Golf Solitaire Strategy Guide

Golf Solitaire (Sometimes also referred to as Forty Thieves) is a fun solitaire game, requiring great anticipation, and a good degree of luck. Whilst it is not possible to win every game, there are certain strategies you can use to greatly increase your chances of winning Golf Solitaire, and this article will go into some of them.

The most important thing to realize with Golf Solitaire is that Kings and Aces are

special. Every other card in the deck can be removed onto cards ranked directly

above or below the card. For example, a 5 can be removed onto a 4 or a 6.

But Aces and Kings are different.

An Ace can only be removed onto a Two, and a King can only be removed onto a


This means you have to be particularly careful when you use Queen’s and


Because of this, the very first thing you should do when you start a game of Golf

Solitaire is to count all the Kings and Aces.

If all the Kings are in the tableau, then every time you remove a Queen, you MUST

make sure you also remove a King, or you wont be able to finish the game. And if a

Queen is dealt from the Talon, then you MUST remove a King straight away. If you

can’t, you may as well undo, or start a new game.

Similarly, if all four Aces are in the tableau, then every time you remove a Two, you

MUST make sure you also remove a Ace, and if a Two is dealt from the Talon, then

you must immediately remove an Ace.

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If all the Aces and Kings aren’t out, then you need to keep track of how many Two’s

and Queen’s have been dealt from the Talon. In this case you don’t need to use

every Two or Queen on a Ace or King, but if you keep track and work out that there

are not enough Two’s or Queens left to remove all the remaining Aces or Kings, then

it is time to undo…

Just being aware of this one facet of Golf Solitaire will immediately increase your

chances of winning. It takes about 5 seconds to count the Aces and Kings at the

start of the game, but it will help to dramatically improve your winning percentage!

There are other ways to further increase your chances of winning Golf


If you have a choice between removing two cards of the same rank, one being the

last card in it’s stack, and the other having cards above it, then make sure you

choose the card in the stack with cards above it. Removing the last card in the

stack will not help you to remove any other cards, but removing the card with

cards above it will expose new cards, which will help to form new sequences, and

will give you more options later in the game.

You should also look at which cards will be exposed when given a choice between

removing cards of equal value. There are two things to look for:

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1) Is the exposed card an Ace or a King? If so, it might be worthwhile exposing so it

can be removed if a Two or a Queen is dealt.

2) Does the exposed card help with any other potential sequences at the moment? If

so, then it may be worth exposing because it might help make a longer sequence

later. eg: If there are a lot of Fours and Sixes exposed at the moment, then exposing

a Five might be worthwhile.

Finally, it’s often worth planning out sequences, and playing around with

alternatives, to see how long a sequence you can make. You will often find that the

first sequence you can see in Golf Solitaire is not the best one, and a different

sequence might help you to remove a lot more cards. You may find it helps to point

your finger at the screen while planning out your sequence. It seems to help the

thinking process, and helps you to remember the sequence!

If you follow these strategies, will you win every game of Golf Solitaire?

No, you won’t. There is too much luck involved, and most games will not be


You will greatly increase your chances of winning Golf Solitaire though, and spend

less time trying to finish games which can’t possibly be won.


by Dan Fletcher