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Complete Guide to Spider Solitaire

Written by: Robert Moore | Last updated: 05 August 2023 | Fact check by : Elizabeth Miller

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With 30 years of experience, Robert Moore is an accomplished authority on Solitaire and Mahjong, having delved deep into the rules and advanced strategies of these classic games. About Robert Moore

Spider Solitaire is like a tricky puzzle that can take hours to solve. Furthermore, it is one of those unique variants of Solitaire that allows you to choose the difficulty level by adjusting the number of suits. It is a tough nut to crack, but nothing is impossible if you have the right guidance. Solitairea’s complete guide to Spider Solitaire will make you a Spider Solitaire Pro and allow you to beat all variants of this card game.

Get ready for unlimited Spider Solitaire action at Solitairea.com - it's free, and you can play Spider Solitaire Online without downloads or email registration. Our version of Spider Solitaire boasts quick loading times and is mobile-friendly, so you can play on the go.

Take advantage of the following:

  • Infinite gameplay

  • Undo feature for when you're stuck

  • Hints to guide your next move and boost your progress

The Objective of the Game

Image showing the objective /layout of the Spider Solitaire game.

Image showing the objective /layout of the Spider Solitaire game.

Spider Solitaire offers various challenges, ranging from one-suit, two-suit, to four-suit versions. For simplicity, we will focus on the beginner-friendly version with only one suit in this guide to playing Spider Solitaire. Once you understand how the one-suit version works, you can apply that knowledge to play the other versions easily.

In this card game, you aim to arrange the playing cards in descending order from King to Ace in the tableau columns. Once a sequence is complete, move it to one of the eight foundations. There are certain Spider Solitaire rules you must follow while moving the cards that we will discuss soon.

You will win the game when all foundations have a complete suit stacked from King to Ace, and no playing cards remain.

How to Play and Win

Spider Solitaire - How to play & The Basic Moves

Spider Solitaire - How to play & The Basic Moves

Spider Solitaire is a solo card game popularized by Microsoft Windows. Played with two decks of cards, the card game challenges you to strategize against yourself.

To grasp the spider solitaire rules, let's examine the playing field, which consists of three parts:

  1. The Tableau: 54 of the 104 cards are arranged in 10 columns, with the top card in each column face-up.

  2. The Stock: As you play, 50 undealt cards are added to the tableau columns.

  3. The Foundation: Ultimately, this area will hold all 104 cards, sorted by color and arranged in eight stacks from King to Ace.

Now let us understand the basic rules of playing this game.

  • As long as the cards follow a descending sequence, they can be placed on top of each other. So you can place a 6 of any suit on a 7 of any suit.
  • The most important rule to remember is that you can’t move cards of different suits together. So you have to strategize and avoid combining the suits too much.
  • If you think there are no more moves left, you can draw cards from the stock to add one card to all tableau piles.
  • Only a King or a sequence starting with the King can be placed in an empty tableau column.
As cards are moved and sorted, new buried cards are revealed in Spider Solitaire.

As cards are moved and sorted, new buried cards are revealed in Spider Solitaire.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Spider Solitaire

Your goal in the game is to move all tableau cards to the foundation by arranging them in descending order with matching suits, from King to Ace. Once a sequence is complete, it's automatically moved to the foundation. When you finish 8 sequences, you will win the game. So now you can guess why this game is called Spider Solitaire. Hint: it has something to do with the number of foundation piles you need to fill to win.

Our unique Spider Solitaire game offers three difficulty levels:

  • Level 1: One Suit Spider Solitaire (easy)

  • Level 2: Two Suits Spider Solitaire (hard)

  • Level 3: Four Suits Spider Solitaire (expert)

One Suit Version

One Suit Spider Solitaire is among the most popular patience games.

One Suit Spider Solitaire is among the most popular patience games.

The Spider Solitaire with one suit is perfect for those who are just getting started. All cards belong to the same suit, so you only have to focus on placing cards in descending order. For instance, if you have a 4 of Spades, you have to find a 3 of Spades to place on it.

