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There was a similar question here: Losing at Spider Solitaire However, what I'm asking is different.

The game has a rule that it would not deal the next ten cards, unless there is already a card in everyone of the ten slots. What I'm asking is whether it is theoretically possible that at any time, except the last deal, there might be a situation with less then 10 cards on the table? To me it feels like it should be possible, but it never happened to me, and I couldn't find any mention of it happening to anyone else...

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2 Answers 2

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The initial deal in Spider is 54 cards. Cards can only be removed in runs of 13 (A-K). So it is theoretically possible for that initial deal to allow you to remove four full runs of cards and be left with only 2 cards on the board (13 * 4 = 52).

Here is one initial position where the cards are dealt almost in sequence that would create this scenario:

QD KD AS 2S 6D 7D 8D 9D 0D JD
2D 3D 4D 5D 9C 0C JC QC KC AD
5C 6C 7C 8C QH KH AC 2C 3C 4C
8H 9H 0H JH 2H 3H 4H 5H 6H 7H
JS QS KS AH 5S 6S 7S 8S 9S 0S
AS 2S 3S 4S
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is interesting, however, it's also odd that this doesn't seem to ever happen. So I was wondering: is it just that the chance of it happening is extremely low, or maybe there's some other mechanics at play, that would prevent this from happening. I'll need to construct such an initial position, where this actually happens to convince myself. $\endgroup$
    – wvxvw
    Feb 5, 2014 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @wvxvw I've added a sample starting deal that could create the conditions. There are likely a number of others, but compared to the total number of starting deals, that number is probably incredibly small, so I think it's just that the odds of it happening by chance are extremely low. $\endgroup$
    – Roger
    Feb 5, 2014 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry it took me so long, many thanks for your effort! $\endgroup$
    – wvxvw
    Feb 12, 2014 at 20:59
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I played Microsoft Solitaire Collection today and this exact situation just happened to me. I don't remember what the starting condition was but the chance for that to happen has to be extremely low. I made a screenshot of the situation:

Spider Solitaire

I never had this before.

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  • $\begingroup$ For a single suit and at least one deal remaining, I suspect the probability is not that low given perfect play. My question is, what did the program do in such an event? Did it permit the final deal, or does the game simply stop without a technical win? $\endgroup$
    – heropup
    Jul 30, 2014 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ It did not let me do another round. I had to press "Undo" (lower right corner) repeatedly until I had 10 cards again. Problem is, that this button does not exist in every version of spider. $\endgroup$
    – bluefirex
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:57

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