Top 17 Most Entertaining Single-Player Card Games

Single-Player Card Games - Cover Photo

Whenever I have trouble in not spending enough time with myself, and finding my own peace, card games always help. I don’t need anyone else to play, and there’s literally the most minimalistic equipment required: a deck of cards. Although it sounds strange to play something all alone, we’ll make it all possible & explain all the instructions meticulously! 

  • Card games played with a regular deck of cards:
  1. Solitaire;
  2. Devil’s Grip;
  3. Four Seasons;
  4. Pyramid;
  5. Accordion; 
  6. The Idiot;
  7. Roll Call;
  8. Memory;
  9. Cribbage Squares;
  10. Yukon;
  11. Hope;
  12. Clock;
  13. Gridcannon;
  14. Bowling Solitaire;
  • Card games played with a dedicated deck of cards:
  1. Palm Island;
  2. Friday;
  3. One Deck Dungeon;
  4. The Lord Of The Rings: Adventure Card Game;
  • Conclusion;

Card Games Played With A Standard Deck Of Cards

What’s better than finding games for solo players, which only need regular cards to play? Nothing, really. These games are simple, fun, and bring to you the most amazing single-player experience.

1. Solitaire

Solitaire

Using a 52-card deck, place one card face-up, and 6 more cards face-down in a row to the right. Add more cards on top, so you have 2 cards on the second pile, 3 cards on the third card, and so on. Turn the top card of each pile over and start placing one card on top of another, only if that card is 1 higher, and has a different color.

Continue moving cards until you get one Ace, which starts the foundation pile, then move cards of the same suit, in sequential order, on top of that Ace. If you’re stuck and have no card to play, turn over 3 cards of the remaining deck. Once you have another Ace of a different suit, you start the other foundation pile. Your goal on Solitaire is to make 1 pile per suit, which means 4 foundation piles of different suits.  

2. Devil’s Grip

Devil's Grip

Shuffle 2 decks of cards with Aces removed, and make 3 rows of 8 face-up cards. There are specific orders for each row. On the first row, there should be a sequence of 2, 5, 8, and J of the same suit. The second row should have 3, 6, 9, Q, and the last one should have a sequence of 4, 7, 10, K. You may swap any 2 cards you want between rows. You may also move one card on top of another if it fits the order.

For example, if you have a 3 on the second row, you may place a 6 of the same suit on top of it. When you move cards, you replace their empty space with the top card of the stockpile. The game continues until there are no moves left. 

3. Four Seasons

Four Seasons

You may also find this card game as Vanishing Cross. Start by placing 5 cards in a cross formation (tableaus), and four other cards in the corners, making the foundation piles. Keep the remaining cards in your hand, so you can start playing them into the discard pile. You may add cards into the foundation piles, only if they’re in sequential order, starting from Ace to King. You can move cards between tableaus, depending on the cards’ values, no matter the suit. Here’s the twist: the rank of the first card on an empty foundation pile and the rank of the card placed in the initial layout must match. As you learned already, the goal is to move all your cards into foundation piles. 

4. Pyramid

Pyramid

Make a pyramid of 28 faceup cards, starting with 7 cards on the bottom, ending with 1 on top, and place the remaining cards aside. The pyramid is one of the phases of Ride The Bus. In the game, you aim to discard cards that add up to 13. You may combine cards from the pyramid rows, or the draw pile. Keep in mind that Aces are worth 1 point, Jacks 11 points, Queens 12 points, and Kings 13. Various combinations are possible: a Queen and an Ace, an eight and a five, or even a King standing alone. The only important thing is that the sum of their value ends up at 13. If it doesn’t, you can’t discard cards. There are two ways of winning the game: all cards get removed from the pyramid, or the draw pile gets exhausted.

5. Accordion

Accordion

Shuffle the deck and start flipping over the top cards of the deck. The goal of Accordion is to have the least possible piles of cards at the end of the game, and that is possible by stacking cards: if you have 2 neighbor cards that have the same rank, or the same suit. Let’s say you just flipped a 2♣, and then a 2♦. You might place the second 2 on top of the first one. Another mechanic of stacking cards, by suit or rank, besides neighbor cards, is if these two cards are 3 cards in between. Here’s an example: if you already have 3♣, A♦, 5♠, and now you’ve drawn a 5♣, you may either stack it with the neighbor 5♠ or with the 3♣, matching suits. And that’s it! 

