Spider Solitaire | Free Online Game
Spider Solitaire is a great variation of Solitaire that provides an extra challenge and novelty to any experienced Solitaire player. Beginners will find it fun too, thanks to the game’s simplicity and natural addictiveness. So what is Spider Solitaire, and how do you play it?
About Spider Solitaire
Spider Solitaire is quite a new version of Solitaire, being created in 1949. Its name derives from the way the game is set up, referencing the 8 foundation piles, the same number as a spider’s 8 legs.
The Spider Solitaire game traditionally uses 2 decks of cards, different from most other versions. In some variations of Spider, however, you can choose between 1 and 4 decks!
The Objective of the Game
When you play Spider Solitaire, your main goal is similar to the objective of most other Solitaire variations. To win the deal, you must organize all the cards in ascending order in the foundations and also arrange them into suits. Since you play Spider Solitaire with two decks of cards, unlike the classic versions, the game will only end once the 8 foundations are built.
How Do You Play 2 Suit or 4 Suit Spider Solitaire?
There are two common versions of this Solitaire game, and these are 2 suit and 4 suit Spider Solitaire. This article will run over both of them, so you can play in whatever way is more appealing to you!
2 Suit Solitaire Rules
2 Suit Solitaire is one of the more commonly played variations of Spider Solitaire, although 1 and 3 suit versions also exist.
- Set up your cards as outlined above. Ensure that there are piles of 5 on the right and piles of 6 on the left.
- In this version, you can ignore specific suits. Instead, just focus on the colors: reds and blacks. For example, if you play with real cards, Hearts, and Diamonds count as one suit here. Online services deal only two suits by default, so you won’t need to check them.
- Cards of the same color can be stacked on top of each other as long as the card being stacked is numerically one rank lower than the other card. For example, you can stack a red 7 on a red 8 or a black Queen on a black King, but putting a red 4 on a red 6 would be a wrong move.
- Once you have a run, you can move the entire sequence together. E.g., you could move a stack of black 9, 8, and 7 onto a black 10.
- As face-down cards are uncovered, be sure to turn them over. Then you can use them in play.
- When there are no more moves on the table, use the stockpile. The stockpile works a little differently in Spider Solitaire when compared with other versions. The stock is used by dealing one card face-up from the stock onto each of the 10 card stacks. This means that each card at the end of a stack is entirely new.
- To remove cards onto a foundation pile, you need to have an entire suit, from King to Ace. The sequences can be on top of other cards or simply on their own.
- Once you’ve successfully moved all cards into a full sequence and then into a foundation pile, you’ve won! The game can also end when the stockpile is exhausted and there are no more moves available.
Those are the main rules of 2 Suit Solitaire. It’s a little trickier than 1 Suit Spider Solitaire, but it’s much easier than 4 Suit Spider Solitaire.
4 Suit Spider Solitaire
4 Suit Spider Solitaire is intense, but it is winnable. It uses the same basic setup and rules as other types of Spider Solitaire.
- Deal out the cards in the same way as 2 Suit Spider Solitaire.
- Recognize all the suits. This is the main difference between 4 Suit and 2 Suit Spider Solitaire. Instead of only recognizing color, you must recognize each of the 4 suits: Diamonds, Spades, Hearts, and Clubs.
- The rest of the previous rules apply. Stack same-suit cards in descending order. You can move sequences as a whole across the tableau.
- Interestingly, in 4 Suit Solitaire, you can stack cards that are not the same suit. For example, the 6 of Hearts on the 7 of Spades is permissible. However, cards can only be moved off the tableau when they are in a full sequence (King to Ace) of the same suit. So, in general, try to stack cards within their suits.
Now you know the main rules for both 2 Suit and 4 Suit Spider Solitaire! If you feel ready you can try out a few games, but if you want to know more about Spider Solitaire, read on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning a new game can be confusing. So, here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions on 2 Suit and 4 Suit Spider Solitaire.
The meaning of the term “suit” varies depending on which version of Spider Solitaire you are playing. Here’s a quick rundown of the 3 main versions.
1 Suit Solitaire treats every card as the same suit. So every Heart, Diamond, Club, and Spade can be stacked on top of each other without worry. It’s the easiest version because of this, and it gives you the biggest chance of winning.
