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The Humble Beginnings of Spider Solitaire

Jeff Franklin

Last Updated by: Jeff Franklin


The history of Solitaire began in the 18th century when the card game was known in several countries under different names. The British called it “Game of Patience,” France referred to it as “Succes,” and in the Nordic countries, it was known as “Kabal.”

Back then, cards were used in predicting the future and had a mystical meaning to people. They believed that they could predict their future by consulting with a fortune teller that uses cards. The game of Solitaire is mentioned by several sources to have originated in a French prison.
This is supported by the fact that many of the terms in the game come from French. Also, the game is a time killer, a thing that prisoners have in excessive amounts and need something to occupy their time.

How the game emerged


Spider Solitaire, a much more modern version of the game, was introduced in 1949. Its name comes from the similarity between the spider and the rules of the game. A spider has eight legs, and there are eight discard piles that must be filled, hence the name of the game.

When the game was introduced, players had to make at least 8 stacks of 13 cards. This proved to be a little challenging, and over the years, new versions were added to optimize the game’s difficulty. The main goal in Solitaire is to clear the board of all cards. To do so, you must form stacks in descending order from King to Ace.

Born in the digital era


There were digital implementations of Solitaire before, but worldwide success was achieved with the release of Microsoft’s operating system. When working on Windows 3.0, Microsoft wanted to add a couple of more games to their basic version. Alongside the popular Minesweeper, they chose Solitaire, which an intern was working on at the time. The idea was to teach users how to use the mouse and the drag and drop function in a playful way.

The first version of Spider Solitaire gained popularity with Windows 98 Plus. It also came preinstalled with Microsoft ME, which exposed the game to PC users even further. The version that came with Windows offered options of 1, 2, or 4 Suits to play with, which was used to control the difficulty of the game.
Spider Solitaire Windows 98 is still known as the best one ever made. Some versions can be quite hard and require advanced problem-solving skills. Therefore, most players develop a slight addiction to the game.




Overall, Solitaire is a healthy way to distract yourself from life’s stressors. It gives your brain a task it must follow to win. What’s more, Patience games activate parts of the brain that are not functioning in day-to-day tasks. Card games can be a great training for your logic and observation skills. Discover the benefits these games bring by playing a quick one on our website.


Last Updated by: Jeff Franklin

He no longer lives in his mom’s basement, but Jeff still manages to play online games whenever he has a free minute.


Last Updated by: Jeff Franklin

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