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Introduction and Objective

Spider solitaire is a classic patience game, and one of the most popular two-deck solitaire in the canon. Named after the eight foundations resembling the legs of a spider (especially if you dramatically arrange them around the playing field instead of tucked neatly up in the corner), Spider Solitaire is a good mix between luck and strategy: not too difficult, not too forgiving.

As with most solitaires, the objective is to form eight runs of cards, spanning from Ace to the King, in the same suit. Once a run has been completed the whole run is removed from the board and placed into one of the eight foundations, clearing the way to manuever the remaining cards. Once all eight runs have been formed and removed from the table the game is won. empty the game has been won.

Spider Solitaire is commonly also played using a scoring system, so that even when you don't manage to fully clear the table you can use the score to get a sense of how well or poorly you did.

Setup

There are three zones to a Spider Solitaire table. The eight foundations, which start off empty; The ten tableaus, which have between 5 and 6 cards at the beginning; and the stock, a reserve deck of cards that starts with 50 cards faced down.

Spider Solitaire is played with two full decks, 104 cards. At the beginning 54 of the cards are divided between the 10 tableaus, the first 4 tableaus have 6 cards each, the other 6 tableaus have 5 cards each. The top card of each tableau is turned face up, the others are face down. The remaining 50 cards are placed in a face-down stock to the side.

Valid moves

Much like with many other Solitaires, cards are manipulated by moving them around in order to form runs of cards

  • A card can always be moved onto a card that is one higher in rank. You can for example move a 7 of clubs and put it on an 8 of clubs, or an 8 of hearts, diamonds or spades. However, because the goal is to form runs in the same suit it's best to try to limit mixing suits too much if you can avoid it, lest you get trapped with them later. However, you do often need to move cards to mixed runs simply to get them out of the way.
  • You can move multiple cards together if they are all part of a run in the same suit. E.g. if you have 8 of clubs, 7 of clubs, 6 of clubs, then you can click the 8 and move them all together onto a 9 of any suit. However if you have 8 of clubs, 7 of hearts, 6 of diamonds, then you can't move them all together, only the top card.
  • If a tableau is empty then any card or partial run is allowed to be moved onto it.

  • Once you have a full run of cards, from Ace to King, on a tableu you can remove it from the table and onto an empty foundation. A full run does not have to be the only thing on a tableau to be removed. For example, a tableau might have three facedown cards and then a full run from King to Ace in the same suit and then the run would disappear, and the three facedown cards would remain.

    Once you've moved your eight and final run to the foundations, you've won

Adding cards from the stock

When there are no more moves that can be made in the tableaus then you can click on the stock in the upper left corner. That will move 10 cards from the stock onto the tableaus, one card onto each tableau. Try not to do this until you are sure you have no other moves to make. It is required that there is at least one card in each tableau when the stock is clicked. If there is an empty tableau on the table you must first move one or more cards onto it before you can click on the stock. If there are fewer then ten cards in play you can no longer have at least a single card per tableu and thus cannot add cards from the stock, so don't be too zealous when making complete runs.

Scoring

You start with 500 points. For each move you make one point gets subtracted. For each run you remove from the table you'll get a 100 extra points. Example: if you've managed to make three full runs in 70 moves you'll have 500-70+3*100 = 730 points.

Difficulty

While a bit impractical if playing Spider Solitaire on your kitchen table, Spider Solitaire can be played with various difficulties by adjusting how many suits you have going. On this site we offer three difficulties: Spider 1 suit (beginner), Spider 2 suit (intermediate) and Spider 4 suit (advanced).

In beginner mode there is only one suit (spades), in intermediate mode there are two (spades and hearts) and in advanced mode there are all four suits. There are the however always the same number of cards, 104. Having fewer suits makes it easier to complete runs, while still requiring you to form the same number of them.

And that's it!

Want to play Spider Solitaire and put your newfound skills to the test? Play a round at Cardgames.io.

This is version 1.13.0 of Spider Solitaire.

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