Yukon is a solitaire game much like Klondike, the familiar solitaire game found pre-installed on computers everywhere. However, rather than having a stock to draw cards from, in Yukon, the tableau is much bigger. Because of this, a stack of cards may not entirely be in sequence, but a player can still move cards around, with a bunch of unrelated cards along for the ride!
Yukon is much easier to win than Klondike, though not so easy as to remove the challenge from the game. Because of this, skillful play will help you out much more in Yukon than it will in Klondike.
Object of Yukon
The object of Yukon is to move all of the cards in the tableau to the foundations.
Yukon is a solitaire game that requires one 52-card deck of playing cards. To make sure you’re always playing with a deck of cards in tip-top shape, always use a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards.
The first part of the Yukon layout is the same as dealing a Klondike layout. Shuffle and deal seven cards in a horizontal row. The first card is dealt face up, with the other six cards face down. Then, starting at the second column, deal another, overlapping row of six cards. Again, the first card will be face up, and the other five face down. Repeat until you place a face-up card on the seventh column. Then, take the remaining 24 cards and deal them face up across the second through seventh columns. (Refer to the diagram for an example layout.) This layout constitutes the tableau.
As in most solitaire games, the majority of the game play in Yukon involves moving cards around the tableau. Any face-up card may be moved onto a face-up card of the opposite color that is one rank above it and has no other cards on it already. Cards rank in their usual order, with aces low. For example, the 7♥ could be moved onto either the 8♣ or the 8♠. Any cards that are already atop the card being moved also move, being kept on top of it in the same order. In the example diagram, the 10♣ can be moved onto the J♦, even though there are other cards on top of the 10. These cards also move onto the J♦, remaining in the same order.
When a face-down card is uncovered, it is flipped face up. Empty spaces in the tableau may form as cards are moved; these spaces can be filled only by kings (with other cards potentially moving along with the king, as per usual).
As aces are uncovered, they may be moved to one of the four foundation piles at the upper-right of the layout. After an ace has been moved to the foundations, other cards of the same suit can then be placed on top of it, in ascending rank order. That is, when the A♠ is moved to form the spade foundation pile, then the 2♠ may be moved on top of it, then the 3♠, and so on up to the K♠. A card cannot be moved to the foundations if there are cards on top of it.
Game play continues until all 52 cards are moved to the foundations, which constitutes a win. If there are cards still in the tableau, but no valid moves remain, the game is a loss.
Then there’s Russian Solitaire, which is a variant of Yukon. In Russian Solitaire, cards in the tableau can only be moved onto the next higher card within the same suit. Significantly harder to win – my mother-in-law plays this variant. You usually get stuck after 3-4 moves at most…on occasion, the tableau offers no valid moves from the start.
Might mention that holes in the tableau can be filled in with Kings or piles beginning with Kings.
I had meant to include that, but somehow it slipped my mind in the writing. Thanks for the reminder; I’ve added it.
Russian Solitaire is a beast. I remember trying it a few times as a kid and never getting anywhere with it. My dad was of the mistaken opinion that it was totally unwinnable; he suggested relaxing the rules to allow anything to fill holes in the tableau, not just kings. That did make it easier, but still quite a bit harder than Yukon.