Spider Solitaire tips include building sequences with queens, as shown in this photo.)

Spider Solitaire is a test of skill and strategy. If you want to achieve your highest score yet in this fun Solitaire variant, check out our winning tips and strategy. Let’s start with a recap of the rules and how Spider Solitaire differs from classic Solitaire.

Spider vs Classic Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is based on the classic (or Klondike) Solitaire game and follows the same rules and layout with a few exceptions:

  • Uses two decks of cards as opposed to a single deck in classic Solitaire.

  • Deals cards into 10 columns instead of seven.

  • Builds complete suits in the tableaus instead of in the foundation piles.

  • Empty tableaus can be filled with any card or sequence of cards (as opposed to kings only in classic Solitaire).

  • Can be played in one-suit, two-suit, and four-suit games.

  • The game is won when the player successfully organizes all suits in descending order and clears the columns.

Aside from these exceptions, Spider Solitaire follows most of classic Solitaire’s rules including building runs in columns and moving multiple cards from column to column. The exceptions outlined above are important to creating a winning strategy for Spider Solitaire since it plays by a slightly different set of rules.

Spider Solitaire Tips

Use these tips to unlock higher scores in Spider Solitaire:

Prioritize Queens

Since Spider Solitaire builds runs in descending order, prioritize building sequences from the queen down to the ace while waiting for a king. This helps you complete runs faster once you uncover a king.

Utilize Empty Columns

Empty columns can hold any card, not just kings or aces. Maximize empty columns by temporarily storing unplayable cards or awkward groups of cards that don’t fit anywhere yet. You can also use them to unblock cards that would otherwise remain unreached.

Avoid Blocking

Even though Spider Solitaire allows a greater level of flexibility with more tableaus and potential empty columns, it is still better to exercise caution and avoid blocking your own moves.

This happens when a card or group of cards is played too fast and placed in a less-than-optimal spot. Doing so can inadvertently block important cards or delay the completion of a suit, resulting in repeated maneuvers to re-access key cards.

Take a Hint

Spider Solitaire is quite a complicated game. If you’re playing online, don’t hesitate to take full advantage of the ‘hint’ button to guide your next move. It’s only cheating if it’s not in the rules, and the ‘hint’ button is there to help move the game along until you run out of possible moves.

Spider Solitaire Strategy

Try these strategies to win your next Spider Solitaire game:

Start with One-Suit Games

Resist the temptation to tackle a double-deck, four-suit game on your first try. First, build your skills by practicing with one-suit games. After you get the hang of Spider Solitaire’s gameplay, you can progress to two-suit games (the equivalent of a single deck of playing cards). Lastly, try your hand at a full four-suit game. Be patient and learn as you level up your games’ difficulty. Remember, even the most adroit player had to start at square one.

Clear Columns Wisely

Empty columns are useful spaces for players to organize their runs and hold unplayable cards. However, avoid clearing columns for their own sake and only do so when it helps you progress toward your goal. Emptying columns haphazardly can cause you to crowd tableaus and block cards that would otherwise be brought into play.

Use the Stock Pile with Caution

The stock pile is played very differently in Spider Solitaire: it deals not one or three cards (as in classic Solitaire) but ten at each turn. This is because Spider Solitaire uses two decks of cards, and dealing one card at a time can prolong the game significantly.

Using the stock pile adds a new card to all of your columns including empty ones, so use it with caution. Exhaust all possibilities first and then use the stock pile to introduce new moves into your game.

Plan Ahead

As with all Solitaire games, staying patient and planning ahead is the ultimate strategy. Take time to assess your options, analyze all possible moves, and find the best ways to progress toward your goal. By planning ahead, you maximize opportunities and create more possibilities with every well-thought-out move.

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