How to Play Spider

At the Spider Palace, you get to play Spider Solitaire in real-time against fellow card game enthusiasts from all over the world! Traditionally, Spider is a one-player game. But we added a multiplayer option: At the beginning of each round, all players are dealt the same setup. Whoever gains the most points when solving this setup, wins the round.

Spider is a type of patience game. Use your attention and memory to solve it by sorting the whole deck of cards: Ten piles of cards are in the middle of the table, the tableau, with each top card revealed. While playing, you can distribute and reveal ten cards from the remaining cards evenly to the tableau piles. Sort the sequences from King to Ace by moving revealed cards from one tableau pile to the other, revealing the new top card of the first pile. In the end, there should be eight complete sequences. Our basic rules are perfectly adjusted for novices and make getting started easy. Once you gained some experience, you can employ custom rules to create the game you enjoy most. Go easy or go for a challenge!

Do not worry, if you did not recognize some of the terms above. This was just a rough summary – in the following paragraphs, we will explain the rules of Spider at the Place in detail! To quickly look up single terms, take a look at our glossary! And use our in-game help to answer any questions coming up on the fly during playing.

Cards and Playing Field

Spider uses two decks of traditionally French-suited playing cards: 104 cards in the suits Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds. The 13 ranks – King, Queen, Jack, 10 to 2, Ace – would occur twice in each suit. At the Spider Palace, a standard table will provide all 104 cards in one suit, though. This way, it is easier to practice at first. Choose to use more suits with our custom rules. Read more about this at the bottom of this page.

The playing field consists of three areas of card piles – the stock on the top left, the tableau on the bottom, and the foundation on the top right. Above the playing field, you see how much time you have left for this round, how many points you gained so far, and how many moves you made. In multiplayer mode, your opponents’ progress is also displayed above your playing field.

The Aim

In Spider Solitaire, you must sort 104 cards into sequences. You can move the revealed cards in between the piles of the tableau. Once the revealed cards make up a sequence, they will be automatically moved to the foundation. There are three conditions to meet for the cards to be a sequence:

  • All cards of a sequence must be of the same suit.
  • Each sequence must contain one card of each rank.
  • The ranks in each sequence must be sorted as follows: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace

Stock

At the beginning of the round, 54 cards are dealt to the tableau. The 50 undealt cards are used face down as the stock. While playing, you can distribute and reveal ten cards from the stock evenly to the tableau piles. You can do this five times, but only when all ten piles of the tableau hold at least one card. Other than that, you decide when you want these cards. They can open new opportunities, but they could also block some of your tableau piles.

Tableau

As we already mentioned, 54 cards are dealt to ten piles in the middle of the table, the tableau. The first four piles contain six cards, while the other six piles contain five cards. The top card of each pile is revealed.

You must move the revealed cards from pile to pile to form sequences bit by bit. When you move all revealed cards from one pile to another, the new top card of the pile is revealed. You can only move cards from one pile to another when the following conditions are met:

  • descending order of ranks: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace
  • The moving card must be one rank lower than the target card, no gaps allowed.
  • Moving several cards at once is possible if they follow the order and are of the same suit.
  • If one tableau pile is empty, you can place any card you like there.

Foundation

We placed the foundation above the tableau piles. At the beginning of the round, the foundation looks like eight empty panels. These are the spaces for your sequences. Once a sequence is complete, it will be automatically moved to the foundation. You cannot place any cards directly onto a foundation panel.

Undo

Undo is an option to revoke one or several moves you made. You can use it if you want to add cards to another pile in hindsight, for example. If you are up for a challenge, you can opt for the custom rule Undo Off and play without this option at your own table.

Scores

Scores are collected during the whole round – each move counts. Any plus or minus points will be shown at the time and place they occur in green or red numbers. Your current total score is displayed above the playing field.

At the end of a round, solving the game awards a bonus. A round ends either when the time is up, or when all players finished sorting all their sequences correctly. At the Spider Palace, you can play several rounds at one table. A table ends when the selected maximum number of rounds is finished. At the end of a table, each player’s scores of all rounds are tallied to determine the winner. Of course, the highest score wins.

