Spider Solitaire Rules
The objective in Spider solitaire is to move all cards to the foundation. Do this by arranging the tableau cards into eight same-suited runs from King down to Ace.
After shuffling two decks (total of 104 cards), 54 cards are dealt as evenly as possible to each of the ten columns in the tableau, with only the top cards facing up. The remaining 50 cards are divided into five groups of ten cards each, and placed in the stock, ready to be dealt to the tableau one group at a time.
Cara Games Spider Solitaire features three variants. 1-suit Spider is the easiest as all 104 cards are of the same one suit. 2-suit Spider is of middling difficulty as the 104 decks are evenly split between a red suit and a black suit, introducing new dynamics in managing cards and runs. In the 1-suit and 2-suit variants, suits are chosen at random at the start of each new game. 4-suit Spider stands at the pinnacle of difficulty and is the most exciting challenge with two standard 52-card decks.
- Move a run of cards within the tableau: A movable run is made of face-up cards in descending order and of the same suit, sitting on top of a column. A run, or any bottom portion of it, can be moved to a column that is either be empty or whose top card of any suit that is one rank larger than the run.
- Move a completed run of 13 cards from the tableau to the foundation. Do this with all runs to win.
- Deal a row of cards from the stock to the tableau. A new row can only be dealt when all columns are filled, no empties. The cards are dealt one-by-one face-up to the top of each column.
You win the game of Spider when you have moved all completed runs to the foundation.
Strategy and Hints:
Spider solitaire is easy to learn the rules of and difficult to master. Try these strategies, tactics, and hints to help you master Spider.
- Aggressively manage cards and increase run lengths. Go to the effort required to make runs longer; this will help you to gather enough parts of a run so that when the time comes, you can more easily complete a run and clear it out of the tableau, potentially gaining more workspace or uncovering a key card. Sometimes, lengthening a run requires a large number of steps that changes your game layout extensively, to a degree that might feel violent. This is actually normal, and you might be doing the right thing, because such athletics can be the difference between winning and losing.
- Value empty columns in the tableau. If completed runs are the most valuable item in Spider, then perhaps empty columns are second-most valuable. Empty columns are highly useful as an intermediate workspace when managing cards and manipulating runs. Over the course of the game, aim to get your first empty column, and from there work for two or three empty columns, as is feasible.
- Store cards for later in a few tall columns. Primary methods to gaining empty columns are A) completing runs, and B) storing cards in a few tall columns, cards that are less likely to be needed soon.
- Tactically, determine which runs you might be able to complete next. Judging from the suits of those runs, store cards of other suits in a few tall columns.
- Prepare before dealing the next row. Cards in the new row will block the currently available moves, but every now and then a dealt card miraculously continues the run underneath it. Prior to dealing a new row, arrange just one card in each of the empty columns, cards that will be easier to put back after dealing the next row, allowing you to reclaim the empty columns.
- Note that in Spider, there is no guarantee that a newly-dealt row will offer any valid moves. This can be especially painful when you are close to winning and you come to deal the last row ...
- Learn how to rapidly identify the probability of winning a game. After familiarizing yourself with Spider, you might become able to tell earlier in the game if you have a good chance of winning or not. When the odds appear unfavorable, some people prefer to just start a new game.
Spider solitaire is a deep, challenging, and rewarding game. With two decks and heavy manipulation, Spider is a card game that truly benefits from computerization: Shuffling and dealing is completely automated, hints reveal moves hiding in plain sight, and the undo system makes it easy for people to explore different paths and possibilities to winning. Cara Games Spider Solitaire is intelligently designed and highly playable, a fresh take on Spider solitaire. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we do!