How to Play Spider Solitaire: The Perfect Guide

Do you enjoy playing Solitaire, but you're looking for more of a challenge? In that case, Spider Solitaire might be the game for you. Initially developed in 1949, Spider Solitaire has remained one of the most popular solo card games for generations.

It’s a great game to improve your mental skills, enhance your memory, soothe your mind, and entertain you. If you’re ready to learn what all the fuss is about, we’re here to help. In this article, you will learn: - The objective of Spider Solitaire - Step-by-Step Instructions for playing Spider - The difference between Spider Solitaire and regular Solitaire - Where to start playing Spider Solitaire games online today By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll be prepared to tackle even the most difficult Spider Solitaire scenarios. Let’s get started!

What Is The Goal of Spider Solitaire?

The objective of Spider Solitaire is to order cards in runs within a suit in descending order from King to Ace. Once a player completes a run, it is removed from the table. The game is over when the table is empty or you’re blocked from making any more moves.

Is Spider Solitaire Easy?

Spider Solitaire is not as challenging as a game of Bridge. However, it’s still considered one of the most difficult solo card games you can play. That’s especially true when playing four suits instead of one or three.

Every Spider Solitaire game is played with two standard decks of cards ( minus the Jokers, so a total of 104 cards), regardless of level. However, if you want to make the game easier, you can add additional decks.

Learn more about Spider Solitaire's difficulty levels below. - Easy (One suit Spider) - Almost the same as Classic Solitaire, but you can mix and match any suits, so long as they are in descending numerical order. In some versions of one suit Spider, you only play with one suit (usually Spades) instead of four. - Intermediate (Two suit Spider) - In two suit Solitaire, you can match all red suits and black suits together. That means that hearts and diamonds and considered one suit, while clubs and spades are another. - Advanced (Four suit Spider) - All four suits are played in the game. That means completing the game requires matching and moving all eight suits (two of each) off the board.

Continue reading to learn the basics of how to play Spider Solitaire.

How Do You Play Spider Solitaire?

Learn Spider Solitaire gameplay basics for two-suit Spider Solitaire (the most commonly played version) below.

Step One: Setup & Dealing

Generally, the setup is the same regardless of difficulty level, but the objective is slightly different. Spider Solitaire setup consists of the following:

  1. Shuffle two standard 52 playing card decks together (minus the Jokers).
  2. Deal a horizontal line of 10 cards face down. This is the beginning of your tableau piles.
  3. Begin dealing to your piles. The first four should hold five cards each (last card face up). The last six should only contain four cards (last card face up).
  4. Put the rest of the cards face down on the table. These cards are referred to as the “stock.” You can draw from the stock pile when you cannot make moves with the cards on your tableau.

Now that you’re familiar with the gameplay setup, you’re ready to start building your Spider Solitaire suit sequences.

Step Two: Start Building Suit Sequences

In two suit Spider, your goal is to build and remove the black and red suits from the table. Since you’re using two decks, you must build and remove four suits in total (two red suits and two black suits).

In the two suit version of Spider Solitaire, you must complete descending sequences (King to Ace) of the identical color suits to remove them from the board. However, it’s essential to note that you can only move a sequence to another column if it’s the same color. Opposite color sequences can’t be moved together.

Step Three: Uncover The Cards From Each Pile

Suppose you move an exposed Queen of Hearts onto a King of Diamonds in another column. Now, you must turn over the face down card the Queen was on before the move. During gameplay, you can’t leave any exposed card face down. After you’ve emptied a column, you can move cards or qualifying sequences into the vacant space. Pro Tip: You can’t use cards from the stockpile if you have empty columns.

Step Four: Use The Stock Pile Cards When You’re Stuck

Once you run out of possible moves on the tableau, you can draw one card at a time from the stock. You can accomplish this step by turning over the top stock card and dealing it to one of the 10 foundational piles. Pro Tip: Once you cycle through all of the stock cards once and you no longer have any moves left, the game is over.

Step Five: Remove Completed Suit Sequences

After you complete a run of King through Ace from a red suit or black suit, remove them from the board. Be sure to place the completed runs in a separate area of the table (don’t mix them with the stock, that would make the game a bit too easy).

Gameplay ends when you create and remove all possible suit sequences (i.e., eight builds) or when you have no more moves left on the board. The Windows version of Spider (and most other computer versions) keeps score of every action. Every move subtracts one point, and every completed sequence is worth 100 points.

What Is The Difference Between Spider Solitaire and Regular Solitaire?

Spider Solitaire and regular Solitaire (also called Klondike or Klondike Solitaire) are similar in that the main goal is to complete runs. However, the most significant difference is that in traditional Solitaire, you have to build opposite color runs (i.e., black King, Red Queen, etc.) in the foundational spaces (not in the columns).

In Spider, players must build color or suit specific sequences within the tableau and remove them from the game. Generally, Spider Solitaire is regarded as much more challenging to win, primarily when the game is being scored.

Can You Win Every Game of Spider Solitaire?

Roughly 8/10 Spider Solitaire games are winnable. The rest are unwinnable. Even though it's typically possible to win most games, it’s not likely. However, you can increase your chances of winning by using the following tips during gameplay.

  1. Make it your goal to create as many empty piles as possible at the beginning
  2. Make each move after careful thought, don’t waste turns
  3. Try to build a run of King through Ace as quickly as possible
  4. Use open columns to your advantage
  5. If you’re playing online or in an app, use the undo button as much as allowed
  6. Move Kings to open columns as soon as you can

Are you ready to start playing? Learn where to play Spider Solitaire on your phone right now below.

Where to Play Spider Solitaire Online?

The best way to become an all-star Spider Solitaire player is to jump headfirst into gameplay. Check out our collection of Spider Solitaire games below:

Spider Solitaire Cube - Spider solitaire, with a twist. An exciting and challenging head-to-head competition against other players from around the world. Whoever finishes with the most points wins. Solitaire Spiderette - Fast-paced one deck Spider Solitaire. Play head-to-head against competition from around the world. Complete your game within the time limit to earn bonuses and real cash (where available).

Get started now to compete against real Spider Solitaire players for your chance to win real rewards.

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