FreeCell Solitaire Online

If you’ve been searching for a new game to play, then FreeCell Solitaire on SubGame is perfect. Exciting and addictive, with real cognitive benefits, FreeCell Solitaire will grab your attention for all day.

About FreeCell Solitaire

FreeCell Solitaire is a highly well-known variation of Solitaire. It fundamentally differs from classic Solitaire in several ways.

One of the oldest ancestors of FreeCell Solitaire is another variation known as Eight Off or Baker’s Game, described by C.L. Baker in the 1930s. It is said that Baker learnt the game from his father, who similarly learnt it from an unknown Englishman during the 1920s. 

FreeCell was created when Paul Alfille modified Baker’s game in order to make cards built according to alternate colors. Alfille then went on to create the first computerized version of FreeCell when he studied medicine at the University of Illinois in 1978. As such, FreeCell was one of the first computerized versions of Solitaire. 

The main feature of FreeCell Solitaire is in the game’s initial layout, with every card dealt face up onto the table from the beginning with two sets of four empty piles known as the FreeCells and the HomeCells. 

The Objective of FreeCell Solitaire

The aim of FreeCell Solitaire is quite the same as other Solitaire variations. The goal is to build the four HomeCells and sort the cards into suits and their ascending orders from ace to king. Once this has been completed, or if there are no available moves, the game ends. 

How Do You Set Up FreeCell Solitaire? 

There are several steps to setting up FreeCell Solitaire and this article will guide you through it so you can start playing FreeCell Solitaire right away. Of course, if you’d rather skip the setting up stages, you can play FreeCell Solitaire online where the cards will already be set up for you. 

  1. Ensure you have a standard 52-card deck (jokers removed). 
  2. Then, shuffle and begin dealing the cards into eight piles, ensuring that they are face up. Once you have done this, there should be four piles with seven cards and four piles with six. These columns are known as your tableau. 
  3. Leave room above the eight piles for your FreeCells and HomeCells. The FreeCells and HomeCells are made from four piles each, but they should be empty at the start of the game.

Now you should have FreeCell Solitaire set up and ready to go. So, how exactly do you play? 

Rules of FreeCell Solitaire

FreeCell Solitaire, like most versions of Solitaire, is relatively simple and quick to pick up, especially if you are familiar with other variants of Solitaire. So, if you’re ready to begin playing, read on to find the rules. 

  1. To begin with, the only card you can play is the face up card exposed at the end of each of the eight piles. There are several ways in which you can move these cards: they can be moved onto other cards on the tableau or be placed into a FreeCell at any time, but, tactically, it’s best to keep your FreeCells empty for as long as possible.
  2. In order to place a card on the tableau or onto another pile, a set of conditions must be fulfilled. The card can only be moved onto another card which is numerically larger than it by one and is of alternative color. For instance, you could move a red five onto a black six, or a black queen onto a red king (If you’re unsure of the order of the cards, here’s a list: ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king). 
  3. By moving cards around the tableau you can expose new cards and create runs of cards in order. 
  4. Only one card at a time can be moved.
  5. If you happen to empty any spaces in the tableau, you can fill them with any card you like (it doesn’t have to be a king, unlike other types of Solitaire). 
  6. Moving a sequence of cards in FreeCell Solitaire can be a little complicated. Although the rules of FreeCell only permit you to move one card at a time, FreeCells can be used to move an entire sequence. 
  • Consider two piles on the tableau. One pile ends in an exposed black Queen and another pile contains a run from a red jack to a black 8. 
  • In order to place the sequence onto the queen, you can use the FreeCells. 
  • If enough FreeCells are available, the black 8, red 9, and black 10 can all be moved into FreeCells. Then, you can place the red jack onto the queen. 
  • After that, place the cards from the FreeCells back into sequence on the jack.

As you can see, the entire sequence from Jack to 8 has now been moved. However, if there were not 3 FreeCells available, this move would have been impossible. This makes FreeCell a little more complicated than standard Solitaire, but leads to far more interesting and addictive tactics and play styles. 

  1. Play begins once all the cards are dealt. Tactically, it’s best to begin moving cards around just the tableau. However, when this is no longer possible, you might be forced to place cards into the Freecell. 
  2. Start foundation piles early, if there’s such an opportunity. This way, you can start getting cards off the tableau as soon as possible and increase your chances of winning the game. 
  3. Play ends once all the cards have been neatly ordered into their foundation piles, or when there are no available moves.

Congrats! These are the basic rules of FreeCell Solitaire. So, how do you win?

How Do You Win FreeCell Solitaire? 

Winning FreeCell Solitaire is just like winning other types of Solitaire. If you order every card from ace to king and separate them into their suits, then the game is won. This is the only way you can win FreeCell Solitaire. 

Thanks to the increased difficulty of FreeCell, not every game is straightforward. As you continue playing FreeCell, you’ll develop further tactics and increase your chances of winning each game. This makes FreeCell a breath of fresh air in the solitaire world, and it provides seasoned players with an extra challenge to sharpen their brains.

