Solitaire SolitaireGames Week
Every week a new solitaire game

  #8 - October 23, 2001 - by Thomas Warfield


Yukon Screen shot of the game Yukon from Pretty Good Solitaire.

Yukon is a popular one deck solitaire game with some similarities to Klondike. The tableau is dealt out in a similar way to Klondike, except that all 52 cards are dealt out at the start. It is dealt by first dealing cards as in Klondike (1 card to the first pile, 2 cards to the 2nd pile, and so on to the 7 piles) with the top card face up. Then the remaining cards are dealt out to the 2nd to 7th piles, all face up.

What makes Yukon special is that you can move groups of cards in the tableau regardless of any sequence. This means that any face up card, no matter how deeply buried, can be moved by picking it and all the cards on top of it up together. The tableau is built down by alternate color, like Klondike, and the objective is to move cards up to the foundations, also as in Klondike.

Yukon is a challenging, strategic game. It is very important to uncover the face down cards, because only the face up cards are in play. Once a card becomes face up, it can be accessed, so getting the cards face up is the key. The only way to lose is to not be able to access a needed card because it is face down.

This does happen and even the best players win only about 75% of the time. Average players win about 30%, so there is a strong element of skill to the game. Yukon players tend to be very dedicated to the game and it is not uncommon for Yukon players to have played the game many thousands of times.

Yukon seems to have made its first appearance in the classic Albert Morehead & Geoffrey Mott-Smith book _The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games_ in 1949. It is entirely possible that they devised the game, or at least named it.

Yukon has given rise to a number of variations, the most popular of which is Russian Solitaire. Russian Solitaire is just like Yukon except that in Russian Solitaire the tableau is built down by suit, rather than down by alternate color as in Yukon. This makes Russian Solitaire considerably harder than Yukon. Most players can only win Russian Solitaire about 5% and only the very best players win more than 10% of the time.

Yukon is one of the 400 solitaire card games in Pretty Good Solitaire.

Yukon Links

Rules to Yukon
See the rules of the game

Yukon Statistics
See the Yukon statistics of Pretty Good Solitaire players.

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