What Is a Foundation in Card Games?

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By Valerie Becker

A foundation is a fundamental aspect of many card games, including Solitaire and Freecell. It is an area on the playing surface where the cards are placed in a certain order to complete the game.

What is a Foundation?

A foundation in card games is usually located at the top of the playing area. It is a space where the cards are arranged in ascending or descending order, depending on the game’s rules and objectives.

How Does it Work?

In most card games with foundations, players must move cards from other areas of the playing surface to build up each foundation. For example, in Solitaire, players move cards from their tableau (the area where they initially dealt their cards) to their foundation piles.

What Are The Rules?

The rules for building foundations vary depending on the game being played. In some games, such as Freecell, there are strict rules that dictate which cards can be moved to which foundations. In other games like Spider Solitaire, players can only move same-suit sequences of cards onto their foundation piles.

The Importance Of Foundations

Foundations are an essential aspect of many card games because they provide players with a clear objective and help them to stay organized. Without foundations, players would have no end goal and would simply move cards around aimlessly.

Tips For Building Foundations

Here are some tips for building foundations in card games:

  • Always try to build your foundations as early as possible.
  • Keep an eye on which suits you need for each foundation pile.
  • Try not to move cards onto your foundation piles too quickly, as you may need them later.
  • If you get stuck, try moving some cards around in your tableau or other areas of the playing surface to create new opportunities.


Foundations are an essential aspect of many card games, providing players with a clear objective and helping them to stay organized. By following the rules and employing some simple strategies, players can successfully build their foundations and win the game.