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GOALS | RULES | CONTROLS | SCORING | STRATEGY | DID YOU KNOW?

Game Goals

Build sequences of same-suit cards, ordered King through Ace. Once you finish a sequence, it is removed from the tableau. Remove six of these sequences to win the game.

Game Rules

This version of Spider Solitaire uses a deck of 78 cards. It will consist of one or two suits, depending on the difficulty of the tournament:

  • in the easier version, the deck consists of just Spades, six of each card (6 Kings, 6 Queens, and so forth)
  • in the harder version, there are both Spades and Hearts (3 of each card)

At the start of the game, 38 cards are dealt to eight different columns. The first six columns receive 4 face-down cards and 1 face-up card, while the next two columns receive 3 face-down cards and 1 face-up card. The remaining 40 cards are dealt to 5 Draw Piles, each consisting of 7 face-down cards and 1 face-up card.

Any single card that is last in a column may be picked up and moved to a different column, as long as it is placed in sequence with the card that is currently last in the chosen column. In other words, the card must be placed on top of a card that is one rank higher. Aces are the lowest rank, so sequences run from King down to Ace. For example, you can move a 5♠ and place it on a 6♠, a Q♠ and place it on a K♠, or an A♠ and place it on a 2♠. You can also place a single card into any empty column.

You can also move groups of cards, as long as they are both in sequence and of the same suit. For example, consider the following column:

Q
10
9
8

You could move the 8♠, the 8♠ + 9♠, or the 8♠ + 9♠ + 10♠, but you couldn't move all four cards, as there is a break in the sequence between the 10 and the Queen.Another example:

8
7
6
5

Here you can move the 5♠, or the 5♠ + 6♠, but you couldn't also include the 7 since it is of a different suit.

These groups can be placed on any column where the last card in that column is one rank higher than the highest-ranked card in the group you are moving. For example, you can place a group consisting of A♠ + 2♠ onto a column that has a 3♠ as the last card. Groups can also be placed into empty columns.

Note that there is an extra column, called the "Free Column", which is empty at the start of the game. It is available for use at any time if you need it. However, if you can successfully complete the game without placing any cards in this column, you will receive bonus points.

If a successful move leaves a column with only face-down cards, the top face-down card is automatically flipped over.

At the bottom-right of the screen, there are five Draw Piles available. You can click on any of these piles to deal a face-up card to each of the first 8 columns. The face-up card of the draw pile will be dealt to the first column.Once you complete a sequence of same-suit cards running from King down to Ace, that sequence is removed from play, and a small spider will descend from the top of the screen indicating this achievement. Remove six of these sequences to successfully complete the game.

There is an Undo button you can click to undo the last move. However, it can only be used if the last move did not reveal a card (either on the tableau or by selecting a Draw Pile). If it is not available for use, it will be grayed out.

Game Controls

  • Move cards with the mouse by clicking and dragging them to new columns. If the new location is not a valid place to put the card, it will snap back to the original location.
  • You can move a group of cards by selecting the highest-ranked card in the group you want to move. Note that this group of cards must be of the same suit in order to move them. If the new location is not a valid place to put the group, the group will snap back to its original location.
  • Select a Draw Pile by clicking on any available pile.
  • If the Undo button is active, you can click on it to undo your last move. This can only be done if your last move didn't reveal a card.
  • Click on the red 'X' button in the upper right of the game screen to quit the game.
  • Click on the speaker and music note buttons to toggle sound effects and music on and off.
  • Additionally, the following keyboard commands are available:
    • Press 'M' to turn the music on and off.
    • Press 'S' to turn sound effects on and off.

Game Scoring

  • Receive 25 points for every face-down tableau card you reveal.
  • Receive 100 points for each complete sequence you remove (King through Ace).
  • You'll earn 100 bonus points if you successfully complete the game (removing all six sequences) without using the Free Column.
  • At the end of the game, you will receive a Time Bonus equal to 1 point for each unused second, times the percentage of successfully completed hand sequences. That is:

    Time Bonus = ( TR ) x ( CS / 6 )

    Where TR is the amount of time remaining (in seconds), and CS is the number of completed hand sequences.

Game Strategy

  • Try to expose face-down cards as quickly as possible to open up new moves.
  • Try to create empty columns as early as possible, which can then be used to help build in-suit sequences.
  • Arrange and expose as many cards as you can before resorting to a Draw Pile.
  • The top card of each Draw Pile is face-up, so choose a pile showing a card you need.
  • If you can, avoid using the Free Column. If successfully complete without using this column, you'll score extra points.
  • In a competition with multiple suits, you should always try to build sequences of the same suit (known as a "natural build"). That way, you may move these partial sequences around as a group to other columns.

Did You Know?

  • You get 25 points for each face-down card you reveal.
  • You get 100 points for each whole suit of cards you arrange in descending order.
  • If successfully complete the game without using the Free Column, you'll earn 100 bonus points.
  • You can move groups of cards as long as they are all of the same suit, and are arranged in descending order.
  • You can add cards or group of cards to a column even they don't match the suit of the final card in that column.
  • Arrange and expose as many cards as you can before resorting to a Draw Pile You can only click Undo if your last move didn't reveal a card.
  • The top card of each Draw Pile is face-up, and is dealt to the first column.
  • You can press 'M' to turn the music on and off.
  • Spider Solitaire got its name from the eight suit sequences that coincide with the eight legs of a spider.
  • Spider Solitaire dates from the mid-twentieth century, making one of its first appearances in the 149 book, "The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games."
  • The earliest computer version of the game appeared in the 98 Plus Pack by Microsoft Windows.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt claimed Spider Solitaire to be his favorite of the Solitaire flavors.

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