Most likely you've landed on this page because you want to have a go at playing Spider Solitaire but you're not sure about the rules. We are here to help! When you look at the game it may look difficult at first sight, but fortunately the game has a beginners level (1 suit). We recommend that you start here and once you've mastered this level you can move on to the next level (2 suits). We have provided an explanation and the rules of Spider Solitaire below, but first we'd like to show you a helpful video: seeing the game in action says more than a 1000 words.

What is the aim of the game?

The goal is simple: you need to arrange all the cards in descending order (from king to ace) in the same series/suit. Here is an example of a complete column made up of spades: King, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and finally the ace. Once you have got a complete column, the game will automatically remove these cards and you can start sorting the next column until you have completely cleared all the cards.

The tableau

The game of Spider Solitaire uses two full packs of cards excluding the jokers. So, there are a total of 104 cards. Around half of these (54 cards) are arranged in 10 columns, with 6 cards in the first four columns and 5 cards in the remaining columns. The top card in each column is always facing up. There are another 50 left which are in the deck. This is the standard layout for all games but there are also variations with extra options: for example, some versions of Spider Solitaire have an undo function that allows you to go back one or more steps and there are also versions with a hint function that you can use to get help if you're stuck. The more help functions a game has, the easier it is to resolve.

Moving cards – 1 suit

When you are playing the beginners level (1 suit), you only play with the spades and you can only move a card onto another card that is worth one point more. So, you can place the 3 of spades on top of the 4 of spades. When you move a card, the card below it that was previously hidden is turned up, and you've got another card to play with. You can also move several cards at once, but then they must all be in sequence. So, if the 3 of spades is on top of the 4 of spades, you can pick up these two cards and place them on the 5 of spades. If you have a 6 on top of an 8, you will only be able to move the 6, because the 7 is missing. If one of the 10 columns is free, you can put any card you like in this column.

Moving cards – 2 suits/4 suits

When you play the harder levels in Spider Solitaire you can place one card on top of another card that is one point higher in value just like in the 1 suit version, with the difference in this level that you can also place different suits on top of one another, e.g. you can place the queen of hearts on the king of clubs. As we saw earlier, the goal is to arrange the cards in the same suit, so try as far as possible to put clubs with clubs, hearts with hearts, etc. Here too you can move cards together if they are of the same suit. So, you can't move the 3 of spades and the 2 of hearts together, but you can move the 3 of hearts and the 2 of hearts.

Dealing new cards

You've looked really hard and you can't see any way to go? Then you will need to deal new cards. There were 50 cards left in the deck; when you click or touch the deck 10 new cards will be dealt. Now continue as before, placing as many cards in order on top of one another until you have got no options left, and then deal 10 new cards. In most Spider Solitaire games you can't deal new cards if one or more of the columns is empty. Add a card to any empty columns and deal again.

Scoring system

In the official Spider Solitaire scoring system you always start with 500 points. Whenever you move a card one point is deducted. So, watch out; if the game has an undo function you can soon use up your points because undoing counts as one step. When you get a full series, from king to ace, you get 100 points. Example: you have made 88 steps; these are taken off the 500 points, which gives you 412. You have 8 complete series to collect in total before the game is over and each series is worth 100 points. 412 plus 800 gives you a score of 1212. You'll notice as you play the game that you get better at it and your scores go up. It's definitely easier to get a high score in the 1 suit version and your score is usually much lower with the 2 and 4 suit versions. Some Spider Solitaire games have their own scoring system or have an extra time bonus. We have got some of these games on the website too.

You shouldn't go far wrong if you stick to these rules. If you've still got questions or you're still having trouble working it out, send us a quick message - we are experts in the games, so we should be able to help!