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Classic Solitaire: Freecell Solitaire

Freecell Solitaire has been immortalised by Microsoft - a generation of PC users have learnt this game on their Windows computer. And with good reason - Freecell Solitaire is a classic. Because all cards are visible from the initial deal, there is no luck involved. The game requires skillful planning, and can be (with only a few known exceptions) always finished.

Aim:

The aim of Freecell Solitaire is to build ascending suit sequences in the foundation zone.

How to Play:

The tableau contains:

  • a manouevre zone with 8 manoeuvre stacks
  • four free cells at the top left
  • four foundation stacks at the top right


In the manoeuvre zone, form descending sequences of alternate color. Cards are moved individually (except for power moves).


The four 'free cells', at the top left of the tableau, are each able to store a single card. Cards may be placed here to help moving cards around the manoeuvre zone.


If a manoeuvre stack becomes empty during play, any exposed card from the free cells or another manoeuvre stack may be moved into the empty stack.


Cards are moved to the foundation to form ascending suit sequences. The game is won when all cards are moved to the foundation.


see also: Freecell Power Move

Strategy:

It Freecell Solitaire it pays to plan ahead, rather than move the most obvious cards. This is particularly important on the harder deals.


In general, use the free cells as temporary storage. Try not to get caught without any free cells remaining - it severely cuts down your options.

Freecell Solitaire Example:

Suppose that the initial freecell solitaire deal looks like this:


Freecell Solitaire 1
The start of freecell solitaire deal #1...


One possible start to this game is:

  • move the 2 of Hearts to a free cell
  • move the 8 of Diamonds to the 9 of Clubs
  • move the 3 of Diamonds to the 4 of Spades


Now the tableau looks like this:


Freecell Solitaire 2
This freecell solitaire game would probably continue by trying to release the Ace of Clubs and the Ace of Spades...


Now some possible moves would be:

  • move the 2 of Clubs to the 3 of Diamonds
  • move the Ace of Clubs to foundation
  • move the Ace of Spades to the foundation


With this particular freecell example, you now might think about how to get the 2 of Hearts off the free cell - it's stuck there at the moment. (Tip: Try to keep the free cell's empty as much as possible to win the game)


Extra Free cell Info...

  • ALL deals can be completed, except for deal number 11982
  • Freecell was first programmed by Paul Alfille, when he took Bakers Game, and modified it to use alternate color sequences.
  • Frecell Information has lots of interesting freecell information, including a history of the game.
  • Freecell Hard Deals is a great site if you are looking for a challenge.


More solitaire card game rules...