Thursday, June 13, 2013

Solitaire History And Solitaire Today

Solitaire, or Patience as it is sometimes known, is a game played by the player alone, without any other players involved.  The game is usually played with a standard deck of cards, or two are sometimes used, with all the suits and numbers represented.  While the rules of Solitaire may vary slightly between different versions of the game, the basic premise is for the player to arrange the cards in a certain way until a desired sequence is reached.  Solitaire, which means ‘solitary’ in French, has a long and interesting history.

French Impact on Solitaire
Perhaps the most famous historical figure to be associated with the game of Solitaire is Napoleon Bonaparte.  Evidence exists that the Little General whiled away many lonely hours playing this card game which was so popular in his days, while he was in exile at St. Helena.  Some have gone so far as to say that Bonaparte actually invented Solitaire, although this is merely anecdotal and no proof exists.  What can safely be said is that the French loved their game of Solitaire, which was also known as La Belle Lucie and Le Cadran.  Over the years, the English have come to call the game Patience.

Solitaire Mentioned in Literature
While we know that Solitaire was already considered a common game in the 17th century, there is no evidence of the game’s rules in literature from that time.  The first time we find Solitaire rules in literature is in the book entitled A Collection of the Card Layouts Usually Known as Grand-Patience, loosely translated from its original Russian title and published in 1826.  Around 50 years later, Lady Adelaide Cadogen’s book, The Illustrated Book of Patience was published, with several editions following suit.
Over the years, Solitaire has been mentioned in many works of popular literature, including Tolstoy’s War and Peace and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

The Rise of Spider Solitaire
While the rules of Solitaire remained quite the same for many years, a new version, Spider Solitaire created the biggest impact to the game seen over the course of its history.  Around the mid 1900’s, game rule books started listing Spider Solitaire, named for the eight sequences in the game.  The popularity of Spider Solitaire propelled the game into mainstream acceptance and even President FD Roosevelt was said to be a keen fan of this version.

Solitaire Today
While Solitaire has always been enjoyed by players around the world who only needed a deck of cards to challenge themselves, the advent of computer games changed the face of Solitaire forever.  The earliest games played on computers involved different versions of Solitaire, and as computer graphics and software improved, so too did the many different options available to fans of the game.  The internet has brought Solitaire to the fingertips of millions of players who enjoy the game in download format or instantly off the browser.

Today, Solitaire can be played for free or real money at multiple sites, where Solitaire tournaments, chat games and other features make this game even more enjoyable.

While we can’t pinpoint exactly when the game of Solitaire was invented, we do know that it has managed to make a smooth transition from being a classic, solitary card game to the world of the internet where players meet other likeminded fans of the game and hang out at Solitaire themed online gaming sites.  Today, the internet also gives players access to different variants of Solitaire, including their rules, which they may not have come across without the easy availability of information.
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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: iStock

This solitary game was first associated with Napoleon Bonaparte, but has built a reputation for itself for being one of the most played gamed in history! Play Solitaire alone with a deck of cards or online in a thriving community. Denise Marie really enjoys writing about casino games.  Denise's article is for educational purposes only. More on the history of Solitaire

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