Everyone knows how to play solitaire. It’s the second most fun thing to do by yourself with a computer.
Hundreds upon thousands of people have wasted time playing the somewhat pointless game.
Mathematicians have figured that between 82% and 92% of solitaire games are winnable.
Surprisingly, mathematicians have figured out how to beat the game.
Take blackjack. In 1962, Edward Thorpe wrote Beat The Dealer, outlining basic strategy and card counting. Countless other thinkers have figured out odds and statistics of every possible way of playing the game.
But Solitaire? Nothing.
Stanford University have figured out a method for increasing the chances of winning, but not how to get to that magic 82%.
“ Many people play this game every day, yet simple questions such as What is the chance of winning? How does this chance depend on the version I play? What is a good strategy? remain beyond mathematical analysis”- Solitaire: Man Versus Machine
Of course, the best strategy is to hit Shift + Alt + 2.