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FreeCell Rules

  1. First of all, take a deep look at all the cards and identify all of them. For example, all the aces and the other key cards. With this, identify all those aces and low numbered cards that are buried deep under many cards.
  2. Your first moves should be all the small moves which don't require moving cards to a free cell or moves that may require a card is moved to a free cell but you can immediately see how it may be moved back down. In other words, don't start off wasting your free cells. After these simple moves then move onto the more complex ones which require you to calculate several positions ahead.
  3. Usually, you shouldn't move a card to a free cell without a plan to move it back down, or unless moving a card up to the free cell allows you to move another card down from the free cell. So in other words only make moves that improve your position - always plan it out fully in your mind, envisioning it step by step, and then only make that move if you evaluate that it leaves you better off than before.
  4. An early goal should be freeing up a column. This will take a lot of pressure off you and be a key to winning. A free column is better than a free cell because it can hold many cards in order, and it gives more room for transferring cards than a single dree cell does. So if you have a single card in a column you are better off to move it up to a free cell. As a general measure, I usually think of a free column being about as good as two free cells. Of course, this is not an exact rule - sometimes I will trade two free cells to get an empty column, sometimes not. It depends on the situation.
  5. Try to get aces moved up to the foundations early to ease the pressure. The fewer cards left on the playing field the easier the game will be. Of course, do not go sacrificing your free cells carelessly just to move aces up though.
  6. Be careful about manually moving cards up to foundations. Often moving a card up to a foundation to get it out of the way can get you out of tricky spots and even be the difference between winning and losing a game, but remember that once a card is moved up to the foundation it cannot be brought back down to do it with caution. You may later wish you still had that card in the playing field to stack another card on top of. For example; if you have two red 3's in the playing field and you move a black 4 up to the foundation, this could cause a problem later since you only have one black 4 to stack the two red 3's on.
  7. If you are stuck be patient. Often you might have to wait 5 or 10 minutes sitting there looking for the move to bail you out of trouble. Take your time and don't give into impatience and make a reckless move. It might help to get up and go away and then come back. The new perspective often helps to see things you couldn't see before. One thing I sometimes try is selecting a card then moving the pointer over other cards. The pointer will turn to a downward arrow showing anywhere you can place the card legally. Don't give up unless you are certain there are no more possible moves.
  8. When you have only two free cells or less left then you are in extreme danger. Be very careful choosing the next moves you make.
  9. Don't forget to use the undo button (F10). It can save you from losing a game by reversing a mistake. You can also use it to help you see what the playing field would look like an extra move ahead and then be able to reverse it.
  10. To see what suit a covered card is, right click on it.

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