Bowling solitaire card game – learn to play with game rules

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Welcome to Bowling Solitaire, a fun game suitable for solo players, families, and friends!

In this game, you’ll need to use a standard deck of cards.

RANK OF CARDS: The Ace is worth 1 point. The numbered cards 2 to 10 are worth their face value. All the royal cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10 points each. And don’t forget about the Jokers! They are wild cards that can be any point value from 1 to 10 points.

TYPE OF GAME: Bowling Solitaire

AUDIENCE: Solo players, families, and friends.


To set up the game, follow these steps:

  1. Place ten cards face-up, just like a standard ten-pin bowling setup. The cards should overlap each other, with four cards on the top row, then three, then two, and one at the bottom.
  2. Take the remaining cards and form three draw piles. Each pile should have three cards. Make sure to place the top card of each pile facing upwards.

Now that you have set up the game, you’re ready to start playing Bowling Solitaire!

How to Play Bowling Solitaire

Let me tell you how to play Bowling Solitaire. It’s a game where you try to knock down all the pins, which are actually cards, by making pairs that add up to ten. It’s pretty straightforward, but let’s go through the rules.

You start with a deck of cards. The goal is to make pairs that add up to ten. You can only turn over one card at a time, so be strategic with your moves. If you can’t find any pairs, don’t worry! You can use the deck to create a new combination of cards.

Now, let’s talk about the values of the cards. The Ace is worth 1 point. Then, we have the number cards: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Next, we have the Royal cards: Jack, Queen, and King. They are all worth 10 points. Last but not least, we have the Jokers. They are wild cards that can be any point value from 1 to 10.

Remember, the goal is to knock down all the pins by making pairs that add up to ten. Use the deck wisely and strategize your moves. Good luck!

So, here’s the thing: when I first start playing, I get a bunch of cards dealt to me. And let me tell you, it’s a bit overwhelming. But here’s the trick, I can take out any cards that add up to ten. Pretty cool, right? But there’s a catch – I can only match two cards at a time. So that means, if I have an 8 and a 2, or a 6 and a 4, I can pair them up and make a ten. Oh, and here’s the kicker: I can use this special card called a joker to pair up with any other card to make it worth ten. Talk about a handy little trick!

Bowling solitaire card game - learn to play with game rules


So, here’s how you score in this game. Pay attention!

If you manage to clear the entire table without touching the deck, congratulations! You’ve achieved a strike! That’s right, a perfect move!

If, on the other hand, you couldn’t remove all the cards in one go, don’t worry. We’ll count how many cards you were able to remove from the ten-pin layout. That’s where your score will come from.

Now, to keep track of your score, you should use a standard bowling score sheet. It’s your trusty companion in this game.

Okay, so let’s say you couldn’t clear the table completely. No worries! Just refill the ten-pin board with the deck. Put the cards that you removed back in, and replace them with the top card from each draw pile. That’s it!

If you manage to clear the table after this refill, we call that a spare. Nice job! If not, don’t sweat it. Just keep counting how many cards you remove. That’s how your score will be calculated, frame by frame, on the score sheet.

And here’s the most important part: scoring. You should score just like you do in traditional bowling. It works exactly the same way. So, if you’re familiar with regular bowling, you should have no problem here!

That’s it! You’ve got all the basics down. Now, go ahead and start playing. Have fun and good luck!

If you’re up for a challenge, why not try playing this game with a friend or a group? You can turn it into a competition by keeping track of your matching card pairs and using them as a point system. Each pair you find will earn you one point, and the person with the most points by the end of the deck wins the game. It’s a fun twist that can turn this solo game into a party favorite!


There are actually two popular versions of Bowling Solitaire. The one we just described is the simpler version, perfect for quick and easy gameplay. But there’s also a more complex version of the game that was invented by Sid Jackson.

When it comes to Bowling Solitaire, Sid Jackson’s version puts you in control. You get to choose two suits from a regular card deck, but only use the cards from Ace to 10 – no kings or queens. It’s like playing bowling, but with cards!

Here’s how it works: you start by placing 10 cards face-up in a specific pattern that looks like bowling pins. You can arrange them any way you like, but most people find the 4, 3, 2, 1 formation works best.

Now, you take the other 10 cards left in the deck and use them to create three new piles. The first pile has 5 cards, the second has 3 cards, and the last pile has 2 cards. Remember, the top card in each pile should be face-up.

Now it’s time to play! Your goal is to remove cards from the card formation by building ascending or descending sequences with the cards in the piles. For example, if you have a 2 in the first pile and a 3 in the card formation, you can remove both cards. Just like in bowling, your aim is to clear as many pins – or cards – as possible in each frame.

Keep making moves and removing cards until you can’t play anymore or you choose to end the game. Try to strategize and think ahead, just like a pro bowler does. Can you clear all the cards and achieve a perfect score? Give it a try and see!

When you’re playing Solitaire, the goal is to match pairs of cards that you can see. But here’s a twist: at the beginning of each round, you get to choose a card from the three face-up cards in your pile. Once you’ve selected a card, you look at your ten-pin card formation and try to find cards that add up to 10 when combined with the chosen card. It doesn’t matter which card you choose from your pile; the goal is always to make 10 with the cards in your formation.

That’s the basic idea, and while there are more rules to learn, let’s call it a day there. There are actually many different versions of Solitaire that people have created all over the world. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a new variation that you haven’t played before and discover how exciting it can be to put a unique twist on a classic game.

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