JUNE 2024

How to Play Spider Solitaire Card Game Guide - Play Now!

Learn to play Spider Solitaire like a pro

Rulebook on How to Play Spider Solitaire

Written by: Elizabeth Miller | Last updated: 16 November 2023 | Fact check by : Robert Moore

Elizabeth's mastery of Solitaire, cultivated through three decades of play and rigorous study, has positioned her as an innovative and highly respected expert, trusted by enthusiasts and novices alike. About Elizabeth Miller

For many people, the love of Classic Solitaire never fades, but they want to play something more complicated and spicy from time to time. That is why original Spider Solitaire came into existence because it is a more challenging variant that will always keep you on your toes.

You've come to the right place if you're new to Spider Solitaire or seeking to elevate your skills. Let's dive in and discover how to play Spider Solitaire like a pro, guided by our expert player Elizabeth Miller.

As an exciting variant of classic Solitaire with two decks of cards, this game is about arranging playing cards of the same suit in descending order from King to Ace to complete eight sequences.

Win Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is not one of those card games where luck plays a major role in your victory. Before playing the Spider Solitaire game, you should be prepared to deal with every exposed card and create a descending sequence while exposing hidden cards. All of this should be done according to a proper strategy if you want to succeed.

Let us quickly explain how you can set up this game.

  • Take 2 standard decks of cards and shuffle them properly.
  • Start from the left and place 6 face-down cards in the first four columns and 5 face-down cards in six other columns.
  • Flip over the top card of each column, and place the remaining cards in the stock. Now you are ready to start playing and creating sequences.

The Objective of Playing Spider Solitaire Online

Following the Solitaire game rules in the spider variant, you will place a face-up card on top of another if it is the next-lowest card. A 9 of spades can be placed on a 10 of hearts, but you can’t move both cards together. If you want to move the cards as a stack, they must belong to the same suit.

Managing all ten piles and utilizing all face-up cards will be your main job in this game. You will try to create descending sequences of the same suit so that they can be moved to the foundation piles. You can draw cards from the stock if you can’t find any moves in the tableau.

You will win the game once all the cards end up in the foundation.

Tableau Piles and Scoring More Points

Managing the tableau piles and any empty column in the tableau pile is very important. Some moves may not seem natural, but they might be what you need to excel in Spider Solitaire.

For instance, you may want to create an empty column quickly by moving cards from a smaller pile. However, we will advise you to first focus on the columns with more cards so that you can have balanced tableau piles. The columns with the most hidden cards can prove to be the biggest hurdle in this game.

Beginners mostly don’t understand the idea of ‘order.’ This means you should avoid suit changes in a sequence as much as possible. It is easier to eventually form sequences with a single suit when the suit changes aren’t frequent.

Spider Solitaire Hidden Cards

Flipping as many face-down cards as possible in the current game seems to be an excellent strategy to win. However, you need to see if you are making progress in the right direction before trying to reveal hidden cards.

For instance, you may get the opportunity to move a 7 of spades to an empty column and reveal a hidden card. Before making the move, you can see if it is possible to move cards above a 8 of spades so that you can place the 7 of spades on it. This will be a much more productive move, and you will still have the empty pile for your use.

So, you need to make a habit of always thinking about alternative moves and trying to choose the most useful ones.

Face-Down Cards & Expert Moves

We mentioned order before, but sometimes, disorder is the way to go. Disorder means that the suit changes can be frequent, and this strategy can help you turn over more face-down cards if you use them right.

You can’t have a smooth or easy game when you play a Solitaire variant like Spider Solitaire. You need to make some difficult choices, like having a column with multiple suit changes so that other columns can have very few suit changes.

Once you are able to make progress with the other columns, you can deal with the column with more suit changes. It will be better to pick a column with no hidden cards for having multiple suit changes so that you don’t block those hidden cards for a long time.

Mastering the Empty Space in Solitaire Games

The empty pile will help you in building piles and making moves. Any card that can’t be placed anywhere and is blocking your progress can be transferred to an empty pile.

