You win! You're awesome.
Will o the Wisp solitaire is a perhaps one of the better ways to challenge yourself in a game that is a solo endeavor. This game requires some serious mental acuity along with vast stores of patience. The truth of any game like Will of the Wisp solitaire is that a player needs to spend time practicing and learn the nuances of the game. Because the game requires more strategy than some other solitaire games, it is not as easy to pick up for novices.
Some folks prefer to play this game with a standard deck of cards while others like to be in front of the computer screen. Regardless of your preference, learning how to play Will o the Wisp solitaire is a worthy hobby to fill your time.
The rules of Will of the Wisp solitaire are very basic. Unlike the traditional solitaire games, this particular variant is a variation of a different solitaire style. Because Will of the Wisp solitaire is derived from the spider family, there are different rules at play for it. That said, learning the rules is not too difficult, and if you are someone who can see patterns, this game is for you.
The first step to playing Will o the Wisp solitaire is to get a deck of cards. Because this is a spiderette version, only one deck is needed (traditional spider games require two decks). Once the cards are shuffled, the game becomes a complex endeavor, there are only so many moves that can be made and how the stock is used is a big part of making sure that success can be found.
The first step in the game is to deal the cards. While most spiderette games resemble the traditional solitaire – that is seven columns of cards with more cards face down as the columns move from left to right – Will o the Wisp solitaire requires a bit of a different deal. This is where the fun begins.
Dealing in this type of solitaire is interesting. There are 21 cards dealt into seven columns. This means there are three cards in a column, and only the top card in each column is shown face up. At this point, the player will have a large stock and not much on the tableau. The key is understanding how to make moves, and that is how the game resembles traditional types of solitaires such as Klondike games.
Once the cards are dealt, the fun begins. Players are to move cards in the same way they do in traditional solitaire games. This means red cards and black cards must alternate in a sequential manner. That is, a red queen must sit atop a black king. This works the same with the numbers as well. The goal is getting the cards into their suits. Sounds easy in theory, but in practice it is difficult because the lack of cards facing down on the tableau.
The deck is a big part of Will o the Wisp solitaire. It is quite large and because there are 21 cards on the tableau, that means there are 31 cards in the deck. Using these deck cards is critical. Getting rid of the cards onto the tableau or into suits is the best way to lower the card count and get the suits built.
When the cards are dealt, the tableau will look ominous. Will o the Wisp solitaire requires a lot of concentration because a player, even if he or she is quite skilled, will go through the deck quite a few times. It may seem like moves are not there to be made but guess what – they are. The key is making sure to stay patient so that moves can be evaluated. The hardest thing for most players is fighting that impatient urge to muck the deck or force a move.
Besides going through the deck, the key for players of Will o the Wisp solitaire is to clear out the cards underneath the facing cards. Doing so will help players get the cards suited faster. The tableau can be complicated, and though it may seem like it is easier because there are less cards, the reality is this means there are less combinations for players to use. The lack of combinations beings the deck more acutely into play. Players must be aware of using their kings correctly along with suiting cards as quick as they can.
Perhaps the biggest issue players face is how they go through the deck. Many players deal three cards at a time. Because the cards fanned underneath the top card can’t be played until the top card itself is played, this adds to the calculus of the game. The game is over when the cards are suited or there are no plays left from the stock or the tableau.
Will o the Wisp solitaire is a variation of the spider games. Spider is a type of solitaire played with two decks. Using the two decks, cards are essentially done the same way they are in regular solitaire. The goal is getting them suited. The problem is having two decks makes things much more complex. The origins of spider aren’t as clear cut as other solitaires.
Where Will o the Wisp solitaire relates to spider is interesting. The first part of its growth derives from spiderette. Spiderette is simple – the game is played with one deck instead of two decks. This makes the game a bit more manageable. However, this type of game is played with the tableau in the same style as Klondike and classic solitaire games.
Will o the Wisp solitaire combines the style of spider with the 52 cards of spiderette. It is a simplistic way to play a more difficult game. For players who are interested in getting more proficient at playing the spider style, this game is an excellent introduction. Players will have an easier time grasping the nuance of spider after they have mastered Will o the Wisp solitaire.
