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Solitaire History


The first indication of playing cards was in the 10th century in China. There are no particulars about their scores or how cards were played. The initial familiar indication of the cards was in Europe (imported from Mamluks of Egypt). They achieved recognition in Italy and Spain in the 1370s. During that time, playing cards were costly to because of the workmanship entailed in painting cards. Playing cards ultimately spread around the globe through trade routes as well as were utilized by upper classes. In early 15th century, wood-block printing was emerged in Germany. This reduced the cost for the deck of the cards. The cost was driven even lower while the French started to generate the decks by painting over stencils. This method resulted in shortened suit marks that became the standard marks globally.

Solitaire is usually referred to as patience in some countries like France, Germany, England and Poland). Card solitaire initiated in the 18th century in Baltic area of Europe, perhaps as a type of fortune-telling. The source might lie in the curiosity of cartomancy (tarot). The outline of both the games is similar. At present there are lots of different solitaires on record, though the variations could be classified into some basic types.

The bulk of solitaire games show 2 or more of following constituents:
  • A place for the stacks of cards, built on numerical order (usually in the similar suit) in the series of ace to the kings recognized as foundation cards.
  • A stock of the shuffled cards (or 2 decks) which are utilized to construct the proper series by turning card over one by one.
  • A tableau or layout of the cards which cannot be added to building stacks that is briefly stored.
  • A waste pile, of thrown face up cards from stock that could no longer be played.

The most renowned and played solitaire game is known as Klondike (also recognized as Canfield in England). This game is element of standard software package which comes with the computers.

Like the cause of playing cards, origin of solitaire is mainly unidentified since there are no past records to bear it. A few scholars believe that these types of games are mainly French in the origin as early English language books regarding patience games denote French literature, as could be seen in names of a few games in English books like La Belle Lucie, Le Loi Salique, Le Cadran, La Nivernaise and many more.

Napoleon was even believed to have "played patience" (solitaire) in his exile. A few solitaire games were named after him, like Napoleon at St. Helena and Napoleon's Square. However whether he played those games or in fact invented them is not identified.

The initial compilation of solitaire card games in English language is credited to Lady Adelaide Cadogan by her Illustrated Games of Patience, printed in around 1870 as well as reprinted a number of times. Prior to this, there was no literature regarding solitaire, not even in the books like Charles Cotton's Compleat Gamester (in 1674), Bohn's Handbook of the Games (1850) and Abb? Bellecour's Academie des Jeux (1674), all of which are utilized as a reference on the card games.

Lady Cadogan's book produced other collections like Patience by E. D. Cheney, Amusements for the Invalids by Annie B. Henshaw (in 1870), as well as afterwards Dick's Games of Patience, printed by Dick and Fitzgerald. Additional books regarding solitaire written towards end of 19th century were by H. E. Jones (also known as Cavendish), Angelo Lewis (also known as Professor Hoffman), Ernest Bergholt and Basil Dalton.


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