Spider Solitaire

Solitaire is one of the most popular card games that has spawned different versions such as Klondike, Freecell, Scorpion, and Spider solitaire. 

In this article, we will focus on Spider solitaire. If you want to start learning about Spider solitaire, you are in luck because this guide gives you everything you need to know including its goals, rules, how to play, history, terminology, and more.

Spider Solitaire: What Is It?

Spider solitaire is played using two decks of 52 playing cards each. If you play regular solitaire, you may be accustomed to the standard gameplay of organizing the cards according to the four suits.

However, Spider solitaire is much more challenging because of its use of two decks with all four suits for a total of 104 cards. 

The good news is that you can choose the difficulty level of Spider solitaire by deciding how many suits you want to play with. You can play Spider solitaire one suit with only one suit, usually spades. You can also play Spider solitaire two suit with a combination of two suits, typically spades and hearts.

Sounds simple, right? What you should know is that Klondike and Spider solitaire have significant differences in the rules. 

If you are thinking to yourself, “I want to play Spider solitaire,” your best bet is to familiarize yourself with the rules of the game and scoring directives. 

Spider Solitaire Rules

The goal of Spider solitaire is to arrange cards of the same suit in descending order. That is, players need to find a way to organize cards of the same suit from king to ace while following all the rules. 

A complete sequence is eliminated from the playing field and placed on the foundation, which is located at the top of the tableau. 

A Spider solitaire game is considered complete when you successfully remove the cards from the playing field. This also means that you have won the game.

The Setup of Spider Solitaire

Whether you want to know about Spider solitaire online play or manual play, you need to know about the different terms used in the game. Some of the most important ones are stock, foundation, run, and tableau. 

When you come across the word ‘foundation,’ you should know that it refers to the space above the tableau where you place your completed runs when you remove them from the playing field. A run refers to a stack of cards of the same suit that has been arranged from king to ace.

Rows in Spider Solitaire

The playing field is composed of the stock, foundation, and the tableau. The columns of cards that you see are called tableaus. There are ten tableau piles on a Spider solitaire table. The first four ones have six cards or rows, while the rest have five.

Possible Moves in Spider Solitaire

A Spider solitaire game starts by dealing 54 cards spread across ten tableau piles, leaving the remaining 50 cards as stock. Keep in mind that there should be six cards in the first four piles, while the remaining six should have five cards. The top card in each pile is face up while the others are face down.

The stock cards are placed at the top of the playing field. If you play a Spider solitaire card game free online, then it will be at the top left corner of the screen.

What you need to know is that there are restrictions that apply to this game. You need to take note of the moves that are allowed in Spider solitaire 

  • A valid move consists of placing a card onto a card that is one rank higher than it is in a run, no matter the suit. So, if you have a two of hearts, you can place it on a three of any suit. 
  • Moving a card from one place to another even if they are from different suits can help you free up some space so that you can work toward completing a run. 
  • Another thing you should know is that you can move a stack of cards together but only if they are of the same suit. So, if you have a two, three, four, and five of hearts, you can shift all of them together to a six of any suit or an empty tableau. 
  • Having said this, you should remember that you can empty a tableau by moving all of the cards from that stack. Then, you can transfer an incomplete run or a single card on an empty tableau.
  • Now, if you find yourself out of moves, you can get more cards from the stock. This will add one random card from the stock to each of the ten tableau piles. This can be a good thing depending on what cards you get. 
  • Keep in mind that you can only get cards from the stock pile if all of the tableaus are occupied. Any empty tableau must be filled first before getting from the stock. This means that you cannot rely on the stock if you have less than ten cards on the table. 

Gameplay of Spider Solitaire

This game can be super challenging, especially for beginners. In fact, lots of people need a few times of trial gameplay before they fully understand the game.

If you want to start playing Spider solitaire, the first thing you should do is to wait for the cards to be dealt. This is when the playing field is being set up to create ten tableaus and a stock pile. You can do this by yourself. 

