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|A component of Microsoft Windows|
Spider Solitaire on Windows 7
|Included with||Windows 98 Plus! and up|
Chess Titans, FreeCell, Hearts, Mahjong Titans, Minesweeper, Purble Place
Spider Solitaire is a card game that is included in Microsoft Windows. It is a version of Spider. It was first included as part of Windows 98's Microsoft Plus! package. It has been since featured on most subsequent versions of Windows.
First featured in Plus! for Windows 98, Spider Solitaire was not included in Windows 2000 (though copying and pasting the game file from another version to Windows 2000 would work perfectly). In the year 2000, a newer, updated version arrived, which was featured on Windows ME and later on Windows XP; this was the period when the game gained popularity. Windows Vista again saw a new version, which was mainly unchanged in Windows 7. Finally, Windows 8 has another updated version.
Spider Solitaire has an "undo" feature that allows moves to be retracted. Any number of moves can be retracted, back to the last non-retractable move. The version of Spider Solitaire included in Windows Vista allows row deals to be retracted and has been updated to have a new high resolution interface including new animation and sound effects. Windows Vista also allows users to have limited customization of appearance by choosing background colors and card face designs or have them chosen randomly. Windows Vista also included a defect which tells the user that there are no more moves even when there are.
There are three levels of difficulty in Spider Solitaire: Beginner (one suit), Intermediate (two suits), and Advanced (four suits). The game is played with two decks of cards for a total of 104 cards. Fifty-four of the cards are laid out horizontally in ten columns with only the top card showing. The remaining fifty cards are laid out in the lower right hand corner in five piles of ten with no cards showing.
In the horizontal columns a card may be moved to any other card in the column as long as it's in sequence. For example, a six of hearts may be moved to a seven of any suit. However, a sequence of cards can only be moved if they are all of the same suit. For example, a six and seven of hearts may be moved to an eight of any suit, but a six of hearts and seven of clubs cannot be moved together. Moving the top card in a column allows the topmost hidden card to be turned over. This card then enters into the play. Other cards can be placed on it. And it can be moved to other cards in a sequence.
The object of the game is to uncover all the hidden cards and by moving cards from one column to another to place cards in sequential order from King to Ace using the fewest number of moves. Each sequence must be all of the same suit. Once a complete sequence is achieved the cards are removed from the table and 100 points are added to the score. Once a player has made all the moves possible with the current card layout, the player draws a new row of cards from one of the piles of ten in the right lower hand corner by clicking on the cards. Each of the ten cards in this draw lands face up on one of the horizontal columns and the player then proceeds to place these in such a way to create a sequence of cards all in one suit.
To aid the player, the key H will highlight possible moves. The player should not become overly reliant on the H key, however, because it will indicate only the most obvious moves and not the subtle moves needed to win the game. The player can also undo previous moves and try again. Windows keeps track of scores for the player's reference; these may be viewed by going to Game and then Statistics. In Windows 7, these scores appear in the Games Explorer by clicking the game and selecting the Statistics tab in the Preview Pane. There are two measures of performance in Spider Solitaire: number of games won and highest score. In a certain sense these two measures are negatively correlated: maximizing games won may yield lower scores per game and vice versa.
The final score in a Spider Solitaire game is calculated as follows. The initial score is 500 and every move subtracts one from the score. Using the “undo” feature also subtracts one point from the score. Every time the player is able to place an entire sequence of cards of the same suite in order (from kings down to ace), 100 points are added to the score. There is a total of eight such sequences in the game yielding a maximum achievable number of 800. Therefore, in a winning game the total score is 800 plus 500 minus the number of moves and “undo's.”
The maximum possible score therefore depends on the number of moves (and “undo’s”) the player made in the game. There is a total of 104 cards in a spider solitaire game (i.e., two decks of 52 cards each). We can subtract the kings from the number of movable cards, because once an entire sequence is constructed the kings move themselves out of the game. If each card is moved only once in the entire game this will produce a total of 96 moves (12 cards times 8 suites). This would mean, for example, that a seven of hearts was moved onto an eight of hearts and was not moved again at any time during the game. And similarly that the eight of hearts was moved only once to a nine of hearts and not moved again. So ignoring for the moment the possibility that cards in each draw will land in sequence the maximum score is 800 + 500 – 96 = 1204.
Theoretically, higher scores are possible given the fact that when a new draw is made some of the cards may land in sequence. For example, a six of hearts may land on a seven of hearts. All in all fifty cards will be drawn in the course of the game (five sets of ten cards each). If each card lands in sequence, this amounts to 50 cards that do not need to be moved by the player. So, in this unlikely event, this subtracts another 50 points from the total number of moves. Therefore the absolute minimum number of moves in a Spider Solitaire game is 96 - 50 = 46. The absolute maximum score in Spider Solitaire is therefore 800 + 500 – 46 = 1254, but the odds against such a game occurring are astronomical. This limit applies to games of each difficulty level.
In practical terms, the highest likely score is going to depend on the difficulty level of the game which in turn influences how many moves it will take to win the game. In the basic level where cards are all of one suit it's possible on average to win a game in fewer moves than at the advanced level where the cards are in four different suits.
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