Spider, also known as Spider Solitaire, is one of the most popular two-deck solitaire games. Like many other solitaire games, including Golf and Pyramid, Spider owes a part of its modern popularity to being adapted by Microsoft for inclusion in its Windows operating system.

Spider is said to be one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s favorite games. Apocryphal sources say Roosevelt found playing the game a way to relax from the stress of being President during the Great Depression and World War II and that he would sometimes play with as many as five decks shuffled together.

Someone who is afraid of playing Spider is called an arachnophobe. I think? That doesn’t sound right…

Object of Spider

The object of Spider is to remove all 104 cards from play by assembling sequences of thirteen cards of the same suit.


Shuffle two decks of playing cards together. Since it’s a solitaire game, it’s up to you to decide how important it is that the backs match. If it isn’t, one set of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards is all you need.

Shuffle and deal ten cards, face down. Then deal another row of cards, overlapping the first. Repeat this until each column has four cards. Deal a fifth card to the first four columns, then one face-up card to each column. (Refer to the image at right.) When you are finished, you should have a 54-card tableau; set the remaining 50 cards aside, forming the stock.

Game play

Cards can be moved to other positions in the tableau, so long as the card they are placed upon is one rank higher. So a 9♠ can be placed on the 10♦, which can be placed on the J♥, etc. However, cards may only be moved as a unit if they are all of the same suit—so of the aforementioned J♥-10♦-9♠ sequence, only the 9 would be able to be moved. A J♣-10♣-9♣ sequence, however, may be moved together onto a queen. Aces are low and can only be played on twos; kings are high and cannot be played on any other card (but can be moved to an empty space).

When face-down cards are exposed, they are turned face-up. If an empty space is formed in the tableau, it may be filled by any card (or sequence of cards).

When no further moves are possible or desired, ten cards are dealt from the stock, one on each of the tableau piles. No empty spaces may be present in the tableau in order for cards to be dealt from the stock.

If a sequence of thirteen cards of the same suit, from king down to ace, is built, the entire sequence is removed from play. The game is won when the entire deck is discarded in this manner. Game play continues until the game is won or no useful moves are possible.


Comments are closed.