Those who are just starting with the game can choose a Spider solitaire one suit played only with spades. Then, you can level up to a Spider solitaire two suit, until you can manage playing with all four suits. The higher the difficulty level is can be more satisfying, so make sure to practice.

Once you have set up the table, you can start moving the cards around according to the rules. Remember, you can only move a card onto another that comes before it in a run. You also cannot shift a group of cards that are of different suits.

Strategy is important if you want to win in Spider solitaire. Make sure you have exhausted all your moves before drawing cards from the stock pile.

Keep in mind that once you run out of cards in the stock, you cannot get any more of them. If you fail to eliminate all the cards on the playing field by completing sequences of a single suit, then the game is over and you have lost. 

Score in Spider Solitaire

Scoring in Spider solitaire can be confusing, but once you understand how to get points, it can be quite simple. 

You start with 500 points. Every time you move a card or a partial run, your score is deducted by one point. You can only win additional points by completing a run and placing them on the foundation. A complete run that you have removed from the table is equivalent to 100 points. 

Not sure how this works? If you have 500 points at the start of the game and you finish a game in 50 moves with five complete runs, this means that your 500 points will be subtracted by 50, but you can 500 points for a total of 950 points.

Chances of Winning in Spider Solitaire

Spider solitaire can be pretty challenging, so if you are just starting to play, you might be wondering if you have a chance of winning. Those who fail the first few times should know that not every game of Spider solitaire is winnable. 

Every card dealt is completely random, so there are lots of variables that come into play, making every round complicated. Spider solitaire is a difficult game with lower odds of winning. On average, you can win at least once in every three games you play. 

Keep in mind that this is not a guarantee as you need to execute the solution correctly. That is, you should not miss any chance of placing the right cards in their rightful place before getting from the stock. 

Just remember that the goal of Spider solitaire is to form runs made up of the same suit in order to remove the cards run after run. Make sure that all your moves work toward achieving this objective. 

A Brief History of the Solitaire Spider

Card games have been around for a long time. In fact, there are records of people using playing cards as far back as the 12th century. As for solitaire, it is believed that people have been playing the game since the French Revolution. 

Some say that solitaire originated from France, while others say that it came from Germany and the Scandinavian area. From here on out, people came up with various versions of the game. 

If you want to play Spider solitaire for free using physical cards or online, you might be delighted to know that it emerged around 1917. 

Spider solitaire gained traction and popularity in the 1980s when Microsoft included it in its personal computer systems. Users around the world were able to play using these computing machines. Today, you can play free games Spider solitaire on your mobile phone, as well. 


Is it possible to quickly learn to play Spider solitaire for a beginner?

While this game can be complicated at first, a few trial games can help you effectively play Spider solitaire. If you are a beginner, you might want to play using a computer with free Spider solitaire games no download.

Most online or digital Spider solitaire free games automatically deal the cards, provide cards from the stock, take away completed runs, and even give hints. It also prevents you from making invalid moves, helping you understand the game better.

Can I play Spider solitaire with friends online?

With the variety of platforms where you can get free Spider solitaire play online, there are different ways to play it with your friends. 

You can play it on your computer if you have a Windows PC or you can head on to your browser and enter a website that lets you play free online Spider solitaire no downloads required.

If you want to play on Android or iOS, there are lots of options in the Play Store or App Store where you can get as many as Spider solitaire 100 free games and more. You can try different apps to see which ones suit your preferences best. 

Just keep in mind that some of them are bound to have advertisements which you can remove by paying a subscription fee or by purchasing the premium version. 

How long does it take to play Spider solitaire?

What you need to know is that Spider solitaire is a game of patience. You need to be strategic about how you move the cards and when you pull from the stock. So, you might want to take your time when making such moves. 

On the average, a game of Spider solitaire can last for about 20 minutes if you complete the game. Take note that this duration can vary depending on how slow or fast you make your moves.

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