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How to Play Simple Simon

Simple Simon is an easier version of Spider Solitaire 4 Suits, but all cards are laid out face-up in the tableau with no stock pile. You also only play with 1 deck.


Clear all the cards by building sequences within the tableau, separated by suit and arranged in descending order from King (high) to Ace (low). These sequences get transferred to the eight separate foundation piles.

Simple Simon Setup

Using 1 deck you arrange your game space into 2 key parts:

  • The tableau: This is the area where cards are dealt face-up in 10 columns. The first 3 columns have 8 cards, and each subsequent column has 1 less card.
  • The stock pile: Unlike Spider Solitaire, there is no stock pile.
  • The foundation piles: Like classic Solitaire, you leave room at the top for foundation piles, You don’t build on those spaces during the game. Instead, you create the entire sequence in the tableau and then transfer it to a foundation pile when it is complete.
  • The waste pile: There is no waste pile.

Simple Simon Suits Rules

Use the following rules to understand how to play the game:

  • Individual cards at the end of the tableau can be moved. Cards that sit on top of all the other cards in the tableau can be moved.
  • Individual cards can be sequenced by rank, regardless of suit. You can place single cards on top of cards that are one rank higher. They don’t have to alternate colors or be of the same suit. For example, a 6 of Hearts can be placed on top of a 8 of Spades, Clubs, Diamonds, or Hearts.
  • Groups of cards can only be moved if they are in sequence and of the same suit. Although single cards don’t need to match suits to be sequenced, you can only move a group of cards if they are sequenced in the same suit. The entire group can be moved on top of a card that is one rank higher, regardless of suit. For example, if you have a 3 of Hearts, 4 of Hearts, and a 5 Spades, you can move that whole set on top of a 6 of Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, or Clubs. If, however, the sequence includes a 3 of Hearts, 4 of Clubs, and 5 Hearts, you cannot move that sequence.
  • Create descending sequences in the tableau. Klondike Solitaire has you building ascending sequences onto foundation piles, but in Spider, you have to create descending sequences from King to Ace of the same suit within the tableau first. Once the sequence is complete, you can place it on a foundation pile to remove it from play.
  • Move any card into empty columns. You can only move kings into empty columns in Klondike Solitaire, but in Spider, you can place any card or group of cards (provided they are the same suit and sequenced) into an empty tableau space.

Strategies to Win Simple Simon

These strategies can give you an advantage playing the game:

  • Consider possible plays before you move cards. All cards are face-up, allowing you to strategize. The first card you see that can be sequenced may not be the best move. Plan a few moves ahead to optimally create your sequences.
  • Place higher-ranking cards or higher-ranking groups of cards in empty spaces. Use empty spaces for higher-ranking cards to build longer sequences. Face cards, like Kings, Queens, and Jacks, can build longer sequences. In other words, you can place more cards on top of them than you can lower cards, such as 3s, 4s, and 5s.
  • Build same-suit sequences as much as possible. Using mixed-suit sequences helps you move cards on the tableau, but only in the short term. Since you can’t move a sequence with multiple suits to other spots in the tableau, you could block access to crucial cards. So don’t jump at the first moves you see, and try to create sequences with the same suit as often as you can so that you leave yourself more movement options in the tableau.
  • Use the buttons hint and undo button to help your gameplay. You can use the undo button to reverse a move or several moves until you get back to a certain point, and if you’re stuck and aren’t sure what to move, use the hint button to have a move highlighted for you.

Other Games You’ll Enjoy

If you enjoy Simple Simon, try some of our other popular games:

  • Spider Solitaire - Play with 1, 2, or 4 suits and arrange cards into 8 foundations that represent the 8 legs of a spider.
  • FreeCell - Use 4 open cells where you can place any card as you organize a tableau of face-up cards.
  • Pyramid Solitaire - Cards are organized in a pyramid shape, and you remove cards by pairing ones that add to 13.
  • TriPeaks - Clear cards in a tableau shaped as three triangles by matching cards that are one rank higher or lower than waste pile cards.
  • Crescent Solitaire - Place cards in two types of foundations: one where you organize cards in ascending order and another in descending order.
  • Golf Solitaire - Clear cards from a face-up tableau by matching ones that are one rank higher or lower than the waste pile card.
  • Forty Thieves - A two-deck game where cards can only be moved one at a time and sequenced by suit.

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