Spider Solitaire - Is It Easy?

Spider Solitaire is an incredibly popular offshoot from the Patience/Solitaire stable. There are different degrees of difficulty, but although the easiest one suit game is reasonably straightforward, and certainly the rules aren't complicated, there are many more difficulties to overcome once the player ventures beyond the first level.

The basics remain the same, irrelevant of the degree of difficulty. The game is always played using two decks of cards. The cards aren't all dealt at the beginning. The player can request a row of cards from the stock pile which are kept at the bottom right hand side. There are five stock piles in total, but they must all be used before the game can finish.

The Basics

The cards are dealt across ten rows with the top card being dealt face upwards. The simplest game uses only one suit - spades - and the player must place the cards in order down from the King.
The uppermost card is always able to be used, and can be moved into position under a higher number. The only card which can't be moved this way is the King. As this is the highest card it can only be moved to an empty column. Cards that are already in a sequence can be moved altogether.

When any column is empty it can be filled by any available card. The next row in the stock pile can only be accessed when there are cards in every tableau pile.

Enjoy Learning the Game

Spider Solitaire is a really absorbing game which, once a player understands the basic rules, they can enjoy themselves and they will lose track of time.
Even at the easiest level it isn't possible to win every game - however, it isn't possible to know until there are no more moves.

As all the cards aren't visible at the beginning, there isn't the opportunity to know which cards are hidden, and where - however with 50 cards in the stack and 44 cards behind the front row, there are many opportunities for creating card sequences. The quicker the player is able to expose the cards the greater the opportunity for winning the game.

Another import factor is to ensure that all cards are re-arranged as soon as they are exposed and not just left where they are. The quicker they are arranged sequentially the greater the opportunity.

One problem that everyone will encounter is when drawing cards from the stock pile. Invariably there will be a King and/or an Ace. Remember that the Ace can only be moved to below a two or to an empty column.
A King can only be moved to an empty column, but while it can't be moved other cards can be placed below the King!

It Does Get Harder

At this stage we have only mentioned the simplest format of the game. Once the player has confidence in their ability and understand the game fully, they should try the middle level which uses two suits - one red and one black.
The game is exactly the same, but the complication is keeping the colours and suits separate.

At the hardest level all four suits are in play which will require considerable concentration to think ahead rather than just trying to place the cards in any row where the numbers allow. It will cause problems later on, when trying to re-arrange the numbers and suits.

Patience will be Rewarded

Spider Solitaire at its basic level is fairly straightforward - however when additional suits are added in then this is where the complications start. As long as the player works methodically then eventually they will be rewarded.

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