This traditional single-player card game is part of the solitaire game family. In these games, you employ memory and strategy to carefully sort a deck of cards per strict rules regarding moving the cards.
Spider Solitaire uses two decks of playing cards – 104 cards in total. It comes in three variants: basic with one suit (Spades), advanced with two suits (Spades and Hearts), and hard with all four suits (Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds) in the game.
In all three variants, the 13 ranks – King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace – appear eight times.
You can read up on the Spider rules in detail in our Spider School, home to our Spider Manual, Spider Lessons, and more. On this page, we are continuing with a general overview.
To set up the game, shuffle the deck and arrange 54 cards in 10 cascades to create the tableau: The first four piles contain six cards, while the other six piles contain five cards. Each tableau pile’s top card is revealed.
The remaining 50 cards become the face-down stock. If you choose to use it, one stock card will be added face-up at each tableau pile’s end from left to right. This can help if you can make no more moves in the tableau.
And finally, there are eight empty spaces above the tableau, the foundation. Here lies the game’s objective: In Spider Solitaire, you want all cards to end up in eight piles in the foundation, each in one suit only with the Ace at the bottom, continuing 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, and the King on top.
In Spider, you must keep your cards in the tableau until they are part of a complete sequence: Only complete one-suited sequences from King to Ace will move to the foundation.
That means that you must reveal and sort all cards in the tableau step by step. You do so by moving revealed cards or sequences between tableau piles. As a result, you reveal the new top card of the freed pile. While inching your way towards the solution, you will add all stock cards to the tableau, as you cannot move any cards from the stock straight to the foundation.
From time to time, especially in the multi-suit variants, a Spider setup cannot be solved. In such a case, you can give up the game at any time, scoring any points gained until then for that round.
At the Spider Palace, you can enjoy our exclusive multiplayer mode. It’s a competition between you and your fellow players: Who is quicker and more effective in solving the identic card setup? More effective approaches gain more points. But speed matters, too: A round ends shortly after one player moves all cards to the foundation. In the end, the player with the highest total score wins!
PS: As a solitaire aficionado, you can discover and enjoy the solitaire variant Scorpion, using our Scorpion custom rule at the Spider Palace!