Like Klondike solitaire, the goal of FreeCell solitaire is to place all the
cards in each suit in stacks of ascending order. Stacks of cards with
alternating colors in descending order can be built in the bottom half of
the screen as an intermediate step. In FreeCell, the location of all the
cards in the deck are known at the start of a game. This makes victory
depend more on strategy than on luck.
There are three areas of the screen:
- Building Stacks
The building stacks are found in the bottom half of the screen. The contents
of the entire deck are initially found in the building stacks. All the cards
in the building stacks are visible, but only the top card can be moved.
- Free Cells The free cells are found in the upper left corner
and are used to temporarily store a card from the building stacks. Only one
card can be placed in a free cell.
- Suit Stacks
The suit stacks are located in the upper right corner and are initially
To move a card, click on the card (which will highlight it) and then
click on the destination. The following are valid moves:
- An ace can be moved to its suit stack. (This will usually be done
A card at the top of a stack can be moved to its corresponding suit stack if
the rank of the card at the top of that stack is one less than the card's
rank (Kings have a rank of 13, queens 12, jacks 11 and an ace has a rank of
The card at the top of a building stack can be moved to an empty free cell
or building stack.
A card can be moved from a free cell or building stack to another building
stack if the card at the top of the destination stack has a different color
and a value one more than the card.
Ordered cards at the bottom of a building stack can be moved to another
building stack if there is a card in the ordered sequence which has a
different color and a rank one less than the card at the top of the
destination stack. There must be an empty space for every moved card below
the top card.
To move an ordered sequence of cards at the top of a stack to an empty
building stack, first select all the ordered cards by clicking twice on the
stack, then click the empty space. If there are fewer empty spaces than
selected cards, the number of cards moved will equal the original number of
Right-clicking on a stack will move the its top card to an empty space. If
more than one card in the right-clicked stack has been selected, the
selected cards will be moved to empty stacks until there are no more
selected cards or there are no more empty stacks.
A card will be automatically moved to the suit stacks from the free cells
and the tops of the building stacks if the cards which might be placed on top
of it are already in the suit stacks. Clicking undo will retract an
Holding the shift key down while moving multiple cards will
make the move even if there are not enough empty spaces.
- Try to make an empty space in the building stacks early in the game.
- Move an ordered sequence of cards in stages if there are not enough
empty spaces to move the sequence in one step. If there is more than one
empty space, transfer as many cards as possible to each space and then
reassemble the sequence on the desired destination stack. Even if there are
not enough empty spaces, it might be possible to move the sequence if there
is a card on top of another stack which can accept a subsequence of the
Clicking on these buttons will perform the following actions:
- New Game
- Begin a new game after shuffling the deck
- Return to the original state of the current game
- Return to the condition before the previous move was made
- Bring up a window with the following options:
- Number of Free Cells
- There can be from 1 to 8 free cells. Using fewer free cells than the
original 4 will result in a more challenging game, while increasing the
number will make the game less frustrating for novices. The additional
free cells appear on the right side of the layout.
- Starting rank
- This option sets the rank of the cards at the tops of the suit stacks
at the start of the game. A new game must be started for this option to
take effect. Increasing this value will result in an easier game.
- Automatic card moving
- When this box is set (which is the default), a card atop a stack will
be moved to its suit stack automatically if there are no cards available
which might be placed on top of it.