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How do you play Spider Solitaire?
When it comes to Spider Solitaire, there are various enjoyable variations that offer different levels of difficulty. These variations are categorized by the number of suits they involve: 1 Suit, 2 Suits, and 4 Suits. For the sake of clarity, we’ll first discuss the standard beginner version of 1 Suit.
Terms to know
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. Here, you will try to arrange cards by suit from Ace to King
Stock pile: After cards are dealt into the tableau, the remaining 50 cards go to the stock pile. You can add cards to the tableau 10 at a time, when 1 card each going into each tableau column.
Foundation: When cards in the tableau are arranged from Ace to King, they are then placed in one of the 8 foundation piles. Once all the cards are moved to the foundation, you win!
Goal of the Game
Your goal is to arrange and sequence the cards in the columns along the tableau in descending order, from King to Ace. Whenever you complete a sequence, you move those cards from the tableau to one of the 8 foundations. The game is won when each foundation is filled with suit-stacked cards, arranged from King to Ace, and no cards remain in the tableau.
- Begin by laying out the tableau
- The remaining cards (a total of 50) should be left face down, forming the stock pile. You can draw from the stock pile at any time to add more cards to the tableau
- Build a sequence of cards in the piles by moving any face up card on top of a card with the next-highest value, such as a 9 of spades moving onto a 10 of spades.
- You can move a group of cards in a column as a single unit to another pile if they are all in descending order of the same suit. In the below example, you can move the 10 and 9 of Spades on top of the Jack of Spades.
- If only face down cards remain in a column as face up cards are moved, turn the last face down card over. This will reveal a new card, which can then be sequenced.
- If you can not sequence any more cards on tableau, draw out 10 more cards, face up, to each of the 10 piles, in order to keep the game moving. You’ll draw from the stock pile five times over the course of the game, drawing 50 cards in total.
- When cards are drawn from the stock pile, you may have sequences that are no longer ordered. In the below example, you’ll see there is an Ace on top of the 10. The 10 and the Jack can only be moved once the Ace is moved. All three of these cards cannot be moved together because they are not in sequence.
- Even if a card is blocked, you can still continue to sequence below the blocked card. In the below example, even though the Queen needs to be moved, you can still put a Jack on top of the Queen. Once this is done, you need to move the Queen and the Jack to unblock and access the 9.
If a column is empty, you can move new cards to that column, which can then be sequenced.
- As you make your moves, begin to put together cards in descending order from King to Ace of the same suit in the same column. One successfully done, those cards can be moved to one of the foundation piles. After the 8 foundation piles are filled, you win. If all the cards have been drawn and there are no more moves left, the game is over and you lose.
How do you play 2 Suits or 4 Suits Spider Solitaire?
1 Suit Spider Solitaire is a great way to begin to learn how the game is played. With some experience under your belt, you can challenge yourself with 2 or 4 suits Spider Solitaire.
In 2 and 4 suits Spider Solitaire, the general layout is the same, and the rules do not vary too much. Again, two decks will be used. In 2 Suits, 54 cards of 2 suits are used. In 4 suit, 26 cards of each suit are used. Lay out the cards the same you would for 1 Suit Spider Solitaire. After this, follow these rules:
- Apply the same card-moving rules from single to multi suit.
- You can only move groups of cards as a single unit if they are in sequential order and of the same suit.
- You can sequence cards of different colors or suits. However, you can only move cards together, or as a group, to other tableau columns if they are of the same suit. If you move a 4 of Hearts on top of a 5 of Spades, the 5 of Spades is blocked until the 4 of Hearts is moved. They cannot be moved together as a group.
Empty columns can be filled by any card, just like single suit.
The rest of the same rules apply, and the game is won when the foundation piles are filled. In 4 suits, this means 2 foundation piles of each suit are completed, and in 2 suits, 4 foundation piles of 2 suits are completed.
More suits adds more difficulty to the game, and means you have to be careful because a wrong move can trap a card that you needed desperately! Moreover, as more suits are added, there is a smaller chance of winning the game.
For more details, check out our guide on how to play Spider Solitaire.
What are the odds of winning 1 Suit Spider Solitaire?
We looked at a sample of 133,346 random gamed played on our site. Of those games, 69,169 were won, making the win rate 51.9%. This makes 1 Suit more than three times easier than 2 Suits, which has a win rate of 16.6%, and eight times easier than 4 Suits, which has a win rate of 6.2%.
When Playing Spider Solitaire, What is the Meaning of the Term "Suit?"
Suit refer to the number of card colors you are using to play Spider Solitaire. 1 Suit only has spades and is the easiest version of the game. 2 Suits is intermediate and 4 Suits is the hardest variation. The more suits in play, the more difficult the game is to win. Many players report not winning any games at the 4 suits.
Is Spider Solitaire all about Luck or Skill?
Winning solitaire games generally require a degree of skill and luck. There are hundreds of different solitaire game variations. Each solitaire variation has different rules and different ways to win. In Spider Solitaire, not all hands are winnable, no matter what you do. There are strategies that can increase the probability of winning, depending on the game.
How is the Score Calculated in Spider Solitaire?
There is no universal methodology for keeping score in Spider Solitaire. Instead, each place you play the game will have their own unique scoring system. For example, if you play the Windows version, you start with 500 points. Every move is a point deduction and every time you complete a foundation you get 100 points.
In our game, we measure your score based on your total moves and total time. The less moves you make and the less time you spend completing the game, the better your score will be!
What Does Foundation Mean When Playing Spider Solitaire?
The foundations are piles where a sequence of cards from Ace to King of the same suit are built.
What is the History of Spider Solitaire?
The game is called “spider” solitaire due to the relation of spiders having 8 legs, and the 8 foundation piles that need to be completed in order to win the game. While the current version originates from 1949, the first mention of spider comes Games Digest published in 1937. They describe the game we know today as Spider, but it slightly differs with the tableau having 50 cards instead of 54. However, they talk about it as a well-known game, so it's likely Spider has its origins from the early 1930's at the very least.
Spider Solitaire later grew in popularity with its inclusion in Microsoft Windows in 1998.
What are the Chances of Winning Spider Solitaire?
Similar to classic solitaire, you can not win all hands of Spider Solitaire. We estimate the win percentage of 1 Suit Spider Solitaire at 55-65%, 2 suits at 20-25%, and 4 suits around 5-10%. The more suits you play with, the harder the game gets. If you’re worried you're going to be stuck on a game you can’t beat, you can choose to play a game that is winnable.If you're looking for more fun, check out our other 500+ free games. Or you're looking for an app based version, we've listed the best Spider Solitaire apps here.
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