FreeCell Solitaire was developed by Paul Alfille. Out of all solitaire variants, it features the highest odds of winning. Players can win almost all FreeCell games with great gameplay. It’s what makes this game more interesting compared to other solitaire variations, like Klondike that mostly depend on luck. If you are skillful, you’ll find yourself winning most games.
But like all other games, understanding the rules of FreeCell Solitaire will boost your chances of winning. You win this game by building foundation piles by suit from Ace to King. Cards are all dealt face-up, and the empty free cells hold these cards during the play. A great FreeCell strategy can make a difference between those who do and don’t win. To help you make your next game more smooth and successful, we’ve written these expert tips.
1. Determine Your Goals
Do not begin any card game without understanding its objective. In FreeCell Solitaire, the goal is for players to arrange cards in ascending order to the foundation piles. Ultimately, a player should end up with the four cells each having 13 cards from Ace-2-3-4, like that up to the King. Note that each of your stacks should have identical suits.
2. Analyze Your Tableau Carefully
Before you start moving cards, first analyze the layout. Try locating areas that are problematic, such as Aces and low cards which are buried underneath the tableau. Then, plan on how you’ll move the cards. Be careful of the obvious moves as they may not be the best.
3. Move the Aces
If your Aces and twos are buried deep by other cards of higher ranks, you should free them as soon as you can. Move them to home cells to give you a rough idea of how you’re going to move the other cards. Remember that cards are arranged in ascending order. So if your Aces are blocked by other cards, it might not be possible to go far in this game.
4. Try Keeping the Free Cells Empty
Free Cells store cards that block your gameplay. They help you maneuver around. With many empty free cells, one can move a longer card sequence. However, maneuvering will be difficult if you only have one or two empty cells. If you can’t maneuver, then you really cannot play this game. Therefore, don’t place cards in the free cell unless it is your only option.
5. Create an Empty Tableau Column as Early as You Can
Sure free cells are important. But, empty columns are more beneficial. You can place an entire sequence into these columns rather than a single card. Plus, it doubles the length of well-arranged suits that you can move from and to different tableaus.
Players can fill these columns with a descending sequence that starts with a King to an Ace, of cards that are arranged in alternating colors. If you have a tableau column that only has a complete sequence and no cards above, you can leave it for the rest of the game as it won’t block any card of lower ranks that needs to be freed.
6. Moved Packed Cards into the Tableau
Most players make the mistake of packing cards into the free cells. However, it is best that you use the tableau column. And make sure that you spread them evenly so that you create more opportunities for moving cards.
7. Undo and Mix Well
Make the undo button your biggest friend. It is located below the tableau. Note that sometimes even with planning, you may not always make the best moves. If such happens, rather than losing a game, you can undo the move you made.
Also, move your cards from the tableau back and forth until you’re satisfied with a particular move. Additionally, do not use all the free cells. If you’re only remaining with one free cell, it’ll be difficult to continue playing the game.
8. Be Patient and Practice Safety First
Getting stuck can be frustrating. However, rather than giving up and ending the game, it’d help if you take a step back and figure out what went wrong. You can even get some distraction, like watch TV or stretch for a while then come back to the game. This will refresh your mind, and you’ll be surprised that you’ll even get a new perspective, which will free you out. Avoid making impulsive decisions that could worsen things.
Also, make safe moves at the beginning of your game. For instance, move Aces and twos immediately when they are uncovered. Safe moves will make your gameplay easy. Don’t be in a hurry to move cards into the home cells. You might need them later to maneuver around.
With a great strategy, you’ll find most FreeCell Solitaire games easy to win. However, not all deals are winnable. If you are finding a round difficult to win, you can replay it to get another chance of perfecting your play. Playing many times increases your chances of completing FreeCell Solitaire games.