If you don’t like the card that is revealed by the card placed on the empty pile, you can use the undo button and use the empty pile later. It would be better if you don’t draw stock cards frequently if you are trying to create an empty pile.

In short, you need to create an empty pile as soon as you can.

Foundation Piles and Basic Rules for Winning

Different Spider Solitaire variants have the same basic rules, but it is much harder to win in the four-suit version compared to the one-suit version. In the more difficult variants, your ability to see what could be possible will help you move cards to the foundation piles.

Just because a card isn’t present on the tableau, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that it exists. So you need to imagine scenarios where you can make progress by using a card that is not yet available.

For instance, you may only need a 10 of hearts to create a complete sequence. In this scenario, you shouldn’t make moves that will remove your ability to create a complete sequence when the 10 of hearts is revealed.

Patience Game Strategic Gameplay

Each move you make has to be as accurate as possible because one wrong move will change the outcome of the game. Especially when you are dealing with cards having a different suit, you need to pay attention to the options that you have.

For example, you may have 2 opportunities to place a 10 of spades on a Jack of a different suit. In this scenario, you need to think about the number of hidden cards each pile with Jack has. Naturally, you should go with the pile with the least number of hidden cards and place your 10 of spades there. This will block fewer cards.

Maybe, the 10 of spades shouldn’t be placed above a Jack of a different suit, and you should wait for a Jack of Spades. Basically, you have to consider every move possible and then make the best one.

Worlds Best Spider Solitaire Players

Here are the Solitaire players that have surpassed everyone else:

  1. Elizabeth Miller (UK) - 411 Games Played, 279 Games Won
  2. Michael Cullum (UK) - 308 Games Played, 185 Games Won
  3. Fernando Rabello (Brazil) - 511 Games Played, 198 Games Won
  4. Nobuo Sugimura (Japan) - 453 Games Played, 190 Games Won
  5. Ana Maria Montoya (Colombia) - 288 Games Played, 148 Games Won
  6. Piotr Szwed (Poland) - 271 Games Played, 143 Games Won
  7. Laura Potvin (Canada) - 345 Games Played, 165 Games Won
  8. Ivan Kostov (Bulgaria) - 390 Games Played, 172 Games Won
  9. Gabriel Silva (Argentina) - 321 Games Played, 155 Games Won
  10. Bjorn Swenson (Sweden) - 294 Games Played, 143 Games Won

Don’t lose the opportunity to learn from these pros and become so much better at Solitaire strategy. Once you master strategy, your win rate will improve, making the game more fun.

Always try to follow the right strategy and make moves to win the game. We hope you keep enjoying the game we all love.


How To Play Spider Solitaire – FAQs

Here are some common questions about how to play Spider Solitaire:

What is the main goal of playing Spider Solitaire?

Your main goal will be to create sequences of the same suit where the cards will be in descending order from King to Ace. When you create 8 such sequences, you will automatically win the game.

What strategy should be applied when choosing a column to uncover a hidden card in Spider Solitaire?

It is recommended to go for a column with the highest number of hidden cards, but you need to consider everything else in the game too.

Can you explain the "rank break chaining" concept in Spider Solitaire?

Basically, you will try to avoid any breaks in the ranks and make moves so that the cards always follow the correct rank order. Instead of moving a Jack to an empty column, you should try to find a Queen and place the Jack on it. So you will end up revealing the hidden card below the Jack and also maintaining the order in the game.

Why should I include ‘unavailable scenarios’ in my Spider Solitaire strategy?

Certain cards that aren’t available yet can appear and be used to make progress. However, this can only happen when you anticipate their occurrence and avoid making moves that will stop you from using those cards well. So always think about what can happen and play accordingly.

How does the game of Spider Solitaire end?

The game ends when you run out of moves or complete eight sequences to win it.

What are the names of some of the top Spider Solitaire players worldwide?

Some of the best Spider Solitaire players are Elizabeth Miller and Michael Cullum from the UK, Fernando Rabello from Brazil, and Nobuo Sugimura from Japan.