Spider Solitaire Instructions

Play Spider Solitaire

Version 1.00 (Feb 26 2000) Copyright © 1999-2000 Andrew Pipkin apipkin@pagesz.net


Spider is a challenging (and time-consuming) game using two decks which was supposedly the favorite solitaire of FDR. While Spider has the usual objective of arranging all suits in order, Spider does not provide a stack for each suit to be assembled in. Instead, the suits must be ordered in the building stacks and are then moved to a discard pile. The game is won when all cards in both decks are in the discard pile. Stacks in Spider can be built with any suit, but multiple cards moved between stacks must all have the same suit. Several non-standard options have been implemented to make the game less daunting for beginners.


There are four areas of the screen:

Moving Cards

To move a card, click on the card (which will highlight it) and then click on the destination. Clicking on a card below the top will select all cards from the clicked card to the stack top if the cards have the same suit and are in descending order. Clicking twice on a stack selects all cards in descending order with the same suit.

The term natural build is defined as a sequence of cards with the same suit at the top of a building stack in which each card's rank is one less than that of the card above it.

The following rules indicate how cards can be moved between stacks:

  1. A card at the top of a building stack or free cell can be placed on top of another stack if the card's rank is one less than the rank of the card at the stack top. The suit of the cards does not matter.
  2. A natural build can be moved to another building stack if the card at the top of the destination stack has a rank one more than that of the highest ranking card in the natural build.
  3. Any card at the top of a building stack or natural build can be moved to an empty building stack.
  4. Any card at the top of a building stack can be moved to an empty free cell (if free cells are used.)
  5. Clicking on the stock will move a card from the stock to each building stack (if the stock does not become empty first.) Each stack must contain at least one card before a card from the stock is added to it (unless the allow empty spaces before draw option is set.)
  6. A natural build containing all thirteen cards in the suit can be moved to the discard pile. (This will be done automatically unless the automatic moving option is turned off.)



Clicking on these buttons will perform the following actions:

New Game
Begin a new game after shuffling the deck
Return to the original state of the current game
Return to the condition before the previous move was made
Bring up a window with the following options:
# of cards in stacks
This option determines the number of cards initially in the building stacks. The default is six in the first four stacks and five in the remainder. The number can be varied from between 2 and 7. A smaller number will result in a more winnable game. A new game must be started for this option to take effect.
# of free cells
This option sets the number of free cells. The free cells will appear on the right side of the upper row. Up to four free cells can be used. Using free cells will facilitate rearrangement of the stacks into natural builds.
Automatic moving
If this checkbox is set (which is the default), a natural build containing all thirteen cards in a suit will be moved automatically to the discard pile.
Allow unfilled spaces before draw
Setting this checkbox will not require that all building stacks contain at least one card before accepting a card from the stock.
Allow kings on aces
If this option is set, the ranks will wrap around and kings can be placed on aces. Normally, no card can be placed on top of an ace.


Version 1.00 (2000/02/26)
First public release