Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

Klondike solitaire is without doubt the most popular and commonly played forms of solitaire. There are some variations on the game, and today we’re going to look at the variation known as Turn 3. The differences between this and the more common Turn 1 solitaire may seem trivial at first, but they can make a big difference to how you play the game. It’s a little bit trickier than ordinary Turn 1 in a couple of ways. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on how to play and win at Turn 3 solitaire, then you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into it. 

What is Klondike Solitaire Turn 3? 

Klondike Solitaire, first of all, is the most common form of solitaire with which you are undoubtedly familiar. It’s the version of the game that is most commonly played, and which follows the typical ordinary rules. What makes Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 different from this ordinary version is primarily how dealing from the reserve pile works. 

In ordinary, or Turn 1, Klondike solitaire, one card at a time is dealt from the reserve pile. In this variation, three cards are dealt from the reserve pile at a time, with only the one at the top being available for play. The rules, other than that, are more or less the same, but even this small variation can mean the way you have to play ends up being very different. 

History of Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 became popular towards the end of the 19th Century. Though the more common form of the game today is Turn 1, as best we can tell it appears that turn 3 was in fact the original form of the game. 

The earliest written rules we have for the game that we know as Klondike come from a 1907 edition of Hoyle’s Games. Hoyle’s Games was the authority on the rules of games like this, and in this book, Klondike is called Seven-Card Klondike. In this edition, it’s described as a simpler version of a different game called Klondike–but this “Klondike” is actually what we would now call Canfield Solitaire. 

It wasn’t until 1913 that a rulebook was published with the variation that you should deal only one card from the stock instead of three. So, in many ways, Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 was the original form of what we now call Klondike Solitaire. 

Interesting facts about Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

  • While the origin of the name is far from completely clear, it’s widely believed it came from the Klondike region of Canada famed for the gold rush that occurred there between 1896 and 1899. 
  • The inclusion of Klondike Solitaire in the Microsoft Windows OS in the 1990s contributed immeasurably to its modern day popularity. 
  • While exiled to the island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte himself is said to have played solitaire to pass the time. 
  • The odds of winning a given game of Klondike solitaire are generally around 1 in 30, and this is slightly reduced for Turn 3. 
  • The word “solitaire” derives from the Latin word solitarius, and originally meant solitary, isolated, or lonely. It was not until 1746 that it referred to a card game you would play on your own. 

Rules of Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

The rules of Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 are simple. You will start with seven tableaus, each with the top card facing up and being available for play. From right to left, the tableaus will hold seven cards, then six, five and so on until there is only a single card on the leftmost tableau. At the top you will have four foundations, empty to start with, that you must fill to complete the game. 

In the top left hand corner, you will have a stock pile. You can turn three cards from this reserve at a time to make the top of those cards available for play, but you can see what all three cards are. If you are able to play the top one, that makes the next of the three available for play. Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 can be tough, but whether you’re a beginner or a veteran player, you’ll be able to pick it up.

With all of the basics covered, let’s look at how to play the game. 

How to play Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

Step 1: The first step in a game of Klondike turn 3 solitaire is to survey your tableaus. You always want to free up the face down cards in the tableau before removing cards from the stock pile. Start by looking at your tableau and moving around any cards you can to reveal the cards underneath. If you have any aces, place them into the foundations. 

Step 2: Once you’ve made all the moves you can with your starting tableau, you can look at the stock pile. Every time you take a card from the stock pile, there will appear tree cards, making the top one available for play. Be strategic about how you move things out of the stock pile. One thing that’s tricky about this particular variant of Klondike is that you may only be able to play every third card from the tableau. If there are no cards on a tableau, you can only move a king into that free space. When to do this is a key part of the strategy. 

Step 3: Cards can only be placed in strict sequence. A card on the tableau must be placed on a card one above it in value, and of the alternating color. So, for instance, a five of hearts could only be placed on a six of clubs or spades. Build up your sequences this way, freeing up cards that you can, then move into the foundations. 

Step 4: You can flick through the reserve pile as many times as you wish. Remember, Klondike solitaire gives you relatively low odds of winning. There are varying levels of difficulty in draws, and not every deal is winnable. It’s easy to get yourself stuck if you aren’t careful, so remember to take your time with every move – there’s a reason this game is also called patience! 

Step 5: Continue freeing up cards in the reserve pile so that you can build up your sequences and make every card that you need available for play. Build up your foundations by suit until everyone is full. 

How to win Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

The aim of Klondike solitaire turn 3 is to build up your foundations starting with aces through to king. Again, this may sound simple, but with the way the sequences work it can be very easy to get yourself stuck. The most important tip to keep in mind to ensure your victory is to take it slow. Let’s look at some of the top tips for winning Klondike Solitaire turn 3. 

1. Once you’ve placed a card in the tableau, you won’t be able to move it except to the foundation or another point in the tableau. Prematurely moving a card into the tableau before the ideal time is one of the main ways players end up getting stuck. This is one of the most important things to remember. Avoid the impulse to move a card into the tableau as soon as you see that you can. Just because a card can be moved into the tableau doesn’t always mean it should be. 

2. Another thing to remember is that just because you’ve placed a card in the foundation doesn’t mean you’re done with it. It may be necessary to move it back out so that you can free up cards in a tableau or even from the stock pile. 

3. Make sure to distribute tableaus evenly. Don’t build up a huge sequence on a single tableau while leaving the other tableaus empty. This gives you the best chance of freeing up as many cards as possible and prevents you from getting stuck. 

4. Do your best to avoid emptying any piles without an available king. Placing kings into empty piles can be one of the most important strategic moves of the game, so it’s one you should take the most time to consider.

Ultimately, remember that Klondike Turn 3 Solitaire is a game of luck, skill and strategy. You can always get very lucky in any deal, but you want to be sure that every move is a strategic one. 


Solitaire is a game that’s easy to pick up but which can be difficult to master. For the beginner or the veteran there can be many common questions about the game’s basics and how it compares with other forms of solitaire. Let’s answer them now. 

What is the difference between Turn 3 and Turn 1 Solitaire? 

In terms of the rules, the only difference between Turn 3 and Turn 1 solitaire is how drawing from the stock pile works. In Turn 1 solitaire, you only draw one card at a time from the stock pile. In Turn 3, you turn three cards at a time, even though you are only able to play the top one. 

This simple rule change can mean a lot of difference in play, though. Your strategizing can be very different as you do not have the same freedom in the deck that you have with Turn 1. 

Is Turn 1 or Turn 3 Solitaire harder? 

It’s generally agreed that Turn 3 is the harder version to play. The difference may seem somewhat trivial at first, but you must remember that in both forms of the game you will have the same number of cards in the stock pile. This means that, in Turn 3, you will only be able to play every third card in the stock pile unless you can free up the ones beneath. 

This means that you have fewer cards available to you in Turn 3, making it a harder game to play. Again, though, different deals have different levels of difficulty, so a given deal of Turn 1 Klondike may wind up being harder than a given deal of Turn 3. In general, though, Turn 3 is certainly trickier. 

Are there other variations? 

Klondike generally is the most popular form of patience, so unsurprisingly there are many versions of the game. There is a U.S. variant called Agnes, in which cards are dealt from the stock in piles of seven, all of which are available for play. 

You don’t even have to play Klondike solitaire with a traditional deck of cards. Some play with a tarot deck, which features 78 cards. There are two ways of doing this, either with five or six foundations. 

Double solitaire is a variant of the game meant for two players. The players cannot play to each other’s tableaus, but they do share foundations.