6 Fun Card Games to Play Alone & Engage Your Mind

man playing a card

Playing card games alone while sipping on a cup of coffee is not only relaxing, it engages your mind and sparks strategic thinking. There are many card games to play alone besides solitaire. Although you may not have heard of the games below, people have been playing and enjoying them for years.

Hope Card Game

Hope is a simple card game that can be played with a Piquet deck. If you don't have a Piquet deck, you can create one by removing the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s of each suit of a standard 52-card deck.

  1. To begin, you decide on a suit, say Clubs.
  2. Then shuffle the cards and turn up the first three cards and place them face up on the table, putting to the side any Clubs that may be among the three.
  3. Then turn up three more cards and once again throw out the Clubs and place these with the other Clubs that were set aside.
  4. Do this, in the same way, five times, then shuffle the cards already used except for the Clubs you set aside and proceed as before.
  5. You do this three times. If you extracted all the Clubs, you've won. If you still have Clubs left in your hand, you've failed.

The Amazon Queens

The object in Amazon Queens is to form four families with the entire deck. Each family consists of a complete suit beginning with the Ace and ending with the Queen.

  1. The first step in Amazon is to remove all four Kings from the 52-card standard deck and toss them aside.
  2. Then shuffle and turn up the four top cards and lay them side by side on the table, creating a horizontal row.
  3. If an Ace among the four cards, place it to the left, just above the first card of the row, and complete the first row with another card.
  4. Then proceed to deal the remaining cards of the deck one-by-one and face up on the four cards of the row.
  5. Again, if an Ace shows up, place it in the top row.
  6. Upon the Aces you'll place the cards of their respective suits in sequential order as they show up on the lower row.
  7. When none of the cards from the lower row can be played, pick the piles up, from left to right, without disturbing the existing order of the cards.
  8. Then, once again, deal the cards face up into four piles and continue as above until each card has found a place in the proper sequence.
  9. Whenever you complete a suit up to the Queen, put the family aside and proceed with the other three, and so on, until you have assembled the four family groups in sequential order.
  10. However, if twice in succession you have dealt through the remainder of the deck and have been unable to add a single card, you've lost the game.
four of a kind

Devil's Grip

Devil's Grip is a unique solo card stacking game. Two standard decks of cards with the Aces removed are required for this game.

The Set-Up

Shuffle the cards and deal out three rows of eight, face-up. The remaining cards are set aside as a stockpile. The goal of Set-Up is to stack the cards of matching suits in a specific sequential order. The sequential order for the three rows is:

  • Top row: 2, 5, 8, and Jack
  • Middle row: 3, 6, 9, and Queen
  • Bottom row: 4, 7, 10, and Kings

The Play

Once the cards are dealt, you begin by swapping out and moving any 2s,3s and 4s on the layout to their respective rows.

  1. Now continue stacking by suit from anywhere on the layout.
  2. When you move a card to its appropriate place, pull the top card from the face-down stockpile and put it into the empty space.
  3. Once you've come to an end of the moves available to you, pull three cards at a time from the stockpile.
  4. Place these cards on their appropriate pile and again replace the empty spaces created with the top card from the stockpile.
  5. Continue cycling through the stockpile by pulling three cards until you've run out of moves, or have sorted all the cards into their piles and won the game.


Clock is easy to learn but almost impossible to beat. If you're in for a challenge, this is the solo card game for you.

The Set-Up

Shuffle and deal the cards face down into 13 piles. Place 12 piles in a circle, the 13th pile in the middle, and turn the top card face-up.

  • The Aces equal one o'clock position of a clock.
  • Cards numbered 2 through 10 equal two o'clock through ten o'clock positions of a clock.
  • The Jacks equal eleven o'clock position of a clock.
  • The Queens equal twelve o'clock position of a clock.
  • The Kings equal the 13th pile that's in the middle.

The Play

Take the face-up card in the middle pile and put it face up under the pile on the face of the clock that equals its number. Then turn the card on the top of that pile face-up and put it face-up under its appropriate pile. If all 12 piles become four-of-a-kind before the fourth King turns up, you win.

Roll Call

Roll Call, played with a standard card deck, is a fast-paced game in which you attempt to call out the cards.

  1. Shuffle the cards and hold them in your hand
  2. Deal the cards one-by-one face up to a single "stockpile" counting aloud - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Knight, Queen, King - one, two, three, and so on.
  3. When a card turns up that corresponds with the number called, throw it aside.
  4. After you've worked through the deck, pick up the stockpile without disturbing the order and deal again, still calling the numbers, continuing from where you left off on the first go-round.
  5. Go through the stockpile as many times as needed until the cards are gone, and you've won the game. However, if after several attempts, the cards come up in the same order, and no card answers Roll Call, you've failed.

Four Seasons

The goal of Four Seasons is to attempt to form four suits, from Ace up to King in sequential order.

  1. Pick out the four aces from a deck of cards and place them face-up in a vertical row, alternating red and black. Shuffle the remaining cards and place six cards, also face up, on both sides of the vertical row of four Aces.
  2. If you find there's an ascending card to any of the Aces (in the first instance a two, and so on), place it on the Ace and in like manner, any higher card in sequence to the one already played on the Ace.
  3. Fill the gaps in the side rows from the remaining cards from the deck until there are no longer any cards that can be played to the center row.
  4. If any of the cards in the two outer rows in like suit are in sequence to each other, place the smaller upon the larger, and fill the void on the side with a card from the deck.
  5. Doing this can make one or two more cards playable in the center row and the empty space filled with a card from the remaining deck.
  6. Cards that can't be used either in the center or side rows are placed in a waste-pile to be used again.
  7. If you deal through this waste-pile without being able to put every card in its proper place above the corresponding Ace, you've lost the game.
  8. If all four Aces form the foundation of four complete suits, from Ace to King, you win.

Single Player Card Games

According to YourDictionary, solitaire means "a hermit or recluse", "a diamond or other gem set by itself, as in a ring" and "any of many card games that are played by one person." Related to this definition, the fun card games you play alone could all be considered solitaire.

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6 Fun Card Games to Play Alone & Engage Your Mind