Spider Solitaire: how to play


Spider Solitaire is a popular variant of solitaire using two decks of cards.

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To start a game

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Spider Solitaire.

    (Don't see it? You might need to turn on Windows Games. See Where are my games?)

  3. Select a difficulty level: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

  4. To move a card, click the card and drag it to its new location following the rules below.

To save a game

  • If you need to finish a game later, exit the game, and then click Save. The next time you play, you'll be asked whether you want to continue your saved game. If so, click Yes.

To adjust the game options

You can change the difficulty level, turn sound and animations on or off, and choose settings for saving games.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Spider Solitaire.

    (Don't see it? You might need to turn on Windows Games. See Where are my games?)

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Options.

  4. Make your choices, and then click OK.

To change game appearance

You can select different card decks and backgrounds.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click Spider Solitaire.

    (Don't see it? You might need to turn on Windows Games. See Where are my games?)

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Change Appearance.

  4. Make your choices, and then click OK.

Picture of the game Spider Solitaire
Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire: rules and basics

The object

Remove all the cards from the table in the fewest number of moves.

The table

Spider Solitaire is played with two decks of cards. Depending on the difficulty level, the decks consist of either one, two, or four different suits.

The cards are arranged in ten columns. The top card in each column is face up, the rest are face down. The remaining cards are piled in the lower-right corner of the table.

How to play

To win, you must remove all the cards from the table by building columns organized in descending order, from king to ace. At intermediate and advanced levels, the cards must also match suit.

When you succeed in building a sequentially-ordered column, it flies off the table.

If you run out of moves, click the pile at the bottom of the table and Windows deals a new row of cards.

You aren't limited to moving just one card at a time. If a run of cards are all in the same suit, and arranged in numeric order, you can drag them around as if they were a single card.

Scoring

You start with 500 points. From this, Windows subtracts the number of moves it takes to finish a game. It then increases this subtotal by 100 times the number of runs removed from the table.

Hints and tips

Ask for hints. Stuck? Press H to have Windows light up the cards you should play next. For beginners, it's also a good way to learn the game.

Clear space. Empty columns quickly and then start building new ones. This allows you to build the longest runs.

Uncover cards. Bring more cards into play by clearing columns and overturning cards deeper within the columns. The more cards in play, the more moves you have, and the lower your chances of stalled runs or being forced to draw from the deck.

Don't block cards. At higher difficulty settings, avoid placing low cards on cards of a different suit. This blocks them from play until the lower cards are moved.