A typical game of Spider Solitaire starts out with 52 cards laid out in columns on the table. The cards take up ten columns in total and only the top card in each column can be seen by the player. The cards that are leftover are piled up in the corner, ready for the player to select if needed.
In order to be able to organize stacks of legal card sequences, players are able to move single cards to other columns as long as the new column's top card is of descending numerical value. For example, a 6 could be moved on to a 7, but a 5 card couldn't be moved onto an 8. When moving large groups of cards, the same rules apply; however, the cards need to be placed on to a matching suit, otherwise the move is illegal. For example, cards 6, 7 and 8 of hearts can be placed onto a top card if it's the 9 of hearts. They can't be placed onto a top card if it's the 9 of spades, even though these cards would form a descending sequence.
Moving cards in Spider Solitaire is advantageous as it allows the player to see a new top card. This card is then in play, and can be moved around on its own or with other cards, as long as the move adheres to the rules above.