The phrase "How To Play Solitaire" is in itself, ambiguous, for there are countless games of Solitaire. One only has to look at the many Solitaire games on a game CD from Hoyle Card Games, a popular choice for card game fanatics. Spider is very popular. So is Aces and Kings. The list is almost endless.
When people think of Solitaire, though, they usually think of the original card game that their mother or grandmother taught them to play with a regular deck of cards. Today, it's known as Klondike. Without a computer, one starts with a deck of 52 cards (the jokers are not used).
You lay seven cards across in a row face down, forming columns. The second row begins with the first card face up, the remaining cards face down. The third row begins with the card in the second column face up, the remaining cards face down. Now you have two cards in the first column, one down, one up, three cards in the second column, two down, one up; three cards face down in the rest of the columns. You repeat this pattern each time until you wind up with eight cards in the last column, seven down, and one face up. Aces are placed at the top of the columns.
Once the cards are all laid out, you simply play cards in sequence, for instance a three goes on a four, down each column, alternating black with red cards. The object of Solitaire is to get all the cards, by each suit, on top of each ace for that suit. When you can't play on the columns, you draw three cards from the remaining deck and repeat drawing three cards each time. When you get to the last of the deck, you flip it over and keep drawing from it. You know you have lost when you can't play on any of the columns and the cards in the deck won't play. Some versions of the game let you draw one card at a time, but you cannot flip the deck over. Once you turn over the last card in this version, the game is over.
Solitaire played on the computer, though no easier to win, is less complicated in that you don't have to deal the cards. The computer program does it for you. Most programs also let you know when you've lost so you don't have to keep going through the deck.