Cryptologic solitaire


Dormant account
Apr 4, 2005
This game is interesting because it is different and greatly determined by skill. I am not really a solitaire player, but I wonder if anyone has determined the long-term return of their game, where you buy the pack for $1.04 (or multiples of, up to $52), and get paid $0.10 for every card you get into the foundations (meaning that 11 or more cards gives you a profit).

Unlike traditional casino games it's pretty hard to tell what the house edge is, so it's hard to tell how bad (or good) a bet it really is.

Anybody got anything on it?
I've played it some and wasn't as successful as I have been after playing Windows Solitaire, but it's all short-run and I'm sure it's coincidental.

The Wizard of Odds mentions that he hasn't done any analysis on it. The following website claims its strategy wins 18 out of 20 times -- it's nowhere near that reliable, but it's still good Klondike strategy. From my (limited) experience, in the long run, Solitare is generally a poor bet for the player.

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Another decent Klondike strategy guide:

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You should try play the Vegas version of Solitaire on your computer first, just to get the feel of things. My experience has been that it's a losing proposition, although I'm unsure exactly what the house edge would be (most likely the improbability of reordering randomly-shuffled cards into a particular sequence).
I played this at some lower stakes to get the hang of it, jacked it up and actually WON (cleared the deck) at $52 for a $250 win... yeeah!! Before giving it all back. :)

I didn't really have a clue about strategy and was just trying to use common sense.

One "cheat" I found that might be of help: When you deal a new card from the deck you can use "Undo" to put it back, so you can peek at the next card before deciding what to do.

I also found it helpful to write down down every card that was dealt and buried, for subsequent reference.

Even if the casino edge is pretty awful, the game still has one big advantage -- it takes a long time if you're trying to play correctly. So you'll probably still lose less money than a "good" game like blackjack at comparable stakes. :)
I used to play this game a lot on Windows, keeping track of my bankroll. I was always down. When I joined a cytpto, I thought I would play a bit, and still the same results. My roomie enjoys playing, so she plays the lowest limit and always ends up losing. Of course, it helps (a bit) to clear the monthly bonus and doesn't cost very much... Usually we get back at least .40 from 1.04, sometimes more, sometimes less. Compared to losing $5 on a hand of Pai Gow, it can seem good, LOL! It does give a lot of play for the buck, if you enjoy playing the game. I do believe it has a very high house advantage....

I'll check out those strategy links, I never realized there was any sort of strategy involved, other than not covering up certain low cards and not moving a stack until you get a knig to fill the spot...

Some of the tournament gaming sites have klondike. The deck is stacked so that you can actually win. However, it is a MUCH different game! They time you and you get more points for playing really fast. A voice tells you if you miss a play, that makes me nervous and makes me miss even more! LOL! At least you can play for free....
I tried Solitaire when it first appeared at Intercasio - and at first thought it was quite good. Unfortunately I had a very lucky deal in my first few games, and cleared the board for $50.
But of course, after that it was total crap, and I lost a packet! :(
I also could not work out why anyone would ever want to play the 1-card at a time version. That is even crapper!
I would imagine the house edge is something like 65%!

I would put this game in the same category as Crypto's so-called 'fruit machines' - do not touch with the worlds longest barge pole - unless you are desperate to throw your money away! :eek:
I think perfect solitaire strategy is impossible unless somebody comes up with an extremely clever idea. Even cards at the bottom of the deck may influence what you need to do now, so you would need to optimise over all possible permutations of the cards.

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