2 Suit Solitaire recognizes cards according to their color. There’s a black suit (made up of Clubs and Spades) and a red suit (made up of Hearts and Diamonds).
Finally, 4 Suit Spider Solitaire treats cards in a way that is easiest to grasp. Each suit is recognized as itself, so you play with four suits: Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds.
This is a difficult question to answer. Every type of Spider Solitaire requires a certain amount of skill, but the difficulty level of the game varies depending on the way the cards are dealt. So, the variations of Spider Solitaire with more suits are mostly games of skill. While there is a small element of chance in the game, you cannot rely on luck alone to win a round.
Understanding the rules of Spider Solitaire and playing with strong tactics is usually the only way to win, especially if you’re playing a more challenging version such as 4 Suit Spider Solitaire. In the long run, good practice and sharp tactics will let you win the game.
For versions of Solitaire that are perhaps more luck-based, you can try Klondike or FreeCell Solitaire.
“Foundation” is a term that carries a different meaning in Spider Solitaire than in most other versions. In many types of Solitaire, foundation piles are slowly built up, from Ace to King at the side of the tableau. However, in Spider Solitaire, the foundation piles are only created once an entire sequence has been put together in the tableau.
In a way, foundation piles are not strictly necessary in Spider Solitaire. When you’ve created a full sequence you can remove it from the game and display it in any way you like. However, it’s best to display them in a way that lets you keep track of your progress, and prepare for the later stages of the game.
Solitaire is a game with a long and varied history. So, where does Spider Solitaire come from, and who invented it?
The history of Solitaire can be traced back to the 18th century. The exact origins of the game are blurry, and it was played across Europe under many names. It was known in Britain as the “Game of Patience”, in France as “Success” and in Scandinavia as “Kabal”. However, the root of Solitaire is said to be in Germany.
For several hundred years, fortune-telling was a hugely popular practice across Germanic and Scandinavian cultures and this was Solitaire’s original purpose. While the fortune-telling aspect of the game has mostly been lost, there are still some regions that make use of this ancient tradition. If several rounds of Solitaire were lost in a row, then it was deemed that the player would have bad fortune. Conversely, if they won their first round, then the fortunes were in their favor.
Solitaire was perhaps first played as a game in prisons across France, which could be the reason why most terms associated with Solitaire have their origins in French. The earliest recording of Solitaire as a game, however, was in a German book published in 1783. It was described as a game in which people could play alone and hone their mental abilities.
Solitaire continued to evolve into many different variations. Spider Solitaire is one of these. The exact origins of Spider Solitaire are also unclear, but it might have its origins in the 1940s. The first official publishing of Spider Solitaire rules was in 1949, which allowed the game to climb in popularity.
Spider Solitaire was included in many versions of Windows in the 1990s, which introduced the game to large numbers of people, and helped its rise to fame. Because the Solitaire games installed on Windows were so popular, gaming companies and system developers continued to include them in other software, allowing Solitaire to stay relevant. While other types of Solitaire, such as Klondike, remain the most popular, Spider Solitaire is the most well-known 2-deck version of the game and is played in countries across the world.
Estimates of the chances of winning Spider Solitaire vary greatly, depending on the version of the game as well as your skill and the tactics that you use throughout the play.
For 2 Suit and 1 Suit Spider Solitaire, you can actually win the game almost 100% of the time, if you play with optimized tactics. Don’t feel down beaten if you don’t win a lot of your games at the beginning, because Spider Solitaire isn’t easy. It can take a while to grasp the best tactics.
4 Suit Spider Solitaire is far harder, and it is estimated that only 30-50% of the games can be won when playing with optimal tactics. However, many players struggle to reach this win percentage on account of the high challenge level presented by the game.
Regardless, the exact winning chances of Spider Solitaire have not been calculated, but there has been a detailed study on the solvability of other versions of Solitaire, mostly using the games installed on Windows.
So now you know all you need about Spider Solitaire! It’s a brilliant game and variation of Solitaire that can add an extra challenge for more seasoned players. It’s also open to beginners, who can start with the slightly easier 1 Suit and 2 Suit Spider Solitaire variations.
If you’re feeling ready, why not grab a few decks of cards, or find an online version to play?