Discover Games Similar to FreeCell Solitaire

If the intellectual challenge and strategic nuances of FreeCell Solitaire captivate you, you're in for a treat. There are other card games that encapsulate the same sense of strategy and skill. In this exploration, we delve into Eight Off, Penguin Solitaire, and Vegas Solitaire, each offering a nuanced take on the well-loved FreeCell framework.

Eight Off

Meet Eight Off, a close relative of FreeCell Solitaire. What sets it apart? More "free cells," which translates to additional tactical options during play. This variation extends the FreeCell-style challenges you love, incorporating new layers of strategy and decision-making.

Penguin Solitaire

If you're looking for a fresh take on FreeCell's strategic gameplay, step into the world of Penguin Solitaire. While retaining the signature "free cells" to park cards temporarily, Penguin Solitaire shakes things up with a one-of-a-kind tableau configuration. It's a refreshing way to explore familiar mechanics while engaging with new challenges.

Vegas Solitaire: Where Strategy Meets Chance

If you're intrigued by the strategic elements in FreeCell Solitaire and wish to merge them with the unpredictability of gambling, Vegas Solitaire could be your next go-to game. Unlike FreeCell, where every card is visible from the start, Vegas Solitaire adds an element of luck by restricting your passes through the deck. This creates an exhilarating blend of skill and chance, making every card flip a pivotal moment. Here, you'll not only exercise your strategic muscle but also feel the thrill of risking it all, making Vegas Solitaire a uniquely captivating alternative for FreeCell enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Now you know all about how to set up, play and win FreeCell Solitaire, you might have a few questions. So here are some of the most common.

Why Is FreeCell so Popular?

The popularity of FreeCell stems from the puzzle-like nature of the game. Nearly every hand you are given can be won, unlike other versions of Solitaire. In fact, most versions of Solitaire can only be won around half the time!

How Can You Make FreeCell More Challenging? 

If you’ve been playing FreeCell for a while, the game might begin to feel just a little too easy. To make the game harder, you can remove some of the FreeCells. Instead of having 4, why not have 2 or 3? You can also play FreeCell with 2 decks of cards to add complexity. 

Can You Win without Using the FreeCells?

Surprisingly, yes! It’s a rare occasion, but a small percentage of FreeCell games can be won without using a single FreeCell. You can find online versions of the game that will deliberately deal out zero-FreeCell deals, meaning the game is possible to win without the use of any FreeCells.

Why Do You Need FreeCells to Move Sequences?

This is perhaps the most confusing rule in FreeCell. You need FreeCells to move sequences because cards can only be moved one at a time. Therefore, in order to move a sequence of cards, you must place cards lower in the sequence into FreeCells and then put them back onto the tableau once the top card has been moved. 

You can also play relaxed FreeCell, which allows the movement of entire sequences without spare FreeCells. 

Are There Different Versions of FreeCell Solitaire?

While standard FreeCell Solitaire might be the most common, there are several variations of FreeCell that can provide an extra challenge for seasoned players. 

You can change the game to be ‘easy’ or ‘hard’. In easy mode, four FreeCells are available and the cards are shuffled so the lowest ranking cards are dealt towards the end of the tableau. To make the game harder, you can shuffle the cards so the lower ranks are dealt at the top of the tableau. 

You can also modify the number of FreeCells available. The game becomes even more of a challenge when you can only use 3, 2, or just 1 cell to move cards around. Be careful, however, as the use of just one FreeCell reduces the win rate to 19%. 

Are All FreeCell Solitaire Games Winnable?

While other variations of solitaire have a meager win rate of around 50%, FreeCell Solitaire is a game you can win almost all of the time. In standard FreeCell Solitaire, where 4 cells are available, it is estimated at 99.999% of all possible deals are solvable. This is one of the biggest appeals of FreeCell, because it means it’s definitely a game of skill, instead of luck. 

Is FreeCell Solitaire Good for Your Brain? 

Yes! All types of solitaire and puzzles are good for your brain. FreeCell Solitaire is slightly harder than other variations of solitaire, meaning it gives your brain an even better workout. Playing regular games of solitaire or other puzzles to keep your mind active can protect against a number of diseases, including dementia and help sharpen your mental skills. 

What Is the Minimum Number of Moves Needed to Beat FreeCell Solitaire? 

The minimum number of moves to beat a FreeCell game depends on how the cards are dealt. While some variations can perhaps be beaten in just 30 or so moves, the average minimum for games is around 45 moves. However, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t win a game with a low number of moves—FreeCell is hard, and very difficult to play with perfect tactics. 

Closing Thoughts: Embark on Your FreeCell Journey Today

Now you’ve arrived at the end of our page, we hope you now know all about FreeCell and how to play it. It’s a great game and provides a welcome breath of fresh air in the solitaire world. So, if you’re feeling ready, why not grab a deck of cards or head online to play a few rounds of FreeCell?

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