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Freecell

Welcome to Freecell Solitaire! This is a free online version of this popular card puzzle game. Have fun!

Overview

Freecell is a card game played by one player. As in most other solitaires, in Freecell, the objective is to sort cards by suit and rank. However, unlike in the traditional Solitaire, all cards are facing up from the start and there is no stock. Also, Freecell deals are almost always solvable. Therefore, it is hard to treat the outcome of the game as a good or bad omen as it is often done with the traditional Solitaire.

The game board contains eight tableaus, four free cells in the top-left corner, and four foundation cells in the top-right corner. In order to win the game, you need to move the cards between the tableaus and arrange them sequentially with alternating colors. You can use the free cells in the top left corner of the board to temporarily store cards there. Finally, you need to place all cards in the foundation cells starting with aces, twos, threes, etc. Each stack in the foundation fields must contain only cards of a single suit.

Instructions

Moving cards between the tableaus.

  1. You can pick up a card that is on top of the tableau or you can pick up a stack of cards as long as they are sequential (ordered by rank) and have alternating colors (black and red).
  2. You can place a card or a stack of cards on top of another card as long as the destination card has a rank one higher and is of the opposite color than the card you are moving (or than the card at the bottom of the stack you are moving). That is, it is possible to place a black card on a red card and vice versa. Note that it is impossible to place a king on another card since there is no card with the rank above king.
  3. If the tableau is empty, you can place any card in it.
  4. If you are moving a stack of cards, you need to make sure that there are enough free cells to facilitate the move. This is because in Freecell cards can be moved only one by one. If you are moving a stack, it is as if you were using free cells to temporarily store cards while disassembling the stack in one tableau and the assembling it in another tableau. This is quite tedious and the game allows you to move the entire stack instead of moving cards one by one, however the game always calculates the maximum stack size that can be moved given the current circumstances. The formula for the maximum stack size includes the number of free cells in the top left and the number of empty tableaus.
  5. It is possible to move larger stacks than those allowed by the number of free cells and the number of empty tableaus. For example, if you find a card in a different tableau on which you can temporarily store part of your stack, you can use it to split your stack in two and move the two halves separately.

Using free cells.

  1. There are four free cells.
  2. Each free cell can contain up to a single card.
  3. Any card can be placed in a free cell.
  4. The number of available free cells is used to calculate maximum size of a stack you can currently move.

Foundations

  1. There are four foundation fields, one for each suit. Each foundation field can contain only cards of a single suit.
  2. The first card to be placed in each foundation field is an ace. Ace is a foundation card.
  3. Once ace has been placed in the foundation field, you can only place there a card which has a rank higher by exactly one. In this way, you are sorting cards ascending sequentially by rank and by suit.
  4. Once all the cards have been placed in foundation fields, the game is won.

Other information

  1. Sometimes cards automatically go into foundation fields. Only cards that cannot be helpful for sorting out the lanes are automatically sent to the foundation fields.
  2. You can force-send a card to a foundation field by right-clicking on it.
  3. You can force-send all suitable cards to foundation fields by right-clicking on the green area at the bottom of the game board.
  4. A good time is to win the game within 3 minutes.

Solving example

Here is an example of how to successfully start solving a Freecell Solitaire game.