When multiple cards are stacked in the correct order, you can easily move them together. Finally, a sequence can be moved to the foundation when it is complete.

Try to reveal every face-down card by moving cards above it. Also, use the undo button as many times as you want to fix any mistakes. There is no need to worry about your score when you are learning to play.

This is the most fun variant because you can easily find moves and quickly finish the game. However, those who have mastered it should move on to harder variants to continue challenging themselves.

Spider Solitaire With Two Suits and Four Suits (Expert Modes)

The rules are more or less the same in variants with two suits and four suits, but the addition of new suits changes everything. In the two suits version, you will play with cards of two suits, and in the version with four suits, all suits are available.

The rule that changes everything and makes these variants harder compared to the One Suit Spider Solitaire is that you can’t move a sequence of cards of different suits together.

Drawing New Cards in Spider Solitaire

When you're out of moves, deal new cards if each tableau column has at least one card. Remember to fill all empty spots before dealing. The rule says that you need to have at least one card on all ten tableaus before you can deal any cards.

A new card is added to every column from the Stock in the Spider game.

A new card is added to every column from the Stock in the Spider game.

Tips for Winning Your Spider Solitaire Game

In Spider, you juggle cards into Ace to King stacks before they

In Spider, you juggle cards into Ace to King stacks before they're moved to foundations.

Here are some solid Spider Solitaire tips and tricks you can use in your own gameplay:

  • Empty columns: Clear columns quickly and use them for temporary storage to view face-down cards and assess their usefulness. Utilize the undo button to backtrack and try another column.

  • Column management: Divide columns into work stacks and waste stacks. Keep work stacks organized for building partial sequences. Waste stacks hold cards that are no longer needed.

  • Take your time: Speed doesn't affect your score, so carefully consider your moves.

  • Prioritize the tableau: Make moves in the tableau and only consider drawing cards when you don’t have any moves left.
  • Uncover hidden cards: Always try to make moves that reveal face-down cards so that you have plenty of options.
An King to Ace stack is moved to the foundation once completed.

An King to Ace stack is moved to the foundation once completed.

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Spider Solitaire FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about Spider Solitaire:

What does "suit" mean in Spider Solitaire?

Suit means the number of suits that will be available to you when you play the game. The 1-suit level is considered easy, the 2-suit is intermediate, and 4-suits is advanced/expert. The more suits involved, the more challenging the game. Many players need help to conquer the 4-suit level.

Is Spider Solitaire based on luck or skill?

Success in solitaire games typically involves a mix of skill and luck. There are countless solitaire variations with unique rules and win conditions. In all types of Spider Solitaire games, not all hands are winnable, but strategic play can boost your chances of victory.

How is your score calculated in Spider Solitaire?

There is no standardized scoring method for Spider Solitaire. Each platform may have its unique system. In our game, your score is determined by your total moves and time spent. Fewer moves and less time spent result in a higher score.

What does "foundation" mean in Spider Solitaire?

Foundations are the four piles on which an entire suit or sequence must be built. In most Solitaire games, the four aces serve as the base of the foundations, which include the suits of hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs.

What is the history of Spider Solitaire card games?

Spider Solitaire, a variation of the original Solitaire, is a single-player card game with multiple versions that gained popularity after being included in Microsoft Windows. The game is called "Spider" Solitaire due to the connection between spiders having eight legs and the eight foundation piles required to complete the game. The current version of Spider originated in 1949, but its first mention was in Games Digest in 1937. This version had a 50-card initial tableau instead of 54, but as it was described as a well-known game, its origins likely date back to the early 1930s.

What are the odds of winning a Spider Solitaire game ?

Like classic online Solitaire, not all Spider Solitaire hands are winnable. We estimate a 55-65% win rate for 1-suit Spider Solitaire, 20-25% for 2-suit, and 5-10% for 4-suit.The more suits involved, the more challenging the game. At Solitairea.com, we allow users to play winnable games to avoid getting stuck in an unwinnable situation.