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GOALS | RULES | CONTROLS | SCORING | STRATEGY | DID YOU KNOW?

Game Goals

Move all 35 cards from the tableau to the waste pile.

Game Rules

The playing area is composed of the tableau, the draw pile, and the waste pile:

35 cards are dealt into the tableau, in 7 columns of 5 cards each. The remaining 17 cards become the draw pile. The top card in the draw pile is revealed to start the waste pile.

Move free cards from the tableau to the waste pile. A free card in the tableau is one which is not covered by another card. You can play any free card which is either one higher or one lower than the top card in the waste pile. For example, if the top card in the waste pile was a 10, you could move any 9 or any Jack onto it. The colors and suits of the cards do not matter. Aces are both high and low. That is, Aces can be played on top of both Kings and 2's, and vice versa.

If you have no moves that you can make from the tableau, draw a new card from the draw pile, and continue.

Your game clock starts out at 3 minutes and begins counting down as soon as the cards are dealt.

The game ends when all cards have been moved from the tableau to the waste pile, or when time runs out, or when all cards have been used from the draw pile and there are no moves remaining.

Our proprietary difficulty-rating system has rated nearly 3 million card shuffles for Golf Solitaire. Everyone in a given tournament will receive a shuffle with the same difficulty rating.

Game Controls

Click any free card in the tableau. If it is a legal move, the card will move to the waste pile. Or, you can type "1" through "7", corresponding to the numbers engraved over each column in the tableau.

To turn over the next card in the draw pile, click on it, or hit the space bar on your keyboard.

You can use the Undo button in the lower left corner to take back one move. You cannot Undo the turning over of a card from the draw pile.

You can select your choice of card deck and card back before you start playing the game. Click the Customize button that appears next to the Start button. Golf Solitaire includes a special golf-themed card deck!

Game Scoring

Your score is displayed in the lower left corner of the playing area, and is simply 25 points for each card you move to the waste pile. In addition, there is a time bonus, based on the following formula:

Time Bonus = ( TR/180 ) x ( C/35 ) x 1000

Where TR is the time remaining on the clock (in seconds) and C is the number of cards moved to the waste pile. Thus, the highest possible score is a base score of 875 and a time bonus of 1000, for a total of 1875 (but achieving such a score would mean finishing the game in less than a second!)

Example 1:
You get all 35 cards to the draw pile, ending the game with 50 seconds left on the clock.

Score = 35 x 25 + ( 50/180 ) x ( 35/35 ) x 1000 = 875 + (.2777)(1)(1000) = 1152

Example 2:
You get 32 cards to the draw pile, ending the game with 90 seconds left on the clock.

Score = 32 x 25 + ( 90/180 ) x ( 32/35 ) x 1000 = 800 + (.5)(.9143)(1000) = 1257

Game Strategy

Make the longest sequence you can. Examine the non-free cards in the tableau for sequences you'll be able to make once the cards blocking them have been removed. For example, instead of just making a 6-7-8 sequence, you may be able to make a 6-5-6-7-8 sequence.

Everything else being equal, always take a card from the column with more cards in it.

Did You Know?

  • Golf Solitaire got its name because your score in Golf Solitaire can be considered to be the number of cards left in the tableau and, as in real golf, a lower score is better.
  • Some people consider 4 cards left in the tableau to be "par" - if you have less than 4 cards left, you are "under par", and if you have more than 4 cards left, you are "over par".
  • Some people will play 18 games of Golf Solitaire, totaling the scores for the 18 games, to simulate playing a round of golf.

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