In this deal there are no aces on top, however we can move around a bunch of cards in order to make them available. We start by placing the 7 of clubs on the 8 of diamonds and placing the 6 of spades on the 7 of diamonds. Note that we can only place a card on a card that has a rank higher by one and the must be of the opposite color. That is, we can only place red cards (diamonds and hearts) on black cards (spades and clubs) and vice versa.
Let’s focus on the right-most tableau now. We can move the 7 of hearts onto the 8 of spades and the 10 of diamonds on the Jack of spades. This reveals the Ace of clubs which we can place in the first foundation cell.
We keep focusing on the right-most tableau. We can move the 3 of clubs to one of the free cells and put the 6 of diamonds on the 7 of clubs. This frees the left-most tableau. Having an empty tableau is very desirable, because we can use it not only as an additional free cell but also stack cards in it.
Now we can try to disassemble the left-most tableau. We can do it by placing the Queen of spades in a free cell, the 2 of diamonds on the 3 of spades, the Ace of clubs in the second foundation field, the Queen of hearts on the King of Spades, the Queen of clubs in a free cell, and the 2 of clubs on the Ace of clubs which already is in the foundation cell. This seemingly clutters our board – now we have three of the four free cells occupied. But fear not! As you will soon see this was strategically though through and we will easily recover the clarity of the board.
Let’s move the Queen of clubs onto the King of diamonds and the 3 of clubs onto the 2 of clubs. We can also move a little stack composed of two cards: the Jack of spades and the 10 of diamonds. Let’s pick up these cards and place them on the Queen of hearts. Now the board looks quite orderly again.
This time we focus on the second tableau. Note that there is a stack consisting of four cards with the 9 of spades at the bottom. We can move this entire stack and place it on the 10 of diamonds. The 2 of spades is then revealed and we can put it on the Ace of clubs. The 9 of clubs as well as the 3 of diamonds can be relocated to available free cells. The 5 of clubs can be placed on the 6 of diamonds which is now in the seventh tableau. This allows to achieve us our goal: the Ace of hearts is now revealed and we can place it in the next available foundation cell.
It seems that it would be a good idea to focus on the sixth tableau next. And so, we move the King of clubs to the last remaining free cell, the 4 of diamonds onto the 5 of clubs, and the 10 of hearts we place in the empty second tableau.
Place the 9 of clubs on the 10 of hearts and the 8 of hearts in the empty eighth tableau. This reveals the 2 of hearts which we can place in the foundation field with the Ace of hearts. Finally, place the two-card stack starting with the 3 of spades on the 4 of diamonds.
Now we will try to disassemble the fourth tableau. First, we place the Jack of clubs on the only empty tableau remaining. Then, we place the 5 of diamonds on the 6 of spades. We need to remove the 8 of hearts from the eighth tableau and place it on the 9 of clubs. Then, we place the 10 of clubs in the just freed empty tableau. Now, we can place the 6 of clubs on the 7 of hearts, which reveals the Ace of diamonds. We can place it on the only remaining foundation cell. And finally, we place the 3 of hearts onto the 2 of hearts in the foundation cells.
Let’s do some clean-up now. First, we place the 3 of diamonds from a free cell onto the 2 of diamonds in the foundation cell. The, we can move the stack starting with the 10 of hearts and place it on the Jack of clubs. Finally, we can move the 3 of spades and the 4 of diamonds onto the suitable foundation fields.
At this moment we are going to make a complicated move. But first, let’s move the 5 of diamonds onto the 4 of diamonds. With that of the way, we would like to move the giant stack starting with the King of spades into an empty tableau so that we can get access to the all cards of the seventh tableau. Unfortunately, there are not enough free cells and empty tableaus to perform this operation. Fortunately, there is still hope. We can split the giant stack into two: we can move the three-card-long stack starting with the 7 of clubs onto the 8 of hearts and then move the remaining stack, starting with the King of spades, into the empty tableau.
Move the 4 of clubs into the foundation field. Then, do the same with the 5 of clubs.
We can finally disassemble the seventh tableau. Place the 5 of hearts on the 6 of spades. Place the 4 of spades onto the 3 of spades. Place the 7 of spades onto the 8 of diamonds. Finally, place the 4 of hearts onto the 3 of hearts.
Let’s fill up the foundation fields a bit. Move the 6 of clubs onto the 5 of clubs. Then, move the 5 of hearts onto the 4 of hearts.
We now have two free cells and two empty tableaus. Cards are already quite well sorted on the board and it is clear that the game can be solved and from now on it will get easier and easier. Well done! :)

History

Freecell Solitaire has its origins in the year of 1968 when a slightly different game has been published in the Scientific American. This game has been modified into Freecell and first implemented on computers in 1978. However, Freecell became so popular mostly because it has been included in every distribution of Microsoft Windows since 1995. The original Microsoft Freecell had 32000 numbered deals. Between 1994 and 1995 there was a project to solve all 32000 deals. Only one proved to be unsolvable and since then Freecell is known as a game which is almost always solvable.

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