Well, you and I know that nothing is as popular as the Broadway smash hit
“Hamilton,” but an inventor can dream, can’t she? Yes, Presidential Solitaire is a game invented by the author of this blog – me. Maybe it’s because I’m left-handed that the question, “What if…?” comes often to me. “What if Solitaire had NO NUMBERS?” I found myself asking myself one day. Of course, Solitaire in and of itself is fun just because we’re hoping the cards will quickly come our way and we’ll “beat the deck”. However, repeating “ten, nine, eight, seven…” in our heads is a bit un-challenging, don’t you think? So I thought, “What if the order of the Presidents becomes the order of the game? Challenging our brains to think “Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon…” surely must be a super-duper brain-building exercise, even more so than the popular “Patience Solitaire which merely requires extra patience! So around 1990, I took a little out of savings and went ahead trying prototypes, finding a willing printer here in the states, getting a package design, and there it was: Presidential Solitaire.
But I don’t KNOW the order of the Presidents. How can I play the game?
No worries. There is a handy “Help Card” included in the online deck of Presidential Solitaire. The help card shows the order of the Presidents: “Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, etc.” But after only a few times, you’ll have the order in your head.
Is there an online version?
Definitely! You can find a Kennedy to Obama edition by clicking here.
(Although you might find a physical collector’s deck of “Presidential Solitaire” on eBay or elsewhere online, all of our published decks have been sold. We may once again publish a print deck after the 2020 election, as well as update the present online version. However, that decision is yet to be determined by our company.) Since my husband, Michael Olmon, is a software programmer extraordinaire, the online game works great If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can find the order of the Presidents. Trust me, it won’t take a long time for you to learn the order. Again, this is a challenging game, and I find myself reciting the order over in my head to place the cards correctly, but I’m quite sure this is increasing my brain power and will increase yours.
How do I start?
The cards on the online game are set up as they would be on a table playing Solitaire with a physical deck of cards. Click on the “draw” pile and look for a President who comes after one of the President faces that is showing in the Solitaire rows. For example, if you have a red President Kennedy, look for a blue President Johnson to put on top. Next would come a heart or diamond of President Nixon: (past to present – Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon…Obama – you get the idea. The most recent President at the time of our online publication was President Obama so, of course, he is the Ace which can be moved to one of the four foundation stacks at the top of the board to start building from present to past.
Do you have any hints for playing the online game?
This game is programmed to randomly allow you to win. However, I myself find the random occurrence of winning, more infrequent than I personally would like. Therefore, if I see that I’m not winning (hint – if I don’t see lots of “Fords”, I switch to a new game by clicking ‘Deal’.).
Research shows that when we enhance our learning, new pathways are built in our brain and these pathways serve us well to preserve the health of our thinking and cognitive skills.