How to Play FreeCell Solitaire: 6 Basic FreeCell Game Rules

how to play FreeCell
December 1, 2020

Freecell Solitaire is not by far the most popular Solitaire game, and many people dread the game as they are of the notion that it is way too tricky and complicated. Well, their opinion is not far-fetched, the game is indeed tricky and could mess with one’s head now and then.

However, if you want to learn how to play Freecell Solitaire card game, there are two things you need to do; Learn and practice. If you have been having trouble winning Freecell Solitaire games, don’t give up just yet. 

The game is quite tricky, but it’s so much fun when you finally get to learn. So instead of throwing in the towel and missing out on a very cool opportunity to have fun. Just like many board games out there, Solitaire games are not only games to pass the time with they also make you smarter in the long run.

Playing FreeCell games improves your decision-making skills. Thus if you want to learn how to play Freecell solitaire, then you must take the time to go through this detailed guide. It may be wordy, but trust me, if you are patient enough to learn the entire procedure, you are one step closer to becoming a pro at Freecell solitaire. This guide will provide useful how to play FreeCell solitaire tips, and keep you informed about the following:

  • What is Freecell?
  • Useful FreeCell tips
  • FreeCell rules moving card
  • How to play Freecell Solitaire?
  • Freecell solitaire game rules 
  • How to play Freecell Solitaire on a computer? 

What is Freecell? 

Freecell games are variations of solitaire card games invented by Paul Alfille. It is a complex game that requires cognitive skills. Although the game is quite tricky, you only need a couple of trials and practice. 

Learning about Freecell and how to play is the first step to becoming a pro. Note that adherence to FreeCell instructions when you play FreeCell is imperative.

Freecell solitaire shuffles are mostly solvable, and unlike most solitaire game variants that depend on luck, Freecell games are mostly skill-dependent. 

The game aims to play all 52 cards into four piles; one of each suit. 

Start each pile with aces, then subsequent numbers like two, three, and four follow till you get to the king. The home cell piles are located on the upper right corner of the screen. So that said you start the game by moving any free ace to one of the home cells. Note that only aces that are not covered by other cards count as free aces. 

Playing Freecell Solitaire online is more comfortable as the algorithm is already programmed to make some automated moves; for instance, once you start the game, the algorithm will automatically move free aces to the home cell piles.

freecell solitaire card board

Freecell Solitaire Rules

Before we get into the process of gameplay, it is imperative to know the basic FreeCell solitaire rules.  There are FreeCell rules regarding moving cards around; hence one must be aware of these rules to avoid penalties.

Listed below are basic Freecell Solitaire rules that will save you from penalties and help you win Freecell solitaire games more often.

  1. Don’t be in a hurry to make your move; most of the time, the obvious moves are not always the best. Think carefully and plan your moves.
  2. Always remember that your optimum priority is to free up all the aces and deuces even if they are stacked down beneath cards with a higher value. Locate them first and move them to the home cell piles as early as you can. 
  3. Do not fill all your cells too early, during gameplay, keep most of your free cells as empty as you can so you can have space to maneuver; this is very crucial because your ability to maneuver is most important. Before you place cards in the free cells, ensure that you have no other option.
  4. Try to create an empty column as much as you try to free up space on your home cells. Unlike Freecells, columns can be used to store a whole sequence instead of a single card; this way, you can easily make longer sequences. Subsequently one can make a super move since a super move only requires a long sequence including empty columns and Freecells. 
  5. Consider filling up empty columns with a long descending sequence, starting each new sequence with a king as much as you can. 
  6. Don’t be in a hurry to move cards to the home cells because you may need them later to maneuver lower value cards of other suits.

freecell solitaire rules

Playing Freecell Solitaire on Computer

If you are used to the cards only, then you must learn FreeCell – how to play on a computer. Gameplay slightly varies depending on the app, or site you are playing on, but basically, there are three significant kinds of moves for playing Freecell solitaire online: 

  1. Moving a free ace of any suit: In fact, this move is most advisable to be your initial move. For instance, you can select a free ace of diamonds by clicking it once, then move it to any home cell by clicking on it as well. 

In a situation where there are already cards of that suit there, you can move the card with the next highest value. 

  1. Another legal move is moving any free card to a Freecell or an empty column. Note that a free card is an uncovered card at the bottom of any column while a Freecell is any one of the open spaces at the upper left corner of the screen. 

Moving a card to a Freecell helps you figure out how to play better as it is readily available to be moved to its home cell. To move a card, select your choice card by clicking on it then click on your destination point; either a Freecell, home cell, or column. 

Any card standing alone in its column is also considered a free card and thus, can be moved whenever you want as well. 

  1. And the third and final legal move you can make in a game of Freecell Solitaire is moving any free card onto another free card. 

Note that this rule is only valid if both cards are of opposite colors and one of the cards is of a lower rank; For example, moving black suits on red suits and vice versa. 

