Spider solitaire may not be as old as some solitaire games, but it still offers an interesting history.
Spider solitaire has other arachnid relatives
Even though spider solitaire got its name from the eight suit sequences which coincides with the eight legs of a spider, it may have been inspired from its desert cousin, the scorpion, or vice versa.
Spider solitaire is similar to the solitaire game Scorpion. In this game, the player needs to group four sequences of cards in suit within the tableau.
The game is difficult, but showed up in the 1949 book 'The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games', so it most likely did appear around the same time spider solitaire did.
Other spider-like games in the same book was Will O' the Wisp and Spiderette. These two games are very similar to spider solitaire, but have different layouts and slightly different rules.
Spider solitaire spawns a new family of solitaires
In order to win spider solitaire, the player needs to form eight sequences of thirteen cards. This was proven to be rather difficult, so something had to be done.
Over time, many new solitaire games came from spider solitaire. Two suit and one suit versions of spider solitaire sprang up to allow for easier game play and increased chances of winning.
Later, other variations of solitaire were invented using spider's rules.
Spider solitaire finds its way through a 'window' of opportunity
The computer version of spider solitaire first showed up in the 98 Plus Pack by Microsoft that came with Windows 98. Microsoft Windows ME included spider solitaire without a separate purchase.
This made spider solitaire very famous indeed among computer users and everyone has been playing spider solitaire ever since.
The Windows version contains the one and two suit versions of Spider solitaire as well. This spawned several shareware developers to add Spider to their collections and offer their own unique variations.
There are even three and four deck versions of Spider solitaire. Thomas Warfield, who invented Pretty Good Solitaire has the most unique versions of Spider solitaire in his solitaire collection. Spider solitaire will go down in history.
About the Author
Trisha Ellington works for Softgame Company, maker of card games, video poker and puzzles