The marble solitaire puzzle is not as difficult as it seems to solve. It simply requires a specific pattern to reach that one solitary marble. While there are many different patterns you can use to solve the puzzle, memorising one is really all you need to achieve success. You may want to try your own puzzle solving skills before you start looking for solutions. Once you learn the secret to solving marble solitaire, it can't be unlearned.
Set up the board with the empty space in the very centre of the marbles. There are many variations of this game, but the most common features the board in a cross shape with enough marbles to fill all but one of the space. This cross has four sides, each two rows of three marbles deep.
Pick a marble from the middle of one of the four sides of the cross and jump over the marble in front of it into the centre space. Each time you jump a marble you should remove it from the board. From here solving the puzzle becomes a matter of following a simple pattern.
Pick a marble from the first row of either side of the cross and use it to jump into the newly emptied space.
Go back to the first side of the cross and pick the marble from the bottom left of that side, using it to jump a marble into that newly emptied space. You'll see that a pattern of jumping into each previously emptied space is started here. Continue to follow this pattern until you've removed all marbles from that first side of the cross, except for one in the second row on the left. There should also be two holes open on one of the other sides of the cross, to the left or right of that first side.
Take a marble from the third row of marbles on the side opposite your first side and jump into one of the two empty spaces on the left or right side. Repeat the pattern of filling newly emptied spaces until you clear out all but one of the marbles on this side. It will be in the middle of the second row on that side.
Move onto the next side of the puzzle, repeating the pattern until you clear the remaining two sides. You should end up with three of the sides of the cross containing one marble in the middle of the second row. The central square of the cross will be intact, except for one empty hole facing the side without any marbles.
Use the empty hole in the central square as a compass. Turn the board until this empty hole is directly in front of you. This will help in understanding the remaining solution.
Use the second marble of the three directly behind the empty hole to jump one marble to the left or right. Then, as if this were a game of draughts, jump marbles all the way around the outside of the central square until you end up back in the original second marble position at the top of the board.
Jump to the left or right with the marble in the exact centre in the board.
Jump into the exact centre of the board, a recently emptied spot, with the third marble of the column directly in front of you. This jump will remove the second marble that previously jumped multiple marbles in a checkerboard fashion.
Jump over the marble in the exact centre of the board with the marble immediately to the left or right. This brings you to the final position in the game with only two marbles left. They should be next to each other.
Jump the final marble, leaving one marble in the centre space on the board.
One common pattern in this puzzle is jumping into recently emptied spaces. Clear each side of marbles one at a time.
Tips and warnings
- One common pattern in this puzzle is jumping into recently emptied spaces.
- Clear each side of marbles one at a time.