Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Well well...

I just broke Microsoft Spider Solitaire.

The way the game works, you start out with 54 cards on ten piles, and are then dealt ten cards at a time until 104 have been dealt. You get rid of 13 cards at a time, and the aim is to get rid of all the cards. This means that there is a small chance that at the end of the penultimate hand you will only have three cards left, at the end of the previous hand you will only have six cards left, and so forth.

I've played the game at least a couple of times a week over the last 15 years or so and this has never happened; I've generally assumed that it is coded to prevent it. But tonight, for the first time, I ended the penultimate hand with only three cards left. At this point I discovered that it won't deal more cards if any of the ten card spaces are empty... In other words, if you play the game really well you can't win.

Nice one, Microsoft!

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