Daily News Poker News Online Gaming News Investor News Vegas News Featured Articles
Strategies & Tips Books & Movies
Gaming Life Gaming Tips Comps & Promos
Strategies & Tips
HOME > STRATEGY > Strategies & Tips > Casino Solitaire

Casino Solitaire

3 December 2017

By John Grochowski

Long before I ever visited Las Vegas, I heard tales of solitaire being offered as a gambling game.

I've never actually seen the game in casinos, and have never quite been sure it really ever was offered. Still, the idea of solitaire as a casino game has persisted in the Las Vegas one-card-at-a-time mode on computer solitaire games.

Now it seems the cards are ready to flip for cash through Solitairus Inc. at its site casinosolitaire.com. Partners Cam Uhren and KC Flynn have their eye on casino distribution as a slot machine or on pads as skill-based gaming becomes more widespread, but for now, those in jurisdictions where online gaming is legal can play for money at the site, while the rest of us can enjoy a little free play.

After the initial seven stacks of cards are dealt, you can choose to deal one card at a time and go once through the remaining deck, or three cards at a time for three times through the deck.

You get a payoff for each card on the four foundation stacks that you begin when you play aces. Casino Solitaire spices up the game with a dual jackpot and with a tournament mode in which you play against other players.

In the tournament mode, entrants each get the same initial shuffle, and the winners are determined both on speed of play and accuracy.

I asked Flynn if the old tales of Las Vegas solitaire played a role in developing Casino Solitaire.

"One of the original partners simply asked the question, 'Why isn't solitaire a slot game?'" Flynn said. "From there, we explored the stories that the game was originally played in Las Vegas at bars. Patrons would buy a deck of cards for $52 and receive $4 for every card they were able to put in the stacks.

"We understood that it was played before gaming became regulated and it was discontinued as regulators wanted to know the house advantage and operators didn't know how to calculate the house advantage. In addition, the game took up a lot of room at the bar and took to long to play."

Calculating the house edge remained a challenge, but the partners were encouraged to press on because of solitaire's popularity. Microsoft first included a solitaire game in Windows 3.0 bundles and later said it was the most-used Windows application. Flynn said there now are more than 2 billion games of solitaire played per day.

"However, discovering and proving the house advantage to regulators proved to be challenge," Flynn said. "After substantial investment in time and resources, we were able to answer the challenge for regulators and we've been granted two U.S. patents along the way."

The rise of skill-based gaming could create an opportunity for the game in casinos.

"In our view, our game offers at least two things to players," Flynn said. "It creates a skill-based opportunity with an old familiar friend. Almost everyone in the Western Hemisphere has played solitaire at one time in their lives.

"It provides a value proposition for players as it delivers time on device for players."

The term "time on device" has been emphasized since the rise of video slots to denote games with frequent paybacks that extend playing time. Game manufacturers try to balance time on device with the chance at big wins.

How long it takes to get from online game to casino game remains to be seen. The popularity of wagering on solitaire online will play a role. But the potential is there to make solitaire a casino game in more than just distant memories.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John  Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

More about John Grochowski
More articles by John Grochowski

John Grochowski's Website:

Books by John Grochowski:

The Casino Answer Book
The Casino Answer Book
More books by John Grochowski
Sign up for Casino City's Newsletter and a Chance to Win an exciting Casino City Prize