How to Play Black Widow Solitaire
Black Widow is an easier version of Spider Solitaire where you can move sequenced cards even if they aren't of the same suit. The game gets its name from the Black Widow Spider, reflecting that it's a variant of Spider Solitaire.
The game is played with two decks of cards with all 4 suits. Your goal is to create sequences of cards from Ace to King by suit in the tableau, which will then be moved to the foundation. When you complete this for all 4 suits twice, you win.
The Setup and Play Area
There are three main areas in the game:
Tableau: These are the ten columns of 54 cards, where where the first 4 columns have 6 cards and the last 5 columns have 5 cards. The last card of each column is turned face-up. Here, you will try to arrange cards by suit, from Ace to King.
Stock pile: The remaining 50 cards go into the stock pile. Cards are dealt from the stock pile 5 times. Each time, 10 cards are dealt, with 1 card placed at the bottom of every tableau column.
Foundation piles: These are the 8 piles at the top of the game. When cards are built by suit in descending order from King to Ace, they are then automatically placed in the foundation.
- Cards in the tableau must be built in descending order from King to Ace by suit in order to be moved to the foundation. For example, a sequence that can be moved to the foundation will start with a King of Hearts, followed by a Queen of Hearts, and so on until it ends with an Ace of Hearts.
- Tableau cards can be moved by sequencing them in descending order, regardless of suit. For example, a 7 of Spades can be placed on top of an 8 of Clubs, Hearts, or Diamonds.
- When you move a face-up card, the card underneath it will then be turned face-up.
- You can move multiple cards at one time. To move a group of cards, they must be sequenced, and the top card of that group must be placed on top of a card one rank higher. In classic Spider Solitaire, you can only move groups of cards that are sequenced by suit.
- You can place any card in an empty tableau column.
- You win when all cards have been moved to the foundation.
- Prioritize moving cards to reveal the face-down cards, making them playable.
- Avoid having lower-ranking cards above higher-ranking cards in the same column. This will make sequencing these cards challenging.
- Sequence as many cards as you can before drawing from the stock pile. Cards drawn from the stock pile can block cards, so sequence as many as you can before drawing from it.
- The first visible sequence may not always be the best one. Plan out your moves to remove as many cards as possible from the tableau.
- Try to empty the tableau columns quickly. Any card can be moved into empty columns, freeing up and allowing you to build more cards.
- Move Kings to empty tableau columns. Kings cannot be placed on top of other cards, so they are ideal to place in an empty column.
- If you get stuck, use the undo button. You may not always make the right moves, and you may need to reverse some to win the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the odds of winning?
4 Suits Spider Solitaire has a win rate of 6.08%. Because you can move groups of cards even if they aren't sequenced by suit, you have more moves in Black Widow, meaning your win rate would be higher.
What are similar solitaire games to try?
Spider Solitaire, Spiderette, and Scorpion, Big Spider, both require cards to be built in the tableau before moving them to the foundation.
What are other popular Solitaire games?
Be sure to check out these Solitaire games: