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Spider Casino Games

Many solitaire games are popular because they can be easily played with a deck of cards. These games predate the Internet, of course: perhaps the most famous example is Klondike, the game many know simply as “solitaire,” while others like Freecell are also well known for being easy to play at a moment’s notice.

But other versions of these quick, single-player strategy games are much easier to play with the help of a computer. One famous example is Spider, a game that many people first play when they find it bundled with other free games on their personal computers. It’s an activity that’s easy to play, and can be easy to win at too, at least at lower difficulty levels. But make the game as hard as possible, and you’ll find a puzzle that will not only test your skills, but will quite often be simply unwinnable, no matter hard you try or how much skill you have.

Spinning a Web

Spigo’s version of Spider starts with a couple of simple decisions for players to make. First, you’ll need to decide if you want to play for money, and if so, for how much. The free play version is identical to the real money game, with one obvious exception: you can’t win money when you’re playing for fun, even through the company’s jackpot system.

You’ll also have to decide how many suits you’d like to play with for the next round. The options are one, two, or four; the higher the number, the more difficult your task will be.

Once you’ve set your stake and rules, it is time to get the action underway. Spider is a game played with two full decks (no jokers), meaning that 104 cards in total are used. Your goal is to clear them all from play, emptying the board to win the game.

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Spider

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At the start, 54 cards will be dealt out on to the table. These will be separated into 10 piles: four of which will have six cards each, while the rest have five each. The top card of each pile is turned face up, while the rest are face down.

Cards can be moved using rules similar to those seen in many other solitaire games. Any card at the top of the pile may be placed on top of another card that is one rank higher than it. In other words, you may move a four from one pile and place it on top of any five on the table. There are no suit restrictions while making these movements.

Several cards from a single pile can be moved together in this manner, but only if they form a consecutive run of ranks in the same suit. For instance, the four, five, and six of spades may be moved together and placed on the seven of spades; however, you cannot move the four of spades, the five of clubs, and the six of spades together as a single move.

If moving one or more cards means there are no more face up on a pile, the first face down card is flipped over. If there is a blank pile, any legal move of one or more cards may be made into that space at your discretion.

Why are suits so important? The only way to remove cards from the table is by making complete runs of a single suit, all the way from king down to ace (which is considered low in this game). When that occurs, all 13 will be removed from the table. In total, this will need to be completed eight times in order to win the game.

Inevitably, there will come a point where there are no more legal moves available based on the current position of the board in front of you. That’s where the remaining 50 cards that were not dealt out at the start of play come in. At any time, you may click on this deck in order to have 10 more cards dealt out, face up, one on each pile. Graphically, the game will always tell you how many more times you can use this function before you will run out of cards entirely.

There are two ways in which the game can end. If you move all 104 cards (including the 50 in the additional draw deck) off of the table, then you have won the round! However, if you are ever left with no legal moves, then the game is over, and you have lost.

In the Spigo version of this game, players win their bet if they successfully complete the task of removing all cards, and lose if they cannot complete the round. The payouts vary depending on how difficult the player has decided to make the game, based on the number of suits that have been used. The payout chart is as follows:

  • One Suit: 1x
  • Two Suits: 1.3x
  • Four Suits: 4x

In addition, as in many other Spigo games, there is the possibility of winning a jackpot during real money play. Each time you complete a run, you’ll start to fill the jackpot meter; finish 8 (in one game or across multiple games in the same session), and you’ll get a spin. The top prize will be listed at all times above the chat room on the right side of the screen, while several smaller prizes (or no prize at all) may also be awarded.

Low House Edge, If You’re Skilled

Calculating exact odds for Spider is difficult, as there seems to be a lot less rigorous work out there (when compared to games like Klondike and FreeCell) in terms of the mathematical probabilities of winning at each difficulty level. As such, we cannot say with any true certainty what the theoretical probability of winning a given game with perfect play is. Throw in the fact that there is some randomness that could cause us to lose winnable draws – such as picking the “wrong” card to uncover when we have a choice, but can’t see the relevant face down cards – and even the best players will win a bit less than whatever those percentages are.

However, we do have reason to think that very skilled players can win quite a bit, even at the higher difficulty levels. In fact, they may even be able to win often enough to have an edge over Spigo while playing this game.

This is, of course, impossible at the easiest level. While nearly 100% of one-suit draws are solvable, the best you can do is to win your money back. If you want to relax and try to grind out jackpot drawing prizes, you might be able to turn a very slight profit, but that’s about it.

Things get a lot more interesting when it comes to the two-suit draws. Surprisingly, Spigo estimates the chances of winning such games at 60%. However, there are reports online from skilled players who report much higher win percentages, with some saying that nearly every two-suit game is theoretically beatable, and that even without takebacks or other cheats, skilled players should only rarely lose these games. Even if these reports are somewhat exaggerated, the potential for profit here is clear: if you could manage to win just 80% of these games, then the return to player would be 104%, giving you a clear edge over the house.

Things get extremely difficult to calculate at the highest difficulty level. Again, we’ve seen reports of players who say that have win rates of 45% or more over a large sample size, while still playing far from perfectly, suggesting that more than half of these games might actually be beatable. That level of success might be hard, but once again, a more modest win rate of 30% would be more than sufficient to get a big edge: in that case, you would hold a 20% edge over the casino.

The cold water on all of this good news is that your skill level may have to be extremely high to get to profitable win rates in Spider. However, just the fact that this is possible is a big deal in the gambling world, where such opportunities are extremely rare. If you’re looking for a good challenge, trying to beat the two-suit games seems like a challenge that would be difficult but achievable for many players.

One of Our Favorites

Spider stands out as a particularly strong entry among the many skill games offered by Spigo. The game itself is rather simple, but it has a very high skill ceiling and three difficulty levels, which means that there’s a suitable challenge for most players here. It is also pretty fun to play, which helps keep gameplay from becoming boring.

And that’s an especially big plus when you consider that this might actually be one of the rare opportunities to gamble with an edge online, at least if you have a high enough winning percentage at the higher difficulties. While we can’t confirm it, it seems at least highly plausible that both the two- and four-suit versions of these puzzles could be beatable by very good players. If you enjoy Spider, and have an interest in playing skill games for real money, we definitely recommend giving this one a try – especially if you already have a lot of experience playing (and beating) the tougher versions.

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