Strategies to Win Spider Solitaire

By Neal Taparia - 12/29/2022

Spider solitaire is arguably the most complex and challenging of these three solitaire games. People who play Spider solitaire are usually players who are looking for a more significant challenge that other card games cannot provide. A typical game of Spider solitaire utilizes two decks of playing cards for its setup.

The game can be played with one suit, two suits, or four suits, depending on its difficulty level. In Spider solitaire, the fewer the number of suits, the easier the gameplay. Single-suit Spider solitaire is the easiest, while the four-suit version is the hardest.

Spider solitaire shares similarities with Klondike solitaire, including foundations, piles, and stockpiles. Like Klondike, the win condition of Spider solitaire is to build suit sequences (foundations) for each suit, and you are also allowed to build sequences of alternating color.

The main difference is that only complete sequences of cards may move into foundations; thus, sequences of ace to king of the same suit must be built on the piles instead of being moved into the foundations one card at a time. The stockpile mechanics are also different, as tapping it adds another card to every pile.

Here are tips to help you win at Spider Solitaire.

Empty the Piles in the Early Game

Move cards from columns with fewer cards as early as possible in the game. Empty piles are great for the temporary storage of cards while you rearrange sequences into fully packed foundations. Move cards into vacant columns if you need to turn over more cards.

You should examine all the face-up cards and single suit or mixed sequences you already have. That way, you have a better view of what cards you are missing.

Prioritize Building on Higher Cards

Among the out-of-suit builds, focus on the highest-ranking cards. This is because you cannot relocate sequences of alternating suits into another pile all at once.

This means that these sequences function as temporary storage for cards from other piles. Starting with low cards will result in a build that finishes with an ace, rendering it unusable.

Utilize the Undo Button

The last winning strategy is the most basic for any Solitaire game, and most players either forget or fail to use it properly. Utilizing the undo button allows players to devise brilliant strategies while reversing any misplays during their initial moves. Remembering when to use the undo button can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

FAQs about Spider Solitaire

Does color make any difference in Spider solitaire?

Card colors matter if you play Spider solitaire with two or four suits. This is because you can build sequences of alternating colors; for example, a red six could be placed on a black seven to free up a new card.

Is Spider solitaire the most difficult of popular solitaire games?

Pyramid solitaire is arguably the most difficult due to its staggering 1-in-50 win rate. However, Spider solitaire is significantly harder than Klondike or FreeCell. You may want to start by playing the one-suit version before moving up to two or four suits.

Is Spider solitaire based on chance?

Like most solitaire games, including Klondike, FreeCell, Pyramid Solitaire, Las Vegas Solitaire, and Tripeaks, Spider solitaire requires an equal combination of luck and skill to win.

About the author

Neal Taparia is one of the founders of Solitaired. He loves playing card games and is interested in understanding how games can help with brain training and skills building. In addition to card games, he also likes fishing and mountain biking.

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