Paul Alfille created FreeCell Solitaire, which has the highest odds of winning among all solitaire variations. Unlike other solitaire games like Klondike, which rely heavily on luck, FreeCell requires skill and strategy, allowing players to win almost all games with great gameplay.
To increase your chances of winning, it’s important to understand the rules of FreeCell Solitaire. To win, you need to build foundation piles by suit from Ace to King, with all cards dealt face-up. The empty free cells hold cards during play, and a well-planned strategy can make a significant difference between winning and losing.
If you want to improve your gameplay and make your next game smoother and more successful, we’ve compiled some expert tips to help you.
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
Prior to moving any cards, it is important to carefully examine the layout of the game. Identify any potential problem areas, such as buried Aces or low cards within the tableau. From there, strategize on how you will move the cards. It is essential to be cautious of seemingly obvious moves, as they may not always be the most optimal choices.
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
Although free cells are useful, empty columns in FreeCell Solitaire are even more advantageous. These columns allow you to move entire sequences, rather than just individual cards. Additionally, they increase the length of well-arranged suits that you can move from one tableau to another.
To utilize empty columns effectively, players can fill them with a descending sequence of cards that starts with a King and ends with an Ace, while alternating colors. If a tableau column contains a complete sequence with no cards above it, it can be left alone for the remainder of the game as it won’t impede the freeing of any lower-ranked cards.
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.
Employing a solid strategy can make most games of FreeCell Solitaire easily winnable. However, it is important to note that not all deals are winnable. In the event that a game proves to be difficult to win, players have the option to replay it in order to have another opportunity to perfect their play. Replaying the game multiple times can increase the likelihood of successfully completing FreeCell Solitaire games.