Rules for Red-Black Spiderette

Family Spider
Categories Thinker's
Variants Red-Black Spider, Spider, Spiderette, Will o' the Wisp
Also known as Two-Suit Spiderette

Red-Black Spiderette is an easier variant of the popular but difficult Spiderette, allowing you to follow color rather than suit.


Red-Black Spiderette uses seven tableau piles and the hand, and nothing else. (Solitaire Till Dawn also offers four wastepiles to hold the King-to-Ace builds which the rules allow you to discard; but normally you’d just scoop up these builds and set them aside.)

Shuffle the deck, and lay out 28 cards as you would for Klondike: one card in the first tableau, two cards in the second, and so on, finishing with seven cards in the seventh. The tableaus are fanned down, with all cards face down except the topmost in each pile. Keep the remaining 24 cards in your hand.


Tableaus build down, without regard for color or suit. The topmost card of each tableau is available; in addition, full or partial builds in color (that is, all red or all black) are also available. (Although you do not have to build in color, there is an advantage in doing so because same-color builds can be moved while mixed-color builds cannot.)

Empty spaces may be filled with any available card or build. Note however that Kings can only be played into empty spaces because there’s no higher rank to build them on.


You may deal any time you wish. To deal, turn up seven cards from the hand and put one onto each tableau regardless of rank or suit. The final deal will have only three cards, which go on the first three tableau piles. Usually you’ll deal when you’ve run out of other moves.


Completed King-to-Ace builds in color may be discarded. You are not required to discard such builds, and there may be an advantage to leaving them in the tableau for a time to help in untangling other tableau piles. When all cards have been discarded, the game is won.


Uncover the face down cards. Build following color whenever possible, but it’s usually more important to uncover face down cards than to create same-color builds.

Empty piles are precious. The more empty piles you can create and keep, the better.

One or two long, tangled piles are okay if they help you empty out other piles. A good goal is to create four builds from King down to Ace, without worrying about color matching. If you can do that, you will be able to use the empty piles to untangle the colors.

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