Introduction to How to Win at Spider Solitaire

If you are reading this guide you probably know that the four suit version of spider solitaire is particularly difficult to beat. Here I aim to help you win as often as possible. However be warned, Spider Solitaire is partially a game of chance and often you will be dealt cards that are in such an order that no matter what you do you will lose that particular game. Even so, I can help you get further every time you play.

Basic Rules to 4 Suit Spider Solitaire

Before I talk you through the hints and tips to help you win, you might want to review the basic rules of this solitaire game. If you know the rules skip further down to find out how to win spider solitaire.

Spider Solitaire is played with two decks of cards without any wild cards. They are dealt into 10 columns of cards. The first 4 columns are 6 cards tall and the last 6 columns are 5 cards tall. At the bottom of each column the card is face up, the rest of the cards are face down and are turned over when they are free. The remaining cards are dealt one per column, face up when you can't make a move and there are no columns without any cards.

The idea of the game is to create sets of 13 cards, in descending order from King to Ace in their same suit. Those sets of 13 can then be removed from the game. If you can remove all the cards then you have won the game.

You can move cards in groups or one by one. A group may only be moved if its in descending order and in the same suit and can only be moved onto another card that is one higher than the top card of the group (the suit you are placing it on does not matter) or onto an empty column. Similarly you can move a single card, only if the card you are laying it on is one higher and of course the suit you are placing it on is irrelevant. A single card can also be placed to start a currently empty column.

Hints and Tips for Winning

So here we are. As I have said, Spider Solitaire can be very tricky, but following a few simple hints you can maximise your chances of winning.

  • Assuming you are playing on the computer with an undo feature, always try to peek under the hidden cards to see if any useful cards will open themselves up to help you.
  • Always try to build groups of cards in their own suit. You'll be able to move those cards more easily later. Also do not assume you don't have any moves, double check that you can't restack the cards more favorably.
  • Try to open up two columns, as that makes restacking cards into their suits much easier. You can make a lot of progress this way. Only once you have restacked should you start moving other cards to open columns. Again remember the undo feature, as progress here is vital.
  • Kings can't be placed on top of any cards, so often its necessary to move them to the open columns. However because they can't be placed on any other card sometimes, especially earlier in a game you may wish to move another card to an empty column, with the hope of moving it somewhere else after a deal. This way you can keep columns more open for use in restacking.
  • In the early part of the game, it's best to stack on higher cards before you stack on lower cards. This way you can create groups early on.
  • Always try to open up new cards in columns by moving cards around rather than putting them straight into an open column.

Thanks for reading these hints and tips. I hope they help you!

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