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What Is Spider Solitaire?

Erika Peterson
Erika Peterson

Different variations of solitary card games are fun and stimulating ways to pass the time. Popular with hospital patients, soldiers and average people just looking for some entertainment, these card games are usually played on a playing surface with standard sized playing cards. However, standard playing cards are not necessary to enjoy a solitary game. Games like Spider Solitaire can also be enjoyed on a computer or via a small electronic single player game.

As a twist on the original card game of solitaire, Spider Solitaire is popular with people of all ages. It is a single player card game that can be played electronically or with standard playing cards on a playing surface or table. The most basic version of the Spider card game uses two decks of cards; however, there are also three deck and four deck versions of the game.

Two full decks of cards are often used to play spider solitaire.
Two full decks of cards are often used to play spider solitaire.

The two deck version of Spider Solitaire is considered the basic game. It is always played with 104 cards. Sometimes the game includes two full decks of cards, but it can also be played with 104 cards of two suits. So, for example, four decks might be needed, but only the hearts and spades are included in the game. Easy games of Spider are played with only one suit, while the harder games are played with multiple suits.

A basic game of Spider Solitaire starts with 54 cards arranged in ten stacks. These stacks should include a relatively even number of cards in each pile, meaning all stacks in this case will have five cards, four stacks will have six cards. The card at the top of each pile is placed face up prior to beginning the game. The fifty remaining cards, out of the original 104, are placed in the lower-right hand corner of the playing area. They are used during game play. The object of the game is to remove all of the cards from the playing surface, in the fewest moves possible. Game play starts with the cards that are face up. These cards are moved around and placed with other cards in order from ace to king to form a line of cards. A line is complete when it includes all cards from ace to king. Complete lines can be removed from the playing surface.

Spider Solitaire is included with most newer Microsoft® Windows® operating systems.

Discussion Comments


I frequently play solitaire on the computer, including regular solitaire and spider solitaire. Both are kind of fun when you're bored or spending time alone, but are there twists on the game that allow two or more people to play?

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    • Two full decks of cards are often used to play spider solitaire.
      By: AR Images
      Two full decks of cards are often used to play spider solitaire.