Spider Solitaire is a well-known solitaire game, which has gained a lot of popularity since Microsoft started distributing it for free with Windows. However, it is very difficult and many people want to know how they can increase their chances of winning.

The objective of the spider lone is to build an ascending suit sequence in the base area. But this is easier said than done! Particularly when playing 4-suit spider, it can sometimes seem almost impossible to finish the game.

But there are strategies you can use to dramatically increase your chances of winning Spider Solitaire. But before we get into that, a quick note. In this article, I assume that you have a solitaire game that allows multiple undo and that you don't mind using it. Some people don't have a solitaire program that supports multi-level undo, or they feel that using undo is somehow "cheating." These people may still get something from this article, but not everything they read may apply.

So What is the Golden Secret to Winning Spider Solitaire?

It's simple! Empty columns are the key!

The first objective of the spider lone is to get an empty column. The goal after that is to try to get another vacant column. Once you have 2 empty columns, the game will start to win, but if you can, try to form another empty column. Once you get to 3-4 empty columns, you have a good chance of winning, unless you land a very unfortunate series of cards.

Get the First Empty Column

The first move you must make in the game is the highest-ranked card you can play. If you have a choice, play from the piles on the right side, as the 6 piles on the right start with one less card.

From then on, Play Cards in this Order of Priority:

1) If a pile is closer to completion than other piles, play that card (if you can)

2) If you cannot play from the pile that is closest to being emptied, play the card with the highest rank.

3) If 2 or more cards have the same high rank, and one of them can be played in the same suit sequence, then play that one.

Keep playing like this, until a column is empty or you run out of moves.

Once a column has been emptied, the focus of the game changes a bit. Now there are 3 main objectives, "clean up", "reorganize" and "expose". An overriding principle at this point is to try to keep the columns empty. The vacant columns give you a lot more options in the game and whenever possible you only want to fill the empty columns temporarily.

Cleaning Up

The first objective of the second phase of spider solitaire is to "clean up". This is my term for rearranging the columns to become suited sequences.


After we've cleaned up all the sequences we can find, the next goal is to rearrange the columns. This is simply moving whatever sequence we can, to form longer sequences. If moving the sequence will expose a new card (or a card that is not part of the sequence), then we always move it. The rest of the time is a decision based on whether the new sequence will be the same suit, as well as what other cards are holding up the game at the moment.

The most important thing is to create empty columns and try to keep them empty! Now, will these strategies help you win all the spider solitaire games? No, they will not. Are there better strategies? Yes, and you will probably come up with something of your own as you play around some more. But the above strategies should prove a good foundation to help you start winning more games.

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