How to Play FreeCell: The Ultimate Guide

Sometime in the 1960s, the then 10-year old Paul Alfille invented what would later become one of the most popular variants of Solitaire: FreeCell. Unlike Klondike Solitaire or Pyramid Solitaire, FreeCell is considered very difficult (especially for Solitaire newbies).

However, no matter how challenging FreeCell is, it’s still one of the most fun Solitaire games to play. If you’re ready to level up your Solitaire skills, we’re here to help. In this article, you will learn the basics of FreeCell, including: - The objective of FreeCell - How to Play FreeCell For Beginners - Step-by-Step Instructions For Playing FreeCell - Where to play FreeCell From Your Phone Are you ready to start learning all about FreeCell? Get started now.

What Is The Objective Of Freecell?

The object of the game (which is the same in most solitaire games) is to build four suit-specific HomeCells in ascending order, starting with the King and ending with the Ace. Each HomeCell (also called foundation piles) can only hold one suit of cards (i.e., Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs).

How Do You Play FreeCell Card Game?

You play FreeCell with a standard 52-pack of cards (be sure to take out the Jokers). Learn more about card layout and basic FreeCell rules below.

Card Layout

First, shuffle the cards and begin dealing one row of eight cards side-by-side face up. This row is the beginning of the solitaire tableau.

Then, deal seven cards to the first four piles and six cards to the remaining piles in descending order. The cards should slightly overlap the previous cards in each column. Be sure to leave space above the tableau for four foundation piles (i.e., HomeCells) and four FreeCells. - HomeCell - Also called the foundation piles, you place cards of the same suit in descending order from Ace to King. - FreeCell - Where you can temporarily place any card during the game.

How Do You Play FreeCell Step-by-Step?

You’re ready to dive into gameplay now that you know the basics. Learn step-by-step instructions for playing the game of FreeCell below.

Step One: Start Building Your HomeCells

Start building HomeCells as soon as possible. Each HomeCell must begin with an Ace. That means you can move it as soon as an Ace becomes available. Your goal is to build up one HomeCell for each suit. However, don’t place a card in the foundation pile if you think you might need it later. That’s because once a card is in the HomeCell, it can’t be moved again.

Step Two: Shift Cards in The Tableau

During gameplay, you will often run into scenarios where a card you need is blocked behind another card in the tableau piles. In that case, you have two choices: Move the card to a FreeCell or move it to another column. However, you must follow specific FreeCell rules when moving a card from one column to another, such as: Cards must be placed in descending order from King to Ace.

Like the card game Klondike, cards must alternate between opposite colors (i.e., black to red or red to black). The card’s suit doesn’t matter when moving cards from column to column in the tableau. For example, you can place a black 7 of Hearts on a red 8 of Diamond or a red 10 of Spades on a black Jack of Clubs. ### Step Three: Use Empty Columns Suppose you have played all of the cards in one column. In that case, you can move a single card from another pile into the previously empty column. Sometimes, stacks of cards (more on moving a sequence of cards later).

Step Four: Use Your FreeCells Sparingly

Each FreeCell can hold one card at a time. Generally, you can move cards from your tableau to a free cell at any time during the game. You can also use cards sitting in one of the four FreeCells back to the tableau or a HomeCell whenever you need to.

However, it’s important to remember that it can't be moved again once placed in a HomeCell.

How Many Cards Can I Move in FreeCell?

For the most part, you are limited to moving one card at a time. However, if you want to move a sequence of cards to reach another card you need, you can move them depending on the number of open FreeCells on the table. Here are a few examples: - Four available FreeCells - Move a sequence of five cards - Three available FreeCells - Move a sequence of four cards - Two available FreeCells - Move a sequence of three cards - One available FreeCells - Move a sequence of two cards

Here’s another way to think about moving a sequence of cards in FreeCell: - Suppose you would like to move the following sequence from one cell in the tableau to another with an exposed black King of Diamonds: Red Queen of Hearts, Black Jack of Spades, Red 10 of Diamonds, Black 9 of clubs, Red 8 of Diamonds. - If you have four open FreeCells, you can deal the cards 8 through Jack to the FreeCells, and move the Red Queen of Hearts beneath the black King of Diamonds. - You can then move the cards you placed in the FreeCells in descending order onto the Queen of Hearts (Jack through 8).

Understanding Supermoves in FreeCell

In most cases, the maximum number of cards you can move into another column equals the number of open FreeCells plus one.

However, suppose you have an empty column in your tableau. In that case, you can double (once for each open free cell) the number of cards you’re eligible to move to another column using the open FreeCells. For example, if you have three empty FreeCells and one empty Tableau column, you could move a sequence of eight cards into the empty column. If you’re playing FreeCell online, the computer may move the cards for you.

How to Win a Game of FreeCell

Winning a FreeCell Solitaire game requires you to complete all four HomeCells (13 cards each), with each suit going from Ace to King in ascending order. However, you should be warned that winning isn’t always easy. Many FreeCell games end in blocks, but that’s the fun and appeal of the game. It takes a lot of strategy, patience, a sprinkle of luck, and a keen eye to win FreeCell games regularly.

How Do You Win FreeCell Every Time?

FreeCell beginners are bound to lose a few games. However, a good strategy can quickly turn those losses into wins and bragging rights. Listed below are a few of the best strategies to win FreeCell every time. 1. Remember that the most important goal is to arrange 13 cards from each suit in the HomeCells properly 2. Look over your tableau as much as possible before moving cards 3. Free your Aces as soon as possible and place them in the HomeCells 4. Try to maintain as many open FreeCells as possible 5. Clear a column early in the game 6. Be patient 7. Play FreeCell online as much as possible

Where to Play FreeCell Online

Are you ready to test your FreeCell knowledge online? Download FreeCell Solitaire Cube from your phone. It's challenging and super fun! Start playing today for your chance to compete against real people and win real rewards.

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