FreeCell is a card game played with single deck. It appears first in Windows O.S 95. The name is derived because of the temporary storage of cards provided in the 4 empty cells above the tableau. It become famous as a computer game and is not a physical card game.

As the game commence, all the cards are dealt face up so a player can analyze his moves even before making them. It is similar to Klondike but the only difference is of FreeCell’s.

FreeCell Layout

The game starts with the shuffling of 52 cards, all dealt face up on the tableau in eight columns. Each time 8 cards are dealt six times over the tableau. The remaining 4 cards are dealt in the first four columns only. Thus, there are 7 cards in the first four columns and six cards in the last four columns.
freecell formation layout


Player has to make Four Cells consist 13 cards each in the four Home Cells in ascending order.

Ace-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 –Jack-Queen-King
The stack (13 cards) must be of identical suits.


All the 52 cards in the tableau are ready to be played. To release a card under a certain card, you can move it to freecells but try to keep them empty as possible. As soon as an Ace becomes available, it can be transferred to HomeCells. You can transfer any top most card from the tableau to any column of freecells or vice-versa if they are of different color and in descending order.

Illustration: You can move a 3♣ on 4♥, or a 3♣ on 4♣. So, to place a card over another they must be in ascending sequence of different color and may or may not be of different suit.

Moving a Complete Sequence

  1. Player can move an entire sequence of cards from the Tableau to the four empty FreeCell.
  2. If more than one card has to be moved, they must be in correct sequence with alternating color.

How to Play

Player will draw a card from the bottom of any column and can move it in the following ways:

  1. Column to FreeCell: There are 4 freecells, at a time one card can be placed into it.
  2. Column to HomeCell: The building of homecell must be in order. To make a complete homecell, every cell should have 13 cards of same suit from Ace to King.
  3. Column to Column or FreeCell to Column: They must be of different color in descending order regardless of the suit.

invalid move in FreeCell

Tips and Tricks

  • Help:

    You can ask for help if you are playing it on Windows O.S by pressing H.

  • Try to place Aces on HomeCells first. This will give you clear idea of moving cards within the tableau and then on HomeCells.
  • If you are unable to see a card, right click on it and move it down and make sure what rank, color and suit it has.
  • Clear up FreeCells:

    The more and more frecells are empty, easier to move cards.

  • If you succeed in moving all the cards from a column, again refill it with highest rank. Kings would be ideal to start refilling.

FreeCell Strategy

  1. The game differs from other games as all the cards are dealt face up. All the FreeCell games can be solved if they are played with strategy.
  2. Locate the Aces and other low rank cards that are buried under other cards. Try to move cards within the tableau to free low rank cards if possible. The level of a game is determined with the location of low rank cards.
  3. Keep frecells empty as possible. You can stay in the game for longer time if there are at least two of three empty frecells but one you are down to one or two, it is difficult to progress and soon there would be deadlock.
  4. Try to empty a column from the tableau. An empty column can build with cards of high rank and is more potent than an empty freecell.
  5. Create a column with alternating colors from high rank to low rank. That column will not be blocking any cards as they are in descending sequence and they can be easily released afterwards.

FreeCell Scoring

Most of the games do not feature scoring. It depends on how many continuous game a player can win, known as Streak. There are some variations online which lets you play against the clock. The more points are scored if player completes game in less time.

Every time a card is transferred into a freecell – Plus 250 Points

Every single second taken- Minus 1 Points

To Undo a Move

Minus 100 Points

The scoring is not standardized as there are game variations online.

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