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Official FreeCell Rules

Freecell is a strategic Patience (Solitaire) card game that offers a good challenge for experienced card game players. Here's a breakdown of the rules to test your skills:

Objective

Move all cards from the tableau piles (eight piles in the center) and build them by suit in ascending order (Ace to King) onto the four foundation piles (located at the top right corner).

Setup

1. Shuffle the Deck: Shuffle a standard deck of 52 cards thoroughly.


2. Tableau: Deal all 52 cards face-up into eight piles in the center area, called the tableau. Deal them in seven rows, with the first row having one card, the second row having two cards, and so on, until the last row has seven cards.


3. Foundation Piles:  Place four empty spaces in the top right corner, which will be the foundation piles where you'll build your winning sequences.


4. Free Cells:  There are four empty spaces above the tableau piles, called Free Cells. These will be used strategically to move cards around.

Gameplay

Freecell involves moving cards between the tableau piles, foundation piles, and free cells. Here are the key actions you can take:

  • Moving Single Cards: You can move a single face-up card from the tableau pile or a Free Cell to another tableau pile or an empty foundation pile. The cards in the tableau piles must be built down by alternating colors (red on black or black on red).

  • Moving Sequences:  In the tableau, you can move sequences of cards in descending order and alternating colors. However, the number of cards you can move together depends on the availability of empty spaces.

    • With one empty space: You can move one card.

    • With two empty spaces: You can move two cards.

    • With three empty spaces: You can move three cards, and so on (up to the entire sequence if there are enough empty spaces).

  • Using Free Cells: Free Cells are temporary holding spots for single cards. You can move any card to an empty Free Cell, regardless of color or suit. This helps free up space in the tableau for building sequences.

Winning the Game

  • You win the game if you successfully move all cards from the tableau piles and Free Cells to the four foundation piles, building them by suit in ascending order (Ace to King).

Notes/Strategy

  • Strategy:  Freecell requires planning and strategizing your moves. Consider which cards to move to Free Cells, the order of building sequences in the tableau, and how to utilize empty spaces effectively.

  • No Stock Pile: Unlike Klondike Solitaire, Freecell doesn't have a stock pile to draw new cards from. You rely solely on the cards dealt initially and strategically maneuvering them to win.

  • Variations:  There are a few variations of Freecell with slightly different rules or scoring systems. Some might track the number of moves made to determine how well you played.

Freecell offers a satisfying mental challenge for Patience (Solitaire) enthusiasts. So, shuffle the deck, deal the cards, and see if you can strategically use the Free Cells to build your way to victory!

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