Solitaire is the name given to single player card games. The first solitaire games are believed to have been invented in the mid-eighteenth century. The first written account of a solitaire game was in 1783 in a German book of games. Believe it or not however it was described as a competitive multiplayer game. Players would take turns or play with 2 decks along side each other in competition. Presumably while practicing on their own ready for competitive play players found that it was actually fun and challenging to play individually too.
The next significant period on the solitaire timeline is the mid to late twentieth century. Over that time there was a boom of new solitaire games created. Hundreds of books were written describing hundreds of different kinds of solitaire (thousands if you include minor variations). In the 1980’s the first computerized version was created which people could play on their home computers. The computer shuffles the cards, lays them out and you can start again at the click of a button. This made solitaire more accessible, popular and fun to play than ever.