How to Get a High Score in Solitaire: Advanced Tips and Tricks
Whether you’re new to Solitaire or are a long-time player, you’re likely curious about how to get a high score – or a higher score than you’re currently achieving.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some frequently asked questions about Solitaire scoring. Is it possible to get a perfect score in Solitaire? What’s the highest score ever achieved? What’s a good score to aim for? We’ll answer these questions and more, and offer you some tips and tricks to help you step up your Solitaire score.
How is Solitaire scored?
When you’re playing Solitaire online, the scoring criteria are usually consistent no matter where you play. The score rules are as follows:
- +5 points for every tableau card revealed
- +5 points for moving a card from the stockpile to the tableau.
- +10 points for moving a card from the tableau or the stockpile to the foundations.
- -15 points if you return a card from the foundations to your tableau.
- Finally, a full cycle through your entire stockpile incurs a penalty of -100 points to your total score.
Some versions of Solitaire feature scoring that’s based on your time as well. This method involves timing your game and assigning a score based on the speed of your gameplay.
The formula for this score is 700,000 points divided by the game length in seconds. For example, a 4-minute game of Solitaire would net about 2,196 points for your time.
What is a good score in Solitaire?
What makes a “good” score in Solitaire is subjective, and will vary depending on your skill level, the type of Solitaire played, and what you’re aiming for!
However, getting a high score in Solitaire requires you to play the game efficiently, without making excess moves. You’re going to want to avoid losing points as much as possible, as a single cycle through your stockpile can set you back dozens of moves.
For numerical scoring, a 500+ score is a good starting point for an “impressive” score, because it’s the threshold from which you’re officially in the upper 50% of players. It likely won’t be your highest score, not by a long shot, but it will be the start of consistently achieving higher and higher scores and a sign that your skills are improving!
If you’re more interested in time-based Solitaire scores, then a similar milestone in your progress will be when you begin achieving sub-5-minute game times.
Remember, a “good” score in Solitaire is a score that’s better than your last, so keep practicing!
What is the highest score in Solitaire?
The highest score that most Solitaire players will ever be able to reach is in the 900-1000 range. There are only so many cards to reveal and sort, so there’s an upper limit on the number of moves that even the most perfect Solitaire game can have.
Time-based Solitaire games also have impressive records. An incredible example of game speed was a German solitaire player known as Tscherni, who completed an entire round of Solitaire in five seconds! Such feats of superhuman speed are made possible with features of computer Solitaire, such as auto-play.
What score should I aim for in Solitaire?
The score you want to aim for in Solitaire is up to you! This will depend on a lot of factors, including your skill level and reason for playing Solitaire.
A good way to measure your improvement in the game is to focus on a single, specific aspect or skill that you’d like to improve upon. For example: If you want to up the efficiency of your moves, consider playing with a numeric score based on your plays. If you want to simply improve your speed, play and keep score based on the timer.
Keep track of your high scores and maybe even make note of how these games went, their beginning and how you adapted. Use your previous experience to enhance and enrich your strategies going forward.
How to get a higher score in Solitaire
There are many ways to augment your practice to improve your Solitaire skills further, no matter what your experience level or pre-existing skill set. Here are some tips to get your best score in Solitaire yet.
Understand Solitaire scoring
One of the simplest ways to improve your score is to simply understand how to construct your game for maximum point potential.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but you actually shouldn’t put cards straight from the stock pile into your foundations if possible. Moving a card to the tableau, then to foundations is almost always a free extra 5 points.
Don’t go flipping through the stock pile if you’re stuck, hoping that an idea for a move to make will come to you. Every time you recycle the entire waste back into the stockpile you lose a whopping 100 points, so you are going to want to be doing this as little as feasibly possible.
You can see from these two examples that simply understanding the way Solitaire is scored can make a big difference to the score you achieve at the end!
Practice makes perfect, after all! Truly the best way to get good at a skill or a hobby is to simply do it a lot. So play a lot, and feel free to experiment – not every game needs to be perfect, and it’s okay to have slower games that help you to try out new strategies.
Find the Solitaire variation that feels most comfortable for your experience level, whether that’s a single-card draw or Freecell, and play lots of rounds! The more comfortable you feel, the easier it will be to move on to more advanced games and scoring.
Play different Solitaire variations
Many Solitaire variations are a little easier to wrap your head around if you’re a newcomer to the game. Here are just a few of them.
One-card Klondike is a simpler and more accessible version of the classic Klondike Solitaire. Instead of drawing three cards every turn from the stockpile, you’ll simply draw one. This removes the often difficult situation for new players who find themselves unable to efficiently use all of the cards drawn during play, making their game feel stuck.
Freecell Solitaire removes hidden cards entirely and is a relaxing experience focused on sorting a complicated mess of a tableau – which can be incredibly satisfying!
Play slowly and consider each move
While lots of Solitaire games utilize your speed as a method of scoring, it can be beneficial to slow down a bit.
Unless you’re confident with making efficient plays at high speeds, you’re more likely to make mistakes rushing through the entire game chasing a high score. That’s why it’s critically important to recognize any gaps in experience to be able to fill them and improve.
The best way to improve your thinking for Solitaire is to consider your moves carefully, how they’ll affect the current state of the game, and take note of every time you realize that you could have made a move sooner. The undo button in many online Solitaire games is a fantastic tool for creating a comprehensive understanding of the trajectory of your game. Simply put, it helps you understand where you got stuck, and why you ended up stuck.
It's much easier to improve your game speed when you’re already confident in your moves. When efficient and calculated plays become second nature to you in most Solitaire setups, then it’s time to start the speed play!
Draw a card for your first move
There’s no disadvantage to drawing from your stockpile on your first turn. It’ll open up more options immediately and won’t cost you any points.
Use these cards to help set up further moves much sooner, and get to work revealing those hidden cards. They will be a significant chunk of your points and are vital to any successful Solitaire game.
Move cards from columns with the most hidden cards
Revealing cards rewards points for a good reason. Every hidden card you flip over progresses the game further and should be the first priority for all your matches.
Cards in tableau columns that have yet-to-be-uncovered cards need to be moved somewhere. Find a place to slot them away before adding more cards to the tableau – you’ll risk finding yourself stuck otherwise.
Get your highest Solitaire score yet!
With this information in mind, you should be well on your way to reaching higher or even perfect scores in your favorite Solitaire games! Remember to practice with us at 247 Solitaire to keep your skills sharp!
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