Spider Solitaire : A Strategy Guide For Beginners
Spider solitaire ( solitaire or patience ) is a well-known solitaire
game, which has gained a lot in popularity since Microsoft have
started shipping it free with windows. It is very hard though,
and many people want to know how they can increase their chances
There is hundreds versions of Solitaire like : Spider Solitaire
(most popular),Crescent Solitaire,Klondike Solitaire,FreeCell,TriPeaks
Solitaire,Pyramid Solitaire and many others. Here you can play
"Spider Solitaire One Suit","Spider Solitaire Two
Suits" and" Spider Solitaire Four Suits".
The aim of spider solitaire is to build an ascending suit sequence
in the foundation zone. But this is easier said than done! Particularly
when playing 4 suit spider, it can sometimes seem nearly impossible
to finish the game.
But there are strategies you can use to dramatically increase
your chances of winning. But before I go into that, a quick note.
In this article, I assume you have a solitaire game that allows
multi-undo, and that you don't mind using it. Some people don't
have a solitaire program that supports multi-level undo, or feel
that using undo is somehow "cheating". These people
can still get something out of this article, but not everything
they read may apply.
So what is the golden secret to winning spider solitaire?
It's simple! Empty Columns are the key!
The first objective of spider solitaire is to get a vacant column.
The objective after that is to try and get another vacant column.
Once you have 2 vacant columns, the game starts to become winnable,
but if you can, try and form yet another empty column. Once you
get to 3 or 4 empty columns, you have a very good chance of winning,
unless you get an extremely unlucky run of cards.
Getting The First Empty Column... The first move you should
make in the game is whatever the highest rank card that can play
is. If given a choice, play from the stacks on the right hand
side, as the 6 right hand stacks start with one less card.
From then on, play cards in this order or priority:
If a stack is closer to other stacks to being complete, play
that card (if you can) If you can't play from the stack which
is closest to being emptied, than play the card with the highest
rank. If 2 or more cards have the same high rank, and one of them
can be played into a same suit sequence, then play that one.
Keep playing like this, until a column is emptied, or you run
out of moves.
Once a column has been emptied, the focus of the game changes
a little. There are now 3 main objectives, "cleanup",
"re-arrange", and "expose". An overriding
principal at this time is to try and keep the empty columns. Vacant
columns give you a lot more choices in the game, and whenever
possible, you only want to fill your empty columns temporarily.
The first objective for the second phase of the game is "cleanup".
This is my term for re-arranging columns so that they become same-suit
For example, suppose you had 2 columns. The first one has:
and the second one has:
We can temporarily use the empty column, to rearrange the columns
so that these columns become:
We do this by moving:
6 of Diamonds into the empty column
6 of Hearts onto the 7 of Clubs
6 Of Diamonds onto the 7 of Diamonds
The main thing to note here, is that after we have finished
cleaning up this sequence, the empty column is still vacant. This
is critical, because we always need to keep our columns empty
After we have cleaned up any sequences we can find, the next
objective is to re- arrange any columns. This is simply moving
any sequences we can, to form longer sequences. If moving the
sequence will expose a new card (or a card that is not part of
the sequence), then we always move it. The rest of the time it's
a judgement call, based on whether the new sequence will be the
same suit, as well as what other cards are holding up the game
at the moment.
Lastly, we try and expose new cards, whilst trying to maintain
our empty column. We do this by using multi-level undo:
Move a card/sequence into the empty column, which exposes a
If the new card allows us to move the original sequence back
do so. If the new exposed card does not allow us to move it back,
try moving a different card/sequence instead. If you can't expose
any new cards whilst keeping the vacant column, then try dealing
some cards from the talon.
The most important thing is to create empty columns, and try
and keep them empty! Now, will these strategies help you to win
every game? No, they won't. Are there better strategies? Yes,
and you'll probably come up with some of your own as you play
the game some more. But the strategies above should prove a good
foundation to help you start winning more games.