6. The Idiot

The Idiot

Besides Fyodor Dostoevksi’s novel, there’s also a card game named ‘The Idiot’! Start the Idiot by dividing the cards into 4 decks, and take one card out of each pile and turn it over. If you have more than one visible card of each suit in these piles, make sure to remove the lowest-ranked one, so you’ll be left with only 1 card of each suit. Next, place 4 new cards on top of the existing ones, and repeat the same process all over again. Once there are no cards on a pile, make sure you take the top card from other piles and fill the empty place. The goal of the game is undoubtedly getting all Aces at the bottom of each pile. 

7. Roll Call

Roll Call

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, all you gotta do for the set-up is shuffle the deck and hold the cards face-down in your hand. Start by playing cards one by one, turning them over on the table. Every time you draw a card, you say a number. Simply, you gotta start counting out loud Ace, 2, 3,… to King, and repeat it all over again, every time you draw cards. Now, whenever the number you just said, and the card you played have matching numbers, you throw away that card, in other words, you call it. When you’ve gone through the whole deck, you shuffle it again, until you’re out of cards, meaning, you’ve thrown them all, and this is how you win. Otherwise, if you take several attempts and still can’t match, just end the game peacefully… 

8. Memory

Memory

I’m pretty sure you have played memory card games several times. To set the game up, shuffle a deck of cards, and lay them facedown on the table. Start by turning over two cards at a time. If these two match, collect and place them aside. If they don’t match, turn them face-down again, and start flipping over other cards. As you can see, the point is remembering what you turned over lately, and where is its place. This makes it easier for you to create combos. The game ends whenever all cards belong to pairs, and you have placed them in the pile. The more decks you use, the more complicated the game becomes, just so you know.

9. Cribbage Squares

Cribbage Squares

What could Cribbage Squares possibly be? Well, make a 4×4 card grid on the table. Then, place the remaining cards below, and turn over the top card. 

It’s important that cards are arranged well. Each row and column created in this game has its worth. You may create pairs, fifteens, runs, flushes (just as in poker terms), his nobs, his heels, and many other combinations. Anyways, there’s a score goal. You may continue as long as you want, but a good total score would be 61. The score depends on the combination of cards touching each other vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Make the grid, combine cards, use cards from the draw pile, make the valuable combinations, and win the game! 

10. Yukon

Yukon

To start playing Yukon, shuffle the 52 cards, and deal 28 cards on the table, creating 7 piles. The first pile has 1 card, the second one has 2 cards, and so on, so the last pile has 7 cards. Turn the top card of each pile over, and place the remaining cards face-up on the last 6 piles, equally. After you’ve created the piles, you should aim to create the four foundation piles. It is possible to move cards between piles, but only if they’re different colors. The ‘trick’ of the game is that if you want to move a card to another pile, but you have other non-sequential cards on top, you can move them all together. You may just end the game when you run out of moves, or you may also continue until you’ve placed all your cards into foundation piles. 

11. Hope

Hope

Let’s Hope! Use a piquet deck of cards, or a standard deck, with cards from 2 to 6 removed. Shuffle the remaining deck and decide on a suit. Since your deck of cards should be face-down, you start by turning over the top 3 cards. Take some seconds to analyze if any of the cards have the specified suit. If yes, set them apart. Turn over 3 more cards, and set aside the special cards. Repeat this process 5 times, and then shuffle the deck again. This whole process will happen in all 3 rounds of gameplay.  If after these 3 total rounds, you’ve set aside all the cards of the chosen suit, you win. Otherwise, if you have any heart left in your hand, you’ve lost… 

12. Clock

Clock

Arrange all cards (face-down) in a pattern as if it’s a clock, creating 12 piles in the circle. The extra pile, the thirteenth, King, is the pile in the center of the circle, so flip over the top card of it. If let’s say that card is an Ace, you place it underneath the first pile of cards, face-up. Next, since we suppose you placed it on the Ace pile, now, turn over the top card of this pile, and move it wherever it belongs. To summarize, when you move a card to a pile, that pile’s top card gets flipped over. You continue moving cards onto piles, and by the end of the game, you should have each card in its correct place, 4 cards of a kind. If you’ve found the place of every card before you play the last King, you win.

