How to play: Whitehead solitaire
Whitehead is a variant of Klondike with a few tweaks to make it a slightly more strategy-based game and with a higher chance of success.
As with Klondike, the tableau consists of seven columns, laid out in a "triangle" (one card in the first column, two in the second, etc.). However, in Whitehead solitaire, all cards are face up.
As with Klondike, there are four (initially empty) foundations and the remaining cards form the stock pile.
Whitehead layout in Solitaire Whizz for iPad
The aim is to build all cards on to the foundation piles, one pile per suit. As they become available, the Aces are built on to the foundations, followed by the corresponding 2s etc.
Gameplay is essentially as for Klondike with the following variations:
- since all cards are face up, availability of cards does not depend on whether they are face up or face down;
- instead, a card is available if it is totally unexposed (i.e. at the foot of a column);
- cards are built on to the tableau in downwards sequence of the same colour (as opposed to Klondike, where building is done in alternating colour sequences);
- whole sequences can be moved provided they are of the same suit;
- empty columns may be filled with any card or valid sequence.
You may go through the stock pile as many times as you wish in this version.
Unlike Klondike, Whitehead is a "total knowledge" game: all of the cards are visible at the start of play. So while the winning strategy is broadly similar to the strategy for Klondike, you may prioritise moves that will actually achieve the goal of releasing cards rather than having to play by the "law of averages". So whereas in Klondike, it often makes sense to "tackle" shorter columns first because you are more likely to clear them on average,
in Whitehead, you can look at which column you will actually be able to free most easily, or which will release an Ace.
That said, general priorities are broadly similar:
- free up Aces and low numbered cards as soon as you can;
- try to free up an empty column or two as soon as possible;
- although you can build any downward sequence that respects colour, try and also respect suit where possible, as it
will help you in the long run.
With a bit of care, most games of Whitehead should be solvable, and you can certainly expect to have a better success rate than with Klondike.