Spider Solitaire Strategy Guide

Spider Solitaire Strategy Guide

Spider Solitaire Strategy Guide
Spider solitaire is​ a​ very well-known solitaire game, which has gained a​ lot in​ popularity since Microsoft have started shipping it​ free with windows .​
It is​ very hard though, and many people want to​ know how they can increase their chances of​ winning.
The aim of​ spider solitaire is​ to​ build an​ ascending suit sequence in​ the foundation zone .​
But this is​ easier said than done! Particularly when playing 4 suit spider, it​ can sometimes seem nearly impossible to​ finish the game.
But there are strategies you can use to​ dramatically increase your chances of​ winning spider solitaire .​
But before I​ go into that, a​ quick note .​
In this article, I​ assume you have a​ solitaire game that allows multi-undo, and that you don't mind using it .​
Some people don't have a​ solitaire program that supports multi-level undo, or​ feel that using undo is​ somehow cheating .​
These people can still get something out of​ 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​ spider solitaire is​ to​ get a​ vacant column .​
The objective after that is​ to​ try and get another vacant column .​
Once you have 2 vacant columns, the game starts to​ become winnable, but if​ you can, try and form yet another empty column .​
Once you get to​ 3 or​ 4 empty columns, you have a​ very good chance of​ winning, unless you get an​ extremely unlucky run of​ cards.
Getting The First Empty Column...
The first move you should make in​ the game is​ whatever the highest rank card that can play is .​
If given a​ choice, play from the stacks on the right hand side, as​ the 6 right hand stacks start with one less card.
From then on, play cards in​ this order or​ priority:
1) If a​ stack is​ closer to​ other stacks to​ being complete, play that card (if you can)
2) If you can't play from the stack which is​ closest to​ being emptied, than 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 into a​ same suit sequence, then play that one.
Keep playing like this, until a​ column is​ emptied, or​ you run out of​ moves
Once a​ column has been emptied, the focus of​ the game changes a​ little .​
There are now 3 main objectives, cleanup, re-arrange, and expose.
An overriding principal at​ this time is​ to​ try and keep the empty columns .​
Vacant columns give you a​ lot more choices in​ the game, and whenever possible, you only want to​ fill your empty columns temporarily.
The first objective for the second phase of​ spider solitaire is​ cleanup .​
This is​ my term for re-arranging columns so that they become same-suit sequences.
For example, suppose you had 2 columns .​
The first one has:
-7 Diamonds
-6 Hearts
and the second one has:
-7 Clubs
-6 Diamonds
We can temporarily use the empty column, to​ rearrange the columns so that these columns become:
-7 Diamonds
-6 Diamonds
-7 Clubs
-6 Hearts
We do this by moving:
-6 of​ Diamonds into the empty column
-6 of​ Hearts onto the 7 of​ Clubs
-6 Of Diamonds onto the 7 of​ Diamonds.
The main thing to​ note here, is​ that after we have finished cleaning up this sequence, the empty column is​ still vacant .​
This is​ critical, because we always need to​ keep our columns empty when possible.
After we have cleaned up any sequences we can find, the next objective is​ to​ re-arrange any columns .​
This is​ simply moving any sequences 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 it's a​ judgement call, 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.
Lastly, we try and expose new cards, whilst trying to​ maintain our empty column .​
We do this by using multi-level undo:
-Move a​ card/sequence into the empty column, which exposes a​ new card.
-If the new card allows us to​ move the original sequence back do so.
If the new exposed card does not allow us to​ move it​ back, try moving a​ different card/sequence instead .​
If you can't expose any new cards whilst keeping the vacant column, then try dealing some cards from the talon.
The most important thing is​ to​ create empty columns, and try and keep them empty! Now, will these strategies help you to​ win every game of​ spider solitaire? No, they won't .​
Are there better strategies? Yes, and you'll probably come up with some of​ your own as​ you play the game some more .​
But the strategies above should prove a​ good foundation to​ help you start winning more games.

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