Spider Solitaire - There Need To Be Rules
Although the game itself is quite straightforward, it is worth spending a little time in learning the rules which will make playing Spider Solitaire somewhat easier. As there are ten columns - or tableau - across the playing area it is important to create some gaps, or empty spaces, as quickly as possible.
The cards can only leave the playing area when the full sequence of cards from King downwards to the Ace at the bottom has been created.
Use Two Decks of Cards
The game uses two decks of cards and in its simplest form is played with one suit. The game is completed when eight full sequences have been made which leaves the playing area empty. The computer removes a full sequence automatically from the playing area.
As all of the cards remain in the playing area until the full sequence is made, it can have many cards on the table at once. It is important to create spaces as quickly as possible so that there is the opportunity to move cards around. In many other solitaire games there is a separate area where cards can be moved. In Spider Solitaire this isn't possible.
At the beginning of the game there are ten rows, or tableau of cards. There are four piles with six cards and six piles with five cards and only the top card in each pile is faced upwards.
The remaining cards, there are fifty of them, are placed in five separate piles of ten cards, all face downwards. These are stock cards which are available ten cards at a time. These can only be called for when there is at least one card in every tableau - stock cards can't be called upon if there are empty spaces in the playing area.
Every card which is in sequence can be moved at one time, either to an empty tableau, or to add to another sequence, but can only be continued in order. The sequence is complete when all thirteen cards, from King down to Ace are completely in the right order. At that time it is taken from the playing area.
When all eight sequences are complete the game is finished.
Two and Four Suit Game
The game is made more difficult when more than one suit is used. In the two suit game, one suit is red and the other black and the sequences have to be made with every card in each sequence being the same colour.
In the four suit game, the sequences are made in individual suits - so every card in the sequence must be from the same suit to succeed. This does make the game considerably more difficult.
Variants in Spider Solitaire Games
There are many variants, however, the majority of them are only minor, and the only changes relate to the numbers of decks of cards being used, so some games can use three or four decks of cards. The other minor variants are the number of suits being used in a game.
There are several variants on Spider Solitaire which have more radical differences. These include fewer tableau, or rows being used, and in another variant there are some free cells, which allow additional space in the playing area to hold cards which aren't helpful to the sequence. Only one card can be held in each free cell.
Experienced players will always be able to create their own versions of these games to add extra interest.