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Solitaire Was Developed For Microsoft In 1989 By An Intern

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 player wins the game of Solitaire.
  • 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.
  • In 2012, Microsoft evolved Solitaire into the Microsoft Solitaire Collection. These changes feature five of the top Solitaire games in one app. Since then, the game has been played by over 242 million people.
  • In 2020, National Solitaire Day gained quite a bit of traction when it set its own record for the most number of solitaire games played in one day.
  • Solitaire was developed for Microsoft in 1989 by … an intern
  • 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.
  • The highest score you can earn in the standard version of Microsoft Solitaire is 24,113.
  • The first reference to the term “solitaire” in the Oxford English Dictionary was recorded in 1801.
  • According to Usman Latif of TechUser.net, 1 in 400 Solitaire games are unsolvable. Three factors play into a game that you can’t win, according to Latif:
    • No aces are in the fifteen playable cards
    • None of the seven playable cards in the row stacks can be moved to a different row stack.
    • None of the eight playable cards in the deck can be moved to any of the seven row-stacks.
  • So, as it turns out, most games are lost because of user error.
  • The word solitaire comes from Latin solitarius. 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.
  • 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?
  • There are professional solitaire players. Yes, it’s a thing! Esports isn’t news to us but professional solitaire players? They can earn up to $250,000 a year in online competitions.
  • There are more variations of solitaire than any other card game. Other formats include classic, spider, pyramid, freecell, and dash solitaire games.
  • Solitaire games first emerged in the Baltic region in the 18th century, possibly as a form of fortune-telling.
  • The oldest known collection of patience game instructions was published in Russia, in 1826.
  • Charles Dickens references a game of patience in his famous novel, Great Expectations.
  • Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, was a keen solitaire player.
  • There’s an 80% chance of Solitaire games being winnable. For other variants of Solitaire, like FreeCell and Pyramid, the chances of winning are 99% for Freecell, whereas if you are looking for more of a challenge, Pyramid offers only a 0.5 to 5.5% chance of winning.
  • It is fascinating that until 2019, mathematicians around the world couldn’t compute how to dominate a game of Solitaire. This shockingly interesting equation known as the ’embarrassment of mathematics’ was finally addressed by a PC program called Solvitaire; decades after the game’s release.

Microsoft Solitaire Collection is available as a free download from the WindowsiPhone, and Android App Stores.


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