Playing solitaire is so addictive because it is a single-player game that is fun, exciting, and easy to learn and play. You can improve your solitaire skills and scores by regular practice and play. That is right; solitaire can be addictive because you become better and score more points the more you play and practice the game.
Seeing yourself progress from one level of difficulty to the next can train the reward centers of your brain to release dopamine, a feel-good hormone.
The happy-feel neurotransmitter is often associated with the feeling of high and typically associated with addictive activities, such as gambling, taking heroin, and smoking cigarettes.
Solitaire is also a game that is designed specifically to be played by one person. As such, it tends to be more popular among lonely people and individuals with mental health problems. These classes of people are susceptible to addiction and may become addicted to playing solitaire as a way of beating boredom and coping with their mental health issues.
In other words, playing solitaire can be addictive for some people who take it as a form of escapism. For instance, if you play solitaire to escape your depression, money problems, anxiety, or other pressing issues in your life, you may end up being addicted to the game.
Solitaire can also be addictive because of its typical characteristics, such as its rewards that are easy to achieve and quick gameplay. These qualities make it easy for someone to get as many rewards from solitaire as possible, lending the game being a coping mechanism for those who are struggling with mental illness, depression and stress.
Top Reasons for Solitaire Addiction
There are many other reasons why playing solitaire is very addictive, including:
Solitaire offers a constant stream of new challenges
Solitaire is a game that takes skill, patience, and time to beat. It provides players with a constant stream of challenges and goals to achieve. When you become better and better at playing solitaire, it becomes addictive as you try to chase the next goal or challenge.
It is fairly easy to win with practice
At the core of the game, solitaire can become addictive because it is easy to learn the rules and gameplay. Once you have learned the tricks and strategies of the game, you will be rewarded with wins and progression in the difficulty level, both of which can cause the release of dopamine. That will make you play the game obsessively or impulsively.
It is a good game for beating boredom
Playing solitaire provides a good release from being lonely, bored, or depressed. The game itself can be exciting and relaxing at the same time. That makes solitaire an addictive game, especially to those who are very lonely and have a lot of free time on their hands. As with gambling or drinking alcohol, the availability of free time can create a route towards addiction.
Is computer solitaire addictive?
Computer solitaire is addictive, with psychologists and scientists having done research to prove that this is true. Why?
Computer solitaire addiction is due to the following reasons:
- Computer solitaire can become more than a pastime for someone who has plenty of free time in their hand
- Computer solitaire provide a gateway for dealing with loneliness, boredom, and other mental illness, all of which can lead to addiction
- Computer solitaire is easy to learn to play and master, setting up the player to dedicate more time to the game. As a consequence, the person can become addicted to the digital game while trying to chase ever-increasing goals and challenges.
- Computer solitaire is not a physical form of addiction, so it can go unnoticed for long. It can take a person months, if not years to realize that they are addicted to playing solitaire.
- Computer solitaire is free but the rewards for the brain are real. That is because attaining one achievement after another in solitaire can excite the brain and stimulate the release of the happy-feel hormone, dopamine. This is a brain chemical that is associated with addiction in alcohol, gambling, and other substances like cocaine.
- Computer solitaire has a fast gameplay which can be so addictive. The reason behind this is that a game that can be won quickly can provide instant gratification to a person, a habit that has been known to be addictive.
Why is solitaire so addicting?
Solitaire is so addicting because of the following reasons:
- It is a single-player game, which allows a person to indulge in the game for hours and hours alone. That can be a recipe for addiction.
- Solitaire generates more challenges and goals as you improve your skills
- Playing solitaire can be rewarding, which can stimulate the brain centers to release the addiction-forming dopamine.
- You can get better at solitaire by playing often and practicing regularly
- Playing solitaire can be a form of escapism or a coping mechanism, especially for people with mental illness and those dealing with hardship in life.
- Playing solitaire can be a great release from loneliness and boredom, making it addicting if played too much.
- It appeals to one’s obsessive behavioral pattern.
Why is solitaire so popular?
