On May 22, National Solitaire Day recognizes a card game that has been around for more than 200 years.
- Also known as Klondike, the classic version of the game uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The object of the game is to clear the board by creating a stack of cards from low to high in each suit. If the player completes each suit, the game of Solitaire is won.
- It wasn’t until 1990 when Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows 3.0 that the game truly went viral. Microsoft Solitaire successfully helped teach computer users how to use a mouse and, in the process, ended up becoming one of the most played video games in history.
- “Over the past 30 years, Microsoft Solitaire has been providing great entertainment to hundreds of millions of players in every corner of the world, and we’re happy to announce that May 22 of each calendar year will officially be designated as National Solitaire Day, recognizing the day Microsoft first included Solitaire in Windows,” says Paul Jensen, Studio Manager for Microsoft Casual Games.
- Another name for Solitaire is Patience. If you’re going to hit “card games” on Google, the first result would be the game “Patience.” Did you know that this was another name for Solitaire? Most Americans know the game by solitaire but over in England it is popularly known as Patience. Different countries have a different term for the game. Réussite(direct translation success) in French, kabal(e) or kabala in Polish, Norweigan, and Icelandic, and pasjans in Polish.
- In 2012, Microsoft evolved Solitaire into the Microsoft Solitaire Collection, which features five of the top Solitaire games in one app. Since then, the game has been played by over 242 million people and has become so popular that each year 33 billion games are played with over 3.2 trillion cards dealt!
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection is available as a free download from the Windows, iPhone, and Android App Stores.
- Wes Cherry adapted the popular card game for Microsoft during his internship with the company. The game was included in Windows 3.0, which made its debut in 1990. It’s safe to say that any ’90s kid knows the familiar sight of the rounded, glass screen of the early Windows PCs, accompanied by the call of the glowing green game that could occupy hours of time.
- Microsoft Solitaire was a way to get people relaxed and excited about using the computer at home – and look where we are now! (Bonus fact: Solitaire has been pre-installed on every Windows operating system since Windows 3.0 – except Windows 8!)
- The highest score you can earn in the standard version of Microsoft Solitaire is 24,113. You get 10 points for each card added to an aces pile (aka “home stack”) and five points for each time you move a card from the deck to a column (correctly). There is a time bonus for games that last longer than 30 seconds (faster ones are not considered for scoring) based on the formula: 700,000 divided by the total time (in seconds) it took you to finish.
- The word solitaire comes from Latin solitarius. The word’s etymology can be traced back to the Latin and French language. Solitarius comes from two separate words: solitas and solus. Solitas means isolation and solus means alone or separated from others. By the 18th century, the word developed into solitaire, the English word we know today.