1 Suit 2 Suit* 4 Suit*
Points for moving a complete sequence to the foundation +50 +100 +150
Points for revealing a card +2 +3 +4
Points for combining two cards of the same suit +1 +2 +3
Points for each unused Joker (Custom Rule Joker) +3 +3 +3
Negative points for undoing one move -1 -1 -1
Points minus the amount of moves you made to solve the game +300 +400 +500

* Available via custom rules

When a move is undone, the points it dealt are detracted from your score. Using our custom rules 2 Suit and 4 Suit can be tricky. Thus, these game modes award more points. When using the custom rule Relaxed, more than one card per pile is revealed in the tableau. If correctly sorted cards are dealt coincidentally, points for these are awarded even before you make a move.

Gaining Stars

At the Spider Palace, you can reach up to five stars. The stars represent certain milestones in a ranking of points. The points of the star rating are determined by the TrueSkill algorithm: When winning, you gain more rating points, the better your opponents are. When losing, you lose more rating points, the worse your opponents are. If you leave a table prematurely, you will lose rating points as well as loyalty. All Chips and points for this table will be lost for you too.

 

Custom Spider Rules: Mix it Up!

You can set up Spider the way you and your friends like it best using custom rules. Standard tables at the lobby do not use any custom rules and thus offer Spider 1 Suit. Create your own table to use custom rules and adjust the game to taste.

Custom Rule Description
2 Suit Use this custom rule to activate the popular variant Spider 2 Suit. Playing with two suits is a bit more challenging than the one suited variant we offer as the standard mode.
4 Suit Use this custom rule to activate the popular variant Spider 4 Suit. This game mode is much more challenging than playing with one or two suits.
Joker With this custom rule, each player starts out with three Jokers: An additional button showing the Joker symbol appears on the playing field. When using a Joker, you select a tableau pile which will automatically receive a matching card. This card will be moved from its position on the playing field to the selected tableau pile.

This does not work when there is an Ace at the end of the selected tableau pile. You cannot use a Joker for this pile and need to choose another one.

When a round is solved, unused Jokers add bonus points to your total score.

Undo Off Disable the undo feature with this custom rule. You now have to see your decisions through to the end of the round. This makes the game more challenging.
Fast This custom rule shortens the standard play time. All players have less time to solve the game. How much time remains exactly varies depending on further activated custom rules.
Relaxed When playing Relaxed, the otherwise face down cards of the tableau pile are all revealed form the beginning. This way, the game is easier and more relaxed: You can see where crucial cards are and thus free them strategically.

When additionally playing Scorpion, there is a slight variation to this rule: Only one additional tableau pile is revealed, not all of them.

Easy Using this custom tule, you can distribute cards from the stock also when tableau piles are empty. This is impossible in standard mode.

When additionally playing Scorpion, there is a slight variation to this rule: You can now play any card onto empty tableau piles. This is forbidden in standard Scorpion.

Scorpion This custom rule switches the game to Scorpion Solitaire, a relative of Spider Solitaire. There are plenty of differences between the two modes. That is why we explain their differences in the chart below. The effects of some custom rules are different when using Scorpion. These cases are clearly defined in this custom rule chart.
Game of Nothing With this custom rule, the results of the table do not count for the league.

Scorpion

We summarized the differences between our standard Spider Solitaire and Scorpion Solitaire in the following chart to give you a clear overview:

Spider Solitaire Scorpion Solitaire
Setup
  • 104 cards (two decks)
  • ten tableau piles
  • eight foundation piles
  • 50 cards in the stock
  • One suit
  • 52 cards (one deck)
  • seven tableau piles
  • four foundation piles
  • three cards in the stock
  • four suits
Moving one or more cards to a target card Theoretically, moving cards to a target card of a different suit is possible. You can only move cards if the target card is of the same suit as the moving cards.
Moving a card to an empty tableau pile Any card can be placed on an empty tableau pile. Only Kings or parts of sequences beginning with a King can be placed on an empty tableau pile.
Distributing cards from the stock This is only possible when all tableau piles hold at least one card. This is possible at any time.
Moving several cards This is only possible if they follow the correct order and are of the same suit. Only the moving card that is placed directly on the target card must be of the same suit as the target card and follow the correct order.

Cards attached to the moving card directly placed on the target card can always come along, even though they are not in the correct order or of a different suit.

You see, there is much room for variation and new challenges within one game! You decide if you want to play easy or if you want to face a real headscratcher. And now it is time to give it a try. Are you ready for the first round?