Solitaire is so popular for a number of reasons…
- It is one of the most exciting card games that can be played by one person. You don’t have to look for friends or play against other players.
- It is easy to learn and play because the rules are reasonably standard and unchanged
- The gameplay of solitaire is simple and straightforward. The goal of most solitaire games is to build four or more foundation piles of each suit. You must arrange the cards in each foundation stack from an Ace to the King in ascending order. It is that simple.
- The widespread availability of laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices has made it easy to access free solitaire games
- Microsoft played a big role in making Solitaire popular by including free classic games in its Windows operating system from Windows 3. This enabled people to play solitaire at home, in the office, and at school wherever they can use a Windows computer.
Is playing Solitaire good for the brain?
Yes, some studies seem to suggest that playing solitaire may be good for the brain.
The Benefits of Solitaire for the Brain and Overall Well-Being
Like most card games, you can become engaged and beat boredom when you play solitaire. Extreme procrastination and boredom can significantly harm your mental health and brain function. You need to keep your mind and body active in order to stay in good health. That is precisely what you get from playing solitaire in your free time.
Instead of watching TV or playing violence-filled video games, you can play a solitaire game.
The classic solitaire game is designed to keep you busy and engaged for hours on end. It gives your mind something to be occupied with instead of wandering into the realms of anxiety, boredom, and sadness. By helping you release some steam and escape boredom, the patience game helps keep your brain alert.
Improves decision-making skills
Mental skills development is another big benefit of playing games like solitaire. You make numerous decisions at many corners of the game of solitaire. Which King should you move next? Should you draw a card from the reserve pile or play one from the tableau stack? These decisions may seem small, but they train your brain to be better at decision-making and critical thinking.
Boosts memory muscle
Dealing with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other mental health issues that affect memory is quickly affecting our older adult population. One of the most significant benefits of playing solitaire for the brain is improving or maintaining a healthy memory.
Memory skills are crucial when playing solitaire, as they help you remember the rules and correct moves.
Exercising your memory muscle can improve your overall recall and ability to unconsciously remember the ordering, numbers, suits, and colors of the piles, decks, and foundations.
Relaxes and calms the mind
Anything that soothes the nerves and mind is good for the health and proper functioning of the brain. Lucky for you, playing solitaire allows your mind to drift into a meditative, trance-like state that is incredibly soothing for the brain. Besides, solitaire is a game of reward with many goals, levels, and achievements to be accomplished.
Whenever you win a game or round of solitaire, your brain will reward you by releasing a dose of dopamine. That special neurotransmitter puts your mind and body into a feel-good mood and state. Increased levels of dopamine are also good for your sleep, digestion, and dealing with mental illnesses.
Helps alleviate depression, anxiety, and mental issues
While some scholars have posited the addictiveness of playing solitaire, the game can help stimulate your brain to produce more happy-feel hormones. That can be helpful when dealing with underlying mental distress issues like depression, stress, and anxiety. It can also serve as a healthy way to escape the feelings of hardship, stress, and other problems associated with everyday life.
Promotes delayed gratification
Instant gratification is not suitable for your brain in the long term. It is what pushes people into addictive habits like alcohol, intoxicating drugs, and gambling.
However, solitaire is a game of many moves and takes a lot of patience to learn and win.
As a result, playing or learning solitaire can teach your brain and body the importance of delayed gratification, which can be a good lesson when dealing with emotional, psychological, and mental issues.
Improves mental skills
Playing solitaire can help foster and exercise your mental and tactical muscles. For instance, it will teach your brain to focus on a strategy for several minutes, if not hours. While solitaire is not as tactical as mahjong or chess, it is a game of partial strategy and powering through to victory can be quite helpful for your brain in the long haul.
Lifts your mood
While some solitaire games can be challenging and tough on the brain, they can also be fun and exciting, especially if you have mastered the rules of the game. The game can boost your happiness and excitement, which can be good for your brain, particularly at the end of the day. It is an excellent source of entertainment and fun.
When did Solitaire become popular?
Solitaire became so popular at the close of the twentieth century due to the emergence of personal computers (PCs) and larger desktop displays.