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Rules and Tips for FreeCell Solitaire

The goal of Freecell

With the cards you see in the play area, try to make 4 piles of 13 cards, each pile with a different suit (the hearts with hearts, the spades with spades, etc.) and the cards being placed from lowest to highest (from ace to king). These cards must be placed in the destination boxes, that is to say the 4 empty boxes on the top right.

Arrangement and Layout

The background of a Freecell Solitaire game is usually green, but it can also vary from game to game. The play area features a standard deck of 52 cards, divided into 8 stacks of playing cards, the first 4 piles have 7 cards and the last 4 have 6 cards.

Above these cards, you see 8 empty cells (Free Cells). In the first 4 cells, you can temporarily store cards you do not currently need and the 4 cells on the right form the destination boxes where you have to place the cards in order during the game, from Ace to King.

How do you play Freecell?

The goal of the game is to fill the destination boxes (the 4 boxes at the top right). You must start with the lowest card. That is, the Ace, then 2, 3, etc. Each box must accommodate another suit, so there is a box for clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts. When all these boxes are full and you have emptied the playing area, you have won.

You always play Freecell with your mouse. The mouse allows you to pick up the cards and drag them elsewhere to free the playing cards you need to fill the destination boxes. You always start with the lowest cards, the Aces. When the Aces are not free, you can move the cards that cover them and place them in the 4 empty cells on the top left. When these 4 cells are occupied, you must play with the cards by positioning them on a higher card of another suit. For example, if you have a black 8 in the transit cells and a red nine in the play area, you drag the black 8 to the 9. You, therefore, build piles of cards that you will eventually drag to the destination boxes. You can also drag multiple cards at the same time, but that will depend on the number of available free cells.

Practical advice

Anticipate: Identify other cards that are free in advance and see what you can do while moving cards.

Look for Aces: When low cards are at the bottom of a stack, it is best to move them as quickly as possible to the destination boxes, so you can get rid of them.

Keep the transit cells empty: The more empty cells you have on the top left, the more cards you can move in one go.

Try emptying whole stacks: Try emptying stacks that are not yet in order so you can create new stacks that start with the highest card. These high cards are in effect the last cards you need to fill the destination boxes and if you put them at the top, they will not hinder you.