The main strategy of any solitaire game, including Will o the Wisp solitaire, is to be patient. In fact, the game itself derives from the British term for solitaire games, “Patience.” For a player to be successful, he or she must take the time to consider all moves. There are several ways to be successful at this game, but all of them involve being patient, deliberate, and thinking. In a sense, this game is very much single person chess, only with playing cards.
Perhaps the best strategy is to ignore the cards facing down. To keep them on your mind is to try your patience. Those cards are like sirens, they beckon to be overturned and may cause rash decisions. Sometimes, the best move is the move not made. Play the cards that are facing up, only. The first thing after the cards are dealt is to clean up the tableau as much as possible. If cards can be suited, get them there right away, don’t waste time.
Once the stock is used, the key is being deliberate. In a three-card deal, this can be awfully tough. The goal here is focusing on what the top card can do. With a three-card deal, make sure to play the card wherever it can be played. Clearing out the stock will help make the moves on the tableau more apparent, and the more visible the moves are, the easier the game is to solve.
The suit pile is a fantastic tool that experienced players use with great aplomb. The key here is making sure that as soon as a card can be suited, it is. Working with the suit pile to build the columns and suits is a great way to make sure the cards are out of the deck. Use the columns as much as possible and try to turn over those cards underneath. Doing so makes the game fly. Once the cards are suited, then the game is solved. The problem is getting from the deal to the solution.
If playing the game with traditional playing cards, there is always a house rules element. Be sure to make the game of Will o the Wisp solitaire fun. It is never enjoyable to be constantly frustrated. That is why all players should try to learn the game but learn on your own terms. That being said, the last thing anyone should do is modify the game to a point where it is too easy to solve and not resembling the original.
There are several words familiar to the more experienced solitaire players. When learning Will o the Wisp solitaire, it is helpful to know the vocabulary. The terms to know are as follows:
Cells: Some solitaires are cell games, this refers to the card itself
Fanned: When cards are overlapped but the faces of the cards are showing
Foundation: The card at the bottom of a pile, and it is usually an ace
Reserve: Not allowed to build cards in this zone
Squared: These cards are placed one on top of the other
Stock: These are cards that are in a face down pile; the undealt pile
Tableau: The place where the game itself is played
Waste: Cards are brought into play and they go into this area
In terms of building, there are simple terms, which is “by suit”, “by suit sequence”, “by color”, “by alternating color.” These terms are exactly as they sound.
Terminology for playing includes:
Available Cards: These are cards that can be played
Released Cards: Cards that were once blocked, but now aren’t
Suitable Cards: Cards that can be placed
Base Cards: Cards that are at the bottom of the base
Variations of Will o the Wisp Solitaire
Will o the Wisp solitaire has many variations. The game itself is a variation of spider. Here are some of the most recognizable variations of the mother game, spider:
Spider 2 Suit: This game is played with only two suits, usually spades and hearts
Gigantic Spider: If two decks sounds hard, then this four deck game should be positively intimidating
Spiderette: Played with only one deck and the tableau most resembles that of Klondike solitaire
Spiderwort: A game played with 3 decks
Here are some of the most asked questions about Will o the Wisp solitaire:
Are jokers used in Will o the Wisp solitaire?
There is no use for the joker in Will o the Wisp solitaire. However, if one has misplaced cards, use the joker as a fill-in for the missing card. If playing online, this point is moot.
Are there unsolvable games of Will o the Wisp solitaire?
Absolutely! The charm of Will o the Wisp solitaire is the feeling of victory. This is a hard game to win, and for most folks it is not the easiest to learn. To solve the game takes time, patience, and a serious amount of skill. Unsolvable games are part of the process
Can I remove cards from the ace pile?
Using the ace pile is a great way to get cards out of the stock and off the tableau. The smart players use it judiciously and make sure to consider all options when bringing these cards back into play. This should be a last resort.
Playing Will o the Wisp solitaire is a fantastic way to spend some time to yourself. The game isn’t easy, but again, that’s the charm of it. Learning a hard game is a great way to keep the mind keen and alone time a bit more entertaining. The game is mental chess. Enjoy the journey towards being a good player. It will take time, but it is worth it.