Freecell is one of the most popular solitaire cards games. One of the reasons for it's popularity is that it can be won almost every time it is played, if the player is skilled enough. All 52 cards in the deck are dealt out at the beginning of the game in to 8 columns. Only the top card in each of these columns may be moved between the columns, to the reserve piles or to the foundations. The player attempts to build the columns down, alternating colors, and build the foundations up by suit. The player can use the reserve piles to move cards out of the way while arranginag other cards.
How to play FreeCell
Game Basics and Dealing
It is said that FreeCell is a game that can be won almost every time it is played if a player has the proper solitaire skills. Part of the reason for this is all the cards are dealt face up in 8 columns. The first 4 columns have 7 cards each and the last 4 columns have 6 cards each.
The game is played with a deck of 52 cards, the same as most solitaire games. It was made popular because of its inclusion into Windows 95 over 15 years ago and many office policies had to be modified since people became addicted solitaire players instead of doing their work.
There are 4 reserve cells (free cells) and 4 spots for the foundation. In this version of solitaire, the foundations start with the traditional Ace and are built in ascending order by suit. Only the card on top of each column can be moved to the reserve or to the foundation. Columns are built in descending order with alternating colors.
Players attempt to make as many moves as possible before using the free cells. One object of the game is to dig out the Aces to put in the foundation piles because the columns and foundations work from opposite ends of rank. Cards moved to the free cells can be moved back to the columns when they are in the right sequence, or to the foundations if they work in suit there. A king is not required to fill an empty column spot.
The 4-card reserve area is small, so it is easy to fill it up and have no further play options. Try to use it only as necessary, leaving cards there as short a time as possible.
Be mindful not to cover up Aces and low cards above long sequence runs. Unlike other solitaire games, sequenced runs cannot be moved in groups. Only one card at a time can be moved among the columns.
An example of using the reserve areas is as follows. There is a black 8 in one column. In another column, there is a black 6 which has a red 7 above it. Put the black 6 in reserve. Move the red 7 onto the black 8, then remove the black 6 from reserve, placing it onto the red 7. It is quick use of the reserve area to make an order change in the cards.
Each solitaire game is different from every other, and the master players have moves planned from the time they begin play. Computerized games may be based on a time limit or winners are given a better ranking for winning in a shorter span of time than other players.
According to the mathematicians, there are approximately 8 x 10 to the 67th power of unique deals in FreeCell based on 52 cards. By taking into consideration the limitations based on suit, this equates to 1.75 x 10 to the 64th power of games that are unique.