Alaska Solitaire is most similar to Yukon Solitaire, with one major difference being that sequences are built in blocks of color, rather than using alternating colors. It's a fairly easy game to play once you learn the rules about how cards can be moved, although specific strategy to speed up the time it takes to play a game and game progress comes more with experience overtime.
Alaska Solitaire uses a Tableau build that is like the popular Yukon Solitaire game. The way that cards are moved in this game are however quite different, since it's possible to move any face-up card around the table regardless of where it falls in a pile; there are just specific rules surrounding how these cards can be moved. So, if you're playing a game with a deck of cards rather than on the computer, once the setup is complete, you can banish Yukon Solitaire from your mind otherwise you won't have very much success.
In Alaska Solitaire there are 7 Tableau piles, 4 foundation piles and the talon pile. The objective in Alaska Solitaire is to build up each of the Tableau piles from Ace to King with sequences using the same colors for each pile built. In Alaska Solitaire builds can be made up or down and are based on suit.
Some people might already be familiar with Alaska Solitaire since it is commonly included as part of a Mac's gaming package, just as Windows has its own common varieties available to computer users. Like many solitaire games, Alaska Solitaire can be played with a physical deck of cards as well, however like with many versions, since there is so much card movement it's much easier to play a computerized version at least until you become more comfortable with the game rules and strategy and can just put your focus on the movement of cards.
The process for playing Alaska Solitaire (Rules):
- 1 deck is used to play Alaska Solitaire
- One card is dealt to the first Tableau pile, 2 cards are dealt to the second, 3 to third, 4 for the fourth, 5 to the fifth, 6 to the sixth, and 7 to the seventh tableau pile.
- The top card in each Tableau pile should be face-up and all of the other cards face down
- 4 additional cards card be dealt to the six piles on the right-hand side (Tableau piles)
- Once all cards are dealt accordingly, players can begin gameplay. Cards can be moved one at a time or in groups, and movement in Alaska Solitaire does not depend on sequence or suit
- Any face-up card in the Tableau can be used to build another; it doesn't matter how deep it is within a tableau pile. However all cards that are covering it do have to be moved with it
- Every time a face-down card is exposed in a pile, it can be turned face-up and can then be used for play
- Empty spaces that appear in the Tableau can be filled, but can only be filled by a King
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to play Alaska Solitaire, grab your cards and give it a try; download the software version for your Mac, or find a free version of the game online to hone your skills!