Best Solitaire Apps

Everybody needs a good solitaire game on his or her iDevice

Overview

Who doesn’t love a good game of solitaire? Klondike solitaire, or Patience, is the classic card game we all grew up playing on a computer or with an actual deck of cards. It’s been a popular time-passer for many generations - so it’s only natural that it would be so successful on the iOS platform. During my research, I discovered other popular solitaire games, like Tri-Peaks and Spider Solitaire, so I devoted a special section to the non-Klondike solitaire games. Several of the following apps have a number of different kinds of solitaire card games in one app for you to enjoy. Some people like their solitaire very simple, while others like more bells and whistles, but every iDevice needs a good solitaire game or two. This guide will help you pick the solitaire that’s just right for you.

Essential Apps

  • Free

    Card Shark Solitaire

    by Easy 8 Software

    This is the must-download app for solitaire fans. It’s both free and universal and has all the bells and whistles. You get a dozen different games including two variations on Klondike, Free Cell, Canfield, Forty Thieves, Memory Match, Draw Poker, Crazy Eights, Beleaguered Castle, and three variations of Spider solitaire. Choose from a number of different background and card backs or use your own photos for either one. You can change up the fronts of the cards from the multiple options offered and even create and upload entirely new decks if you wish. Gameplay and graphics are excellent and you have over a dozen options to change it up, from right/left-handed play to different sounds and much more. The ONLY thing lacking from this game is the the ability to play in portrait mode, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker for most of us. Most free apps have ads or some other “catch”, but this has none. You’ll just need their paid version (linked below) if you want even more solitaire games.

  • $1.99

    Eric Snider's Solitaire: Klondike

    by Eric Snider

    This popular universal app is based on the well-known Eric’s Ultimate Solitaire that shipped with Macs in the mid-to-late 90’s. It has three different versions of Klondike solitaire (regular, Casino, and Revealed), each with draw one and draw three options. Play in landscape or portrait mode. Tap, drag, or my favorite: toss the cards to move. Choose from four different background/card themes. Hint (glow or wiggle) and auto-play can be turned off in settings. Attractive graphics and crisp, satisfying game play make this one a winner on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. If you have an iPad, you can test out the free, ad-supported, iPad-only version, linked below.

  • Free

    Solitaire

    by MobilityWare

    This Klondike solitaire app from MobilityWare is both free and universal. Graphics are appealing, gameplay is crisp, and most moves can be accomplished with just a tap. You have tons of choices for both your backgrounds and your card decks, including your own photos. Choose to use Game Center or not, deal one or three, play landscape or portrait, and many other options. The only drawback is that there are ads, as one might expect in a free app, that pop up before each hand is dealt. You can pay to upgrade if you want the game without ads. Also, check out the paid version linked below.

  • $0.99

    ⋆Solitaire+

    by Brainium Studios LLC

    I really enjoy playing this smooth, attractive take on Klondike Solitaire. I love the fact that you can customize the background and card backs, with the provided styles or with photos from your own library. Just play this relaxing game with the minimal number of taps. Play in portrait or landscape mode. Draw one or draw three; choose standard, Vegas, or Vegas Cumulative scoring. The app has GameCenter support. Still not sure? Check out the free, ad-supported version, linked below.

Notable Apps

  • $0.99

    Solitaire City Classic

    by Digital Smoke LLC

    This version of Solitaire City is a lot cheaper than the Deluxe version (that you'll find linked below) because it contains just one solitaire game: the classic Klondike. You do get 6 different variations on the game, various combinations of the following factors: deal one or three, 3 or unlimited passes, and Vegas or regular rules. It’s basically a sub-set of Solitaire City Deluxe, sharing all of the gameplay features.

  • Free

    Solitaire

    by Byterun

    This popular app is a straightforward, no-nonsense Klondike solitaire game. Draw one or three cards, choose different backgrounds/card decks, and connect to Game Center if you like. Play in landscape mode only. What I like about this one is that the cards are big and easy to read, even on the small iPhone screen. It’s normally a paid app, but it often goes on sale for free.

  • $0.99

    Astraware Solitaire - Klondike, Spider, Canfield and more!

    by Astraware Limited

    This feature-filled universal app offers many different kinds of solitaire games. You have a dozen choices: Klondike, Free Cell, Spider, Calculate, Golf, Idiot’s Delight, Canfield, Clock, 4 Seasons, Yukon, Sultan’s Harem, and Pyramid. You can compete with others via Open Feint. This has all the features you might want in a solitaire app, like portrait/landscape orientation, different background/card decks, and other things you can tweak in the settings. My main problem is that the cards are tiny and difficult to see on the iPhone - it is far better on the iPad. I do prefer my gameplay a bit crisper - the cards move slowly and tend to get “lost”. For example, in most apps, when you tap an ace, it “knows” to go up to the foundation piles - in this game, it will go to a two instead if there is one available.

  • $0.99

    Awesome Solitaire

    by Wolter Group

    This Klondike Solitaire app is an awesome, sparkly take on the original. The animated (but not distracting) gyroscope-powered background looks like outer space. The app cheers you on when you make smart moves. In the settings, you can choose from three different card backs; draw one or three cards at a time. You can only play in portrait mode. The latest update brings Game Center support.

