Alaska is a one deck variation of Yukon. Alaska is actually most similar to Russian Solitaire, the variation of Yukon where tableau building is down in suit rather than by alternate color. It originally appeared in Pretty Good Solitaire version 2.2 in 1996 from a suggestion by a user - Alaska is original to Pretty Good Solitaire and has since been copied by many other solitaire games.
At the start of the game 28 cards are dealt into 7 tableau piles, face down as in Yukon. Then the remaining 24 cards are dealt face up in the rightmost 6 piles, 4 in each pile. Within the tableau, building is up or down in of suit. Groups of cards can be moved regardless of any sequence, as in Yukon. An empty tableau pile can be filled only by a King or group of cards headed by a King.
There are four foundation piles. The object is to build the foundation piles up in suit from Ace to King to win the game.
The play is like Russian Solitaire, except you have additional move options because you can build up in suit as well as down in suit. Strategy is to play like Russian Solitaire first, making all the down in suit moves that you can until you get stuck. Down in suit moves should generally be preferred since that sets up the cards to move up to the foundations later. One exception is when an up in suit build will uncover a face down card when a down in suit move will not.
Once all possible Russian Solitaire type down in suit moves have been made, then start looking for up in suit moves. After some up in suit builds have been created, it is helpful when you can reverse up in suit builds and play them down in suit on another pile.
Because Alaska gives more options that Russian Solitaire, it is won on average 10% of the time in comparison to Russian Solitaire's 5% average.
Alaska 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. You also need to be careful when building up in the tableau that you will later be able to undo these moves so that the cards will move up to the foundations.
Warning! - Pretty Good Solitaire may be addictive. We are not responsible for lost productivity, neglected spouses, children, or pets. We are not responsible for lost sleep because you stay up to play "just one more game".
"I love the undo feature (I probably shouldn't admit that), the cards sets are an added bonus that I really ENJOY (along with all the other options: card backs, etc.), the restart feature is great when "undo" just isn't enough (this feature should be available in our daily lives) I guess I should just say that Pretty Good Solitaire is the BEST solitaire games program I've ever seen or used!"
- Sharon T.
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