The main differences between a traditional game of solitaire and other versions of the game involve the placement of the cards and the win conditions. Some solitaire variants use new layouts and rules for moving cards through the play area, with some games forgoing the suit-building mechanic completely.
A traditional game of solitaire involves shuffling a standard deck of 52 cards, and then dealing out a total of 28 cards in seven piles to form the play area. With each pass across the play area, the left-most card placement is face-up until all cards are in play. The goal is to rearrange the cards by placing the topmost and all descending cards on another card of higher value and opposite color to reveal an ace and build four piles of ascending cards in matching suits.
Spider solitaire uses two decks instead of one and features four stacks of six cards, along with six stacks of five cards in the play area. Though the play area is different, the goal is still to reveal the aces and build up the suits. Pyramid solitaire, another variant, involves placing the cards in six rows to create a pyramid shape. The goal is not to build suit piles, but to clear the field by making card pairs that total 13.