stacks, separated by suite. Each suite is then played numerically. For instance, if you have the ace of spades, your next play would be the two of spades, and so on. Cards within the seven stacks can be played on top of one another with any suite as long as they’re of a decreasing number sequence and different suite color. In other words, red can only be played on black and black can only be played on red.

Also, if you’re stack is showing a 10, you’re looking to play 9, 8, 7, etc…

Once the player is unable to make any further plays on the cards, the game is over. If the player gets all four suits in numerical order, the player wins. Sometimes this game can become quite a challenge.

Although you’re the only player in solitaire, try not to be tempted to cheat. Beating the deck fair and square is often very self-satisfying.

Pairs – One Player Card Games

After shuffling a standard 52-card deck, place the first eight cards face-up on the table. If there are any pairs showing on the board, cover them with the next two cards in the stock and continue until you run out of pairs or run out of the deck.

one player card games solitaire

The goal is to exhaust the deck entirely, leaving eight piles of cards to face up on the table at the end of the game. If you exhaust the deck, you are victorious. If you have no pairs on the board, the game is over.

Another way to play is to place the cards down and as soon as a pair comes up, you cover it up. For example, the first and third cards could both be fours. You could cover both of these before you lay the card for the fourth pile. You then continue lying cards down until you have two rows of four piles and there are either no more pairs on the board or the cards are exhausted.

Another variation of the game would be to lay down more than eight piles of cards. This drastically increases your chances of winning. Since there are thirteen different cards in each suit, the closer you get to thirteen piles leaves the smaller percentage of unmatched cards on the board. Obviously, fewer than eight piles would have the reverse effect, making it much more difficult to win. Eight piles, though, seem to be the best number of piles for this game. It makes it so that you do not win every time, but still have a good chance.

The game is very simple. However, it feels really good when the cards slowly leave your hand and gradually make large piles on the table. The skill involved is next to none, but sometimes it is nice to just sit back and relax and play some cards with yourself, while not having to think too hard.

Last Updated on 5 June 2022 by homeschoolof1

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