  • $1.99

    Solebon Solitaire

    by Smallware

    This is a very popular solitaire game for iPhone and iPod Touch, with over 40 different games you can play. There are plenty of options for different card backs and backgrounds. Graphics are attractive, gameplay is silky smooth. The only odd thing is that you can only play in portrait mode. I generally prefer landscape, or having the option for both, but to each his or her own.

Decent Apps

  • $0.99

    The Solitaire

    by UnitConvertr

    Nothing stands out about this app as being particularly good or particularly bad. It’s Klondike solitaire, plain and simple. Choose Deal 1 or Deal 3; portrait or landscape mode. You get red cards on a green background and you have to pay extra ($.99) for (just three) additional themes. Compare your scores with players around the world via their own global database if you like. It’s solid but nothing special.

Not Klondike: Tri-Peaks, Spider Solitaire, and more

  • $0.99

    Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers

    by Endloop Systems Inc.

    This is Tri-Peaks style solitaire. Basically you just select cards that are one higher or one lower than the card that is showing. It sounds simple, and it is, but great graphics and polished gameplay will keep you entertained. You get three different playing modes, OpenFeint online leaderboards, as well as over 30 unlockable backgrounds and card decks.

  • Free

    Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers Lite

    by Endloop Systems Inc.

    This is the free, shorter version of Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers. It’s a great introduction; I’d suggest downloading this one if you want to see whether or not Tri-Peaks is your sort of game. You’ll finish it in minutes, and then you’ll know if you need to pay for more or move on to something different!

  • $2.99

    Solitaire ☼

    by the binary family

    This beautifully rendered Tri-Peaks game is enhanced by pretty flowers and butterflies that appear when you make your moves. You get a stunning 100 levels of different card setups as well. My only complaint is that you have to pay for two separate versions if you want it on both your iPhone/iPod and your iPad.

  • $2.99

    Solitaire ☀

    by the binary family

    This is the iPad version of Summer Solitaire - same game, bigger screen, bigger flowers and butterflies!

  • $0.99

    Solitaire: Deck of Cods

    by Namco Networks America Inc.

    Another Tri-Peaks solitaire game, this time with - you guessed it - a fishing theme. “Catch the biggest fish” you can by playing longer chains. What’s great about Tri-Peaks is that it only takes a few seconds to learn, even for kids, but somehow it’s not boring. Especially with the fun animation, wild cards, 50 levels, 24 different fish, and surprises that pop up as you play in this fishy version. You can even connect with a friend via bluetooth for competitive play.

  • $0.99

    FreeCell Solitaire!

    by Eric Snider

    This popular version of Free Cell from Eric Snider includes two other games as well: Eight Off (which will also be familiar to Mac users from the mid-to-late 1990’s!) and Towers. Tap, drag, or push cards to move. Play portrait or landscape, and get hints with a wiggle or glow that you can turn off if they annoy you. You can also get iPad and free/lite versions.

  • $0.99

    ▷Spider Solitaire!

    by Eric Snider

    This is Spider Solitaire by Eric Snider. You get the same cute, crisp graphics and game play, tap/drag/push, and wiggle/glow hints in this game. The app includes four variations: 1-suit, 2-suit, 4-suite, and Spiderette. Also available in iPad and free/lite apps.

Paid Versions Of Free Apps Mentioned

  • $0.99

    Solitaire for iPad

    by MobilityWare

    Despite having "iPad" in the name, this is actually a universal app. It is the paid version of the appealing solitaire app from MobilityWare mentioned above.

  • $2.99

    Card Shark Collection™ (Deluxe)

    by Easy 8 Software

    The nine types of solitaire in the free version of Card Shark aren't enough for you? Then grab this paid version and get tons more.

  • $1.99

    Solitaire City (Deluxe)

    by Digital Smoke LLC

    This universal app is indeed a Deluxe solitaire game, with beautiful graphics and over 60 variations: 12 variations of the classic Klondike, Spider One, Two and Four Suits, FreeCell (7 variations), Demon (4), Poker Squares (4), Pyramid (4), Cribbage Squares (3), Golf (4), Casket (2), Alternations (4), Eliminator (3), Yukon (3), Tri-Peaks (2), Double Klondike (3) and Spiderette One, Two and Four Suits. Play landscape or portrait, create your own background sounds and pictures, and have your choice of card decks. Compete with players around the world via their own leaderboards. Gameplay is crisp and visually quite nice. This is a small quibble, but it does bother me slightly that cards don’t flip over automatically after a play, so you have to tap an extra time. Still, this is the full, FULL version of two Notable apps mentioned above.

Free Versions Of Mentioned Paid Apps

  • Free

    Free Solitaire HD

    by Eric Snider

    For whatever reason, the free version is only for iPad, while the paid version is universal.

  • Free

    Awesome Solitaire Lite

    by Wolter Group

    Just like the full version, except it’s ad-supported, does not have Game Center support, and has only one deck of cards.

  • Free

    ⋆Solitaire

    by Brainium Studios LLC

    Same game as the version mentioned in the Essential section, but with ads.

  • Free

    Solitaire City

    by Digital Smoke LLC

    This free version is another subset of Solitaire City Deluxe: it has two of the full version’s games: Double Klondike (like playing with two decks of cards) and Spiderette. This universal app is definitely worth the download if you are interested in either of those games.

Other Apps