13. Grid Cannon

Let’s kill all the royals with Gridcannon! Shuffle the whole deck (including Jokers),  draw the top cards of the deck, creating a 3 x 3 grid, but only keeping numbered cards. If you drew any royal, you must place them near the card they’re most similar to (highest value of the same suit or color). Then, draw the top card of the remaining deck, and if it’s a royal again, use the same rule. If it’s a number card, place it on the grid on top of the card with the same or lower value. Now, once you place a card on the grid, on the opposite of a royal, the two cards in between attack the royal, and can kill it, only if the sum of their value is higher than the royal’s health. 

Since Gridcannon can seem quite complicated, we suggest you take a look at this video: How To Play Gridcannon.

14. Bowling Solitaire

To play one of the most fun solitaire card games, you’ll need cards from Ace to 10, in two suits. Start by making a pyramid of four rows, with one card on top, and 4 on the bottom. Since you have the pins ready, now you gotta make the bowling balls, by dividing the remaining deck into three piles: 5 cards in the first pile, 3 in the second, and 2 in the last. Your goal is to attempt to knock down pins while using the balls (the piles), in three ways: the value of the card on the balls matches with the pin card, the ball card is equal to the sum of two pin cards, or the last digit of pin cards equal the ball card. Cards are worth their face value, and bear in mind that not all cards can be knocked down: such as the middle pin card on the third row.

Single-Player Card Games Played With A Dedicated Deck

Although playing games with a standard deck of cards is pretty fun, and cheap most importantly, I bet you’d enjoy a card game player with a special deck of cards. All needed information about the games, and where to find them as well, will be found below! 

1. Palm Island

Available on Amazon & eBay ($13.88)

To play Palm Island (which may look like a Disney board game), you’ll go through 8 game rounds. On your turn, you may discard the top card of your deck, or take an action (store, rotate, or flip). Not all actions are free though. Lots of them charge you a few resources (logs, fish, stones, and so on). But, the resource limit is 4. If you wish to have more, you have to move cards in order to make up a place for the new resource. While playing and completing actions, you’ll earn victory points. Once the game is over, you add up all victory points, marked with a star. Although it doesn’t take much effort to master, this video may make it even simpler: How to Play Palm Island.

2. Friday

Available on Amazon ($17.94) & Walmart ($18.15);

Wouldn’t you love to go on a fascinating, solo adventure? So, there’s Robinson, and he’s having some trouble with the two pirates on the island. You’ll draw hazard cards, and fight them, hoping to win. The latter happens if the sum of your fighting points is higher or equal to the hazard’s value. But if it’s the other way, you lose the battle. However, we encourage you to use special abilities during the game, but they may charge you life points. You repeat the process of actions again, and win the game if you beat the second pirate. But, if you don’t have any life tokens left, but need to pay one, you lose. Need some extra pieces of information? Watch how to solo: Friday

3. One Deck Dungeon

Available on Amazon ($23.04) & Walmart ($21.12);

One Deck Dungeon is a fantasy-themed card game you’ll definitely love! On your turn, after time passes, you may either enter a room or explore. There are two types of encounters, and they both bring different abilities and actions. When playing, you have to place dice on a box, by matching the color and values. You will gain loot, gain new skills, descend stairs, and the number of items and skills you own varies from level to level. The damage your character gets while playing may cause their death if the damage is equal to their health. But, if you manage to defeat the boss, you win! Here’s in detail what happens in the One Deck Dungeon: How to Play ODD.

4. The Lord Of The Rings

Available on Amazon ($69.99);

We know how addicted you are to the Lord Of The Rings, so, we couldn’t ignore mentioning this mesmerizing card game. In the card game, there are heroes who aim to journey through Mirkwood Forest, and the kingdoms of Gorhan and Rohan, to deliver a message, but complete other dangerous quests too! There are four spheres of influence (leadership, lore, spirit, and tactics), and they offer advantages to the group of heroes. You may also play it with a small group of friends, and add other expansions. This card game is the most complex of them all and takes a while to learn, so, make sure you watch this video: How to Play the Lord Of The Rings LCG

Conclusion

We all deserve a little treat for ourselves only, once in a while, don’t we? The best treat of them all is playing a card game by yourself, which varies from extremely simple to complicated ones, and you’re absolutely free to choose your favorite! Read our descriptions carefully, and follow the links we attached for extra information. You’re gonna thank us later for these games…

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