FreeCell is one of the dozens of forms of solitaire. The game area consists of four home cells, four free cells, and a deck of cards, which is dealt face-up in eight columns at the beginning of the game. The home cells are the four card locations in the upper-right corner of the screen. Aces can be moved to home cells immediately, and other cards of the same suit can be moved on top of them in ascending order. You win the game by moving all the cards to the home cells. The free cells are the four card locations in the upper-left corner of the screen. Each cell holds one card.

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To play FreeCell

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click FreeCell.

    If FreeCell is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

    If you don't have a saved game, FreeCell starts a new game. If you have a saved game, you can continue your previous game.

  3. To move a card, click the card you want to move, and then click where you want to move it. You can move cards according to these rules:

    • When moving cards to columns, cards must be moved in order from highest (king) to lowest (ace), alternating suit colors.

    • When moving cards to home cells, cards must be moved in order from lowest (ace) to highest (king) in the same suit.

    • A card from the bottom of a column can move to a free cell, the bottom of another column, or a home cell.

    • A card from a free cell can move to the bottom of a column, or to a home cell.

Tips

  • Plan several moves ahead. Like chess, each move you make will affect the entire game. Don't just move one card at a time. Move cards to establish long runs, clear columns, and bring home aces.

  • Try to uncover and clear low cards near the top of columns. When you see aces and deuces buried behind a lot of other cards in a column, make it a priority to clear that column and move aces up to the home cells early in the game.

  • Keep free cells open. You can leave one card at a time on each free cell (on the left). Use these free cells to shift runs and columns back and forth. With more free cells, it's easier to move long runs and shift cards around quickly; having four cells free means you have temporary spots for four cards. Try to move cards in such a way that free cells stay free after the move is done.

  • Right-click to reveal cards. If you can't see exactly what suit or number a buried card is, right-click it to reveal the whole card. Make sure to hold down the mouse button for as long as you need to see the card.

  • Clear whole columns whenever possible. Move every card off a column, start it over with a king, and then fill the column sequentially. If you can't start the column with a king, then start it with as high a card as possible. Many players try for nothing lower than a ten.

To adjust the game options

You can adjust the game options in the Options dialog box.

  1. Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.

  2. Double-click FreeCell.

    If FreeCell is not available, you might need to turn on the Games feature. For more information about turning on the Games feature, see Where are my games?

  3. Click the Game menu, and then click Options.

  4. Select the check boxes for any options that you want to turn on, and then click OK.

To save games and continue saved games

  • If you need to finish a game later, just close the game and click Save. The next time you start a game, the game will ask you whether you want to continue your saved game. To do so, click Yes.