Introduction to Hard Spider Solitaire
Spider Solitaire is a popular card game played around the world. It can be played at three different levels of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
This version is meant for the advanced player who wants a real challenge.
This 4-suit version is played with two 52-card decks of standard playing cards. For most, making use of all four suits makes winning a real challenge. Those who find it too challenging can move to the easier 2-suit Intermediate level or perhaps, to the easier yet 1-suit Beginner level.
The Layout, Goal, and Rules are described in the introduction for Spider Solitaire 2 Suits.
Advanced Spider Solitaire Strategy (4-suit)
Please refer to Spider Solitaire 1 Suit and to Spider Solitaire 2 suits for basic strategy and tips.
- Move order matters. It's often possible to accomplish more than one objective concurrently. For example, if moves are played in the correct order, it could be possible to guarantee a card turned in more than one column while moving cards in a different order would not.
- There are many occasions in games where the player is presented with a choice of which column to turn a hidden card in. The convention wisdom is to choose the column which contains the fewest number of hidden cards, thinking that the chances of soon regaining a vacant column are maximized. This strategy is sometimes a poor one. Before deciding, the player should take into account everything contained in the current game state, not just the number and location of hidden cards.
- At times it's best to not move a card from atop of an Ace, even though it's possible. When an Ace in a pile is blocking access to many cards, whether visible or not, it's often a good idea to move the Ace, if possible. Also, keep in mind that no suit can be built without the Ace, so burying then too deeply can backfire.
- Even though most players dread the King because it can only be moved from a pile by placing it into a vacant column, it has a few advantages. Up to 12 ranks can be piled onto a King, more than for any other rank. As well, with only a few rare exceptions, the King is the only rank that can be removed from the Tableau without the player ever moving it. Do not disrespect the King.
- Most seem to believe that a King should never be placed into the only vacant column. As a general rule, this might be good advice, but not always. There are times when a King is blocking access to so many cards that moving it is the only hope of winning.
- Any rank that does not have its prior-in-rank on top of it can be viewed as an asset or resource, except for the Ace, which has no prior-in-rank. Once a card is moved on top of a resource, the resource becomes spent or used. The idea is to use a resource in a manner that best increases the chance of victory. Don't use a valuable resource until you have to, but don't be afraid to use it when you feel that it's in your best interest.
- When faced with a choice of giving up an empty column either to turn a hidden card or to extend one or more runs (adding order), carefully examine the game state before making a decision. Very often, the better option is to add order to the game. This also has the advantage that turning hidden cards later in the game is likely to be easier.
- For the few who find that they want even more of a challenge, they can choose never to invoke the popular Undo option.
A Guide to Spider Solitaire
Spider Solitaire expert tips
Plan before vacating - an advanced Spider Solitaire guide