The word solitaire is derived from the French and Latin words solitaries and they both come from solitary. I never liked the game solitaire very much, because 10 through 20 percent of the games are impossible to win right from the start, just because of the way the cards were shuffled for that hand. The other problems with this games comes because you have to guess what each card is, since it is flipped over face down and you don’t know what you are working with. That leaves countless opportunities for things to go wrong and thus it is hard to win.
Once I discovered the game FreeCell, I was hooked immediately. I have played countless games of FreeCell and I have gotten very good at it. I find playing FreeCell is a good way for me to pass my time and at the same time it helps me to sharpen my mind. FreeCell requires me to do some mental planning and although it does feature a hint button for those players that get stuck, I never use that option.
FreeCell was released by Microsoft for Windows 3.1 and its original purpose was actually to test the 32-bit thunking layer (a data processing subsystem), which had been introduced as part of Win32s. If the thunking layer was improperly installed, FreeCell wouldn’t run, so this so-called game was actually a stealth test of software systems. On several occasions Microsoft tried to remove the free games from various Windows releases, but people complained because they had too much fun with them.
FreeCell is a one-deck solitaire card game. All cards are dealt into 8 columns or piles. Four Free Cells are located in the top left portion of the screen and four foundation piles where you build sets of clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades starting from the Ace and continuing up, are shown on top right hand portion. The object of the game is to build up all cards on foundations from Ace to King by following suit. You win when all 52 cards are moved there, 13 to a pile.
The top cards in the 8 columns or piles and the cards from the Free Cell area are available to play. You can build column piles down by alternating color, thus any red card one value less can be placed on a black card. So if you have a black king, then any red queen (either heart or diamond) can be placed on top of it. Only one card at a time can be moved and the top card of any column pile can also be moved to any Cell. Each Free Cell (or Reserve space) may contain only one card. Cards in the cells can be moved to the foundation piles or back to the column piles, if possible. The rules state that you can move only one card at a time, but you can move group of cards in the proper sequence if you have enough free (empty) Cells and/or column piles.
For the cards displayed, you could move the Jack of Spades on to the Queen of Hearts and then put the Ten of Hearts on the Jack of Spades. The Six of Diamonds would go on to the Seven of Spades and now you start your mental planning.