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How To Play Clock Solitaire

There are tons of versions of solitaire out there. When you’ve mastered the original, it is time to try your hand at a new version of the game. Whether you play free solitaire games online or by yourself with an actual deck of cards, you can hone your solitaire skills in many ways. Like many more advanced versions of everyone’s favourite card game, Clock Solitaire takes practice to master. So fire up your computer or tablet, grab a deck of cards, and let’s learn to play!   

What Is Clock Solitaire? 

Clock Solitaire is also known as Four of a kind and Sun dial, or simply, Clock. The name comes from the card layout. The cards are put down in a circle to mimic the face of an analogue clock. Each suit of cards corresponds with a number on the clock face. So, aces are 1’s, queens are 12’s, and the 13th pile, which gets set down in the middle of the clock, is kings. The basic objective of the game is to match four of a kind with all the other cards before the last king faces up.   

So, How Do I Play? 

First, set up your cards. Start by shuffling, which is easy because Clock only takes one standard deck. Deal the cards into 13 piles of four cards each and arrange them clockwise in a circle, face down. Each pile gets a number, 1-12, and the 13th pile goes in the middle of the circle. 

Turn the top card on that 13th pile over. Put it face up at the bottom of the pile that corresponds to the number. So, if you turn over a 4, put it under the 4 o’clock pile, an ace under the 1 o’clock pile, and so on. Face cards are treated as 11’s (Jacks), 12’s (Queens), and 13’s (Kings). Continue play by turning over the top card of the pile you just added a card to and putting it face-up under its corresponding pile. Each pile should only ever have four cards in it.  

The object is to turn all 13 piles face-up, but you only win if all the other sets of cards are complete before the last king is turned over.    

What Makes Clock Solitaire Different? 

The biggest difference between Clock and other kinds of solitaire is the success rate. Games of Clock are only won around 1% of the time. Unlike basic solitaire, which requires some logic and reasoning along with luck, Clock is entirely a game of chance. It is considered one of the most difficult versions of solitaire to play with any success.   

What’s The Point Of Playing? 

If it’s so hard to win, why play? Well, besides the fact that it’s a fun way to pass the time and have some fun, how about the benefits of playing cards ? A large part of playing card games is socialisation. But since solitaire is a solo game, we will focus on the other good things about cards. Playing keeps your brain sharp and elastic. It can alleviate anxiety and depression and can slow age-related memory loss. Cards can even be used as part of a therapy plan after a stroke or traumatic brain injury. The repetitive actions help to create new neural pathways and strengthen motor control, too.   

Final Thoughts 

Solitaire has long been a way to pass the time, but the same old game gets boring after a while. So why not get out of your comfort zone and enjoy a nice game of Clock? Try your hand at the most challenging solitaire version out there. You probably won’t win, but you’ll learn a new game and give your brain a workout, too!

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