Number of players: 1
Number of decks: 1
FreeCell is a mentally challenging version of solitaire. All cards are dealt face up. A skilled, sharp player can almost always complete the game. This is different from regular solitaire (Klondike) which, more often than not, cannot be completed.
FreeCell is rarely played with actual playing cards. It is usually played on the computer.
Setting the cards
Deal out eight columns of cards face-up. The first four columns have seven cards each, the last four have six cards each.
This diagram shows the starting layout for FreeCell Solitaire.
The four empty spots in the top right are called the stack piles. This is where you will build your suit stacks. The other four empty spots are “free cells”. These are holding areas where you can temporarily move cards during play.
Object of the game
The object of FreeCell Solitaire is to build four stacks of cards, one stack in each suit. The cards in each stack must run sequentially, ace through king (A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K). You will build these stacks on the four empty stack spots.
You may move cards from the columns or stack piles according to the following rules:
Cards may be placed on the top card of each column if they are a different color and next in sequence. For example, if the 8 of clubs is the top card on a column, you may place a red 7 on top of it. Then you may place a black 6 on top of the 7, and so on.
Cards must be moved from column to column one at a time. When a column is empty, you may move any available card to that column.
You may move one card to each of the four free cell spaces, then later move it back to the columns or to the stack piles.
Online games usually will allow you to move a sequential group of cards if there are enough free cells available to hold each card in the group. This is simply a shortcut, since you could move one card at a time and use the free cells to achieve the same end. For example, if there are three empty free cells, you may move a group of four cards to another column. Or if there are three empty free cells and one empty column, you may move a group of five cards to another column.
Ultimately, your goal is to move cards to the stack piles. You must start each stack pile with an ace. When other cards become available, they may be moved on top of the aces to build the suited stacks. For example, after you have moved the ace of spades to a stack spot, you may later move the two of spades on top of it, then the three of spades on top of the two, and so on until the stack is complete.
After you have moved a card to a stack pile, you man move it back to the columns or free cells if you wish.
Winning the game
The play continues until you have completed all 4 suit stacks or until no more moves are possible. You win the game if you complete all 4 suit stacks. In online games, it is common to use the “undo” button when you become stuck so you can keep trying to complete the game.
In this variation, you can only fill an empty column with a king.