Solo shuffling: Dealing cards and stacking piles, students turn to solitaire to pass time


Photo provided by Meghan Hammond

With seven bottom rows and a pile to sort through, solitaire players must organize the deck from ace to king within the rules of the game. Solitaire has become a way for students to pass the time and connect with friends and family.

Caledonia Abbey, Reporter

Standing next to high-tech multiplayer video games like “Among Us” or “Valorant,” Solitaire may not come first in terms of action. However, during the pandemic some U-High students have found the card game to be a relaxing way to pass the time, even finding ways to make the solo game social.

Senior Meghan Hammond first learned to play Solitaire from her mom. 

“For a while we used to play on this website called Pogo Games, which is really how I learned more because at first I was very confused,” Meghan said. 

Solitaire comes in many forms. While Meghan prefers one-card draw, there are more complex variations that include drawing three or more cards at a time. 

“You have seven piles and you’re trying to line them up in order so it alternates black and red,” she explained, “Kings have to be on the bottom and then queen, jack, etc., and you’re trying to get them all onto aces by suit.”

During summer camp, solitaire became a way for Meghan to spend downtime. 

“It’s not like I could just pull out my phone or my laptop to watch something or play a different game because I didn’t have them at camp,” she said. 

Now, during school breaks or nights when she doesn’t have very much homework, Meghan and her mom enjoy playing card games like Speed or War. After finishing a game, she might find herself playing a round or two of Solitaire before putting the cards away.

Eliza Doss, who is also a senior, said she and her family have found a way to play Solitaire together.

“I probably learned to play from my older sister or mom,” Eliza said, “but my family actually plays multiplayer solitaire, which makes it competitive.”

In this variation, the aces are out in the center and anyone can stack cards onto them. 

While she rarely plays by herself anymore, Eliza said she enjoys it “because it’s pretty mindless and it’s a fun way to pass the time.” 

For a game with a name derived from “solitary,” these students have turned it into a social experience — one that brings them closer to their families.