FreeCell Basics

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Object of the Game

The object of the game is to use all cards to build up the 4 home cells in ascending order starting with the aces. Free cells (4 cells in the upper left corner) can be used as temporary placeholders for just 1 card at a time.

Home Cells to be build are in the upper right corner. The bottom card in each of the 4 home cells must be an ace. In the example, only two aces are placed: ace of hearts and ace of spades. Cards are moved to the home cell by first moving the ace of a suit, then the 2 of that suit, and so on up to the king. Once a card has been moved to the home cell, it can never be moved again.

52 cards are dealt and randomly placed in 8 columns. To avoid FreeCell computer solvers, not all cards are revealed: 3-5 randomly selected cards in the upper portion of the columns are placed face down and cannot be seen right away.
When the cards in the columns are moved, they have to alternate between red and black.
The bottom card in each column is free to be moved. A free card can be placed at the bottom of another column if the last card in that column is one higher and of the opposite color. In the example above, nine of spades can be placed on ten of hearts.

Playing the Game

As the game proceeds, the 4 free cells (upper left) are only used as an intermediate holding place where any free card can be temporarily placed in order to access cards buried in the columns. A free cell can never contain more than one card. You can also move any free card into an empty column if any such columns exists.

For speed, you can move a several cards at once, if cards have ascending rank and alternating color and if there are enough open free cells to accomplish the move. You can move a stack of cards that is one greater than the number of free cells. For example, if there were 2 open free cells, you could move a stack of 3 cards. An empty column counts as an open free cell. For example, let's suppose that you have 7 of Spades in the column onto which you want to move 4 ordered cards from the other column that start with 6 of Hearts and end with 3 of Clubs. You will be able to do that if there are at least 3 free cells available. To accomplish that, click first on the bottom card from the source column [3 of Clubs] & the card will get highlited. Now click on the destination card [6 of Hearts]. The whole group of 4 cards will be moved there at once.

Click-and-drag any free card to move it to another column, to a free cell, or to the home cell.

To move a stack of cards, click the bottom card in the stack you want to move and then click the destination card.

Double-clicking on a free card will move it to a home cell if there is a valid spot for it there.

To reveal the partially open card, right click on it. Closed cards can be revealed only when they are at the bottom of the column.

If you get stuck:
  • You can use 'Undo' button. Only the last move can be 'undone'.
  • You can use the End Game button. You'll still get a time bonus even if you don't complete the game, so click this button as soon as you realize that you're stuck.

  • Any card moved to any of the 4 suit stacks earns 25 points.
  • At the end of the game, there is also a Time Bonus for each unused second.

FreeCell Strategy Tips
  • Do not use free cells unless you have to
  • Do not put those cards in the home cells that you might need in building your columns -- cards from home cells cannot be taken back...
  • Look for low cards (ace, two, etc.) buried high in the columns and develop a plan to free them up
  • Try to empty one of the columns -- it can serve as an extra free cell

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