FreeCell is a form of solitaire played with a single deck. The key to victory lies in the four free cells in the corner of the table—hence the name!
Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type games, and then, in the list of results, click Games Explorer.
(Don't see it? You might need to turn on Windows Games. See Where are my games?)
To begin, click a card at the bottom of one of the columns and drag it to a home cell, a free cell, or another column according to the rules below.
If you need to finish a game later, just exit the game, and then click Save. The next time you play, you'll be asked whether you want to continue your last game. If so, click Yes.
You can turn animation on or off, show tips, automatically save games, and more.
Click the Game menu, and then click Options.
Make your choices, and then click OK.
You can choose different card decks and table backgrounds.
Click the Game menu, and then click Change Appearance.
Create four stacks of 13 cards, one per suit in each of the four home cells. Each stack must be built from the low card (ace) to the high (king).
FreeCell is played with a single deck of 52 cards, dealt face up into eight columns. You'll draw from these columns to build your four stacks:
In the upper-left corner are four free cells, where you temporarily store cards during play.
In the upper-right corner are four home cells, where you build the stacks needed to win.
Draw cards from the bottom of each column and move them in the following ways:
From column to free cell. Only one card can occupy each free cell at a time.
From column to column (or free cell to column). Cards must be placed on a column in descending sequential order, and alternating red and black.
From column to home cell. Each stack must consist of a single suit, and start with an ace.
Ask for hints. Stuck? Press the H key to light up your next move.
Uncover buried cards. If you can't clearly see a card, right-click it. The card will remain visible as long as you hold down the mouse button.
Play it again, Windows. To play the same hand over, note the game number at the bottom-left corner of the screen, click the Game menu, click Select Game, and then type in that number. It's a fun way to test a different strategy, or to see if a friend could have played the same hand any better.
Plan ahead. Move cards deliberately to establish long runs, clear columns, and bring home aces.
Aces first. When low cards are buried in a column, it's better to dig them out and move them to a home cell early.
Free up free cells. The more available free cells there are, the easier it is to shift cards around. Aim to leave a free cell empty when a move is complete.
Clear whole columns. Whenever possible, move every card from a column and fill it again starting with as high a card as possible—ideally, nothing lower than a ten. Kings are best.
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.
Open the Games folder by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Games, and then clicking Games Explorer.
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.
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.
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.
You can adjust the game options in the Options dialog box.
Select the check boxes for any options that you want to turn on, and then click OK.
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.