This move is quite common in the traditional Klondike solitaire game.

How to Play Freecell Solitaire 

Your primary aim at the start of the game is to free up aces and clear out columns using the least amount of free cells. After all, what is FreeCell without free cells? 

You can start by moving the six of hearts onto the seven of clubs when you do this, and the algorithm automatically moves the ace of diamonds to a home cell. 

Once this is done your next five moves will be to: 

  • Move the six of clubs to a Freecell 
  • Then move the queen of diamonds onto the king of spades 
  • Move the Jack of hearts onto the queen of clubs
  • Now move the Jack of spades onto the queen of diamonds once you do these the algorithm automatically moves the free aces of clubs to another home cell. 
  • Move the six of clubs onto the seven of diamonds, and the five of hearts onto the six of clubs. The program then automatically moves the two of clubs to its home cell.

At this point, you should have two home cell piles already, and all four of the free cells empty. The next step is to empty column six by moving the ten of clubs onto the jack of hearts, and the nine of hearts onto the ten of clubs. 

Note that you may move any free card anywhere on the tableau to the empty column. 

Moving back to column 1 make the following moves:

  • Move the nine of spades to a Freecell
  • Then Move the two of hearts to another Freecell 
  • Move the five of spades onto the six of hearts
  • Now move the ten of diamonds onto the jack of spades and finally
  • Move the three of spades and the five of clubs each to a Freecell.

how to win freecell solitaire

Playing Freecell Solitaire to win

Once these moves are made, the ace of hearts and the two hearts will be automatically moved to a new home cell. So instead of moving just one card per move here is a shortcut that can help you move multiple cards all at once if you have enough Freecells.

Note that if you have all four free cells empty, then you can move five cards, three free cells let you move four cards, and likewise, two free cells let you move three cards. In this case, you have two Freecells, so that you can move three cards in a sequence from the bottom of one column to the bottom of another column. 

Remember that maintaining FreeCell is key to figuring how to play.

If you are continuing a valid sequence or to another empty column. Select the five of hearts by clicking on it, then click on the sixth column, which is now empty. 

The program will put up a dialogue box asking whether you wish to move a sequence or a single card when this happens to click on the move column box. 

Watch as your three-car sequence (the five of hearts, six of clubs, and seven of diamonds) moves to the empty sixth column. At this point, you have made lots of progress, and you should be getting the hang of the game already. Now, move the eight of diamonds onto the nine of spades. 

The next plan is to clear column eight by moving the eight of diamonds onto the nine of spades, and the four of spades and three of diamonds onto the five of hearts. Then, move the queen of hearts onto the empty first column. (No dialogue box will come on here as the queen is not in sequence with any card). 

Next move the seven of spades onto the eight of diamonds, and the five of diamonds to a Freecell; this automatically moves the ace of spades home.

Move the eight of spades onto the nine of hearts. Since we only have one Freecell available, we want to move some of the cards from the free cells back onto columns. 

More smart moves to ace the game 

So make the next moves: 

  • Move the ten of spades into the empty second column 
  • Then move the six of diamonds onto the seven of spades, 
  • Now move the nine of diamonds onto the ten of spades 
  • And move the seven of hearts onto the eight of spades. 

Now you are probably waiting for the program to move the free three of hearts home automatically, but it won’t this time because it thinks that you want to move the free two of spades onto the red suit here later. 

So you’ll have to move the three of hearts home by yourself by selecting it and then clicking on the two of hearts. 

Now the next item on your list is to move a five-yard sequence from the seventh column to the eighth. But first, you must reverse the backward sequence in the fourth column by moving the king of hearts and the queen of spades to the eighth column which is now empty.

Now you would realize that lots of cards are trapped underneath long sequences in columns five and seven, so you must move five cards from column seven onto the queen of spades in the eighth column.

It’s easier to access the low-value cards in the seventh column, now you need to move the queen of clubs to a Freecell, then ensure the four of hearts finds its way home. 

The jack of clubs goes onto the queen of hearts, and the six of spades to the seven of hearts. After which you get the three of clubs home so the two of diamonds can find its way home once it is free. 

With the two of spades automatically gone, and both red aces home, you only need to get the three of spades home as well, then move the five of diamonds onto the six of spades. 

At this point, you must have gotten eleven cards home and already seeing the end of the game; now you can choose to tow the long route or wrap it all up by moving the long 9-card sequence in two easy moves; 

  1. Move five cards to an empty column of your choice by clicking the move column button in the dialogue box, then,
  2. Move the last four cards to another empty column by selecting the ten of diamonds and the empty column. 

Finally, your final move is to move the eight of hearts onto the nine of clubs and the king of diamonds onto an empty column. 

Watch all remaining 38 cards now in a sequence move automatically to the home cells. And voila! Victory!!


Learning how to play FreeCell solitaire card game involves continuous playing. You would realize that playing the same shuffle several times will provide you with more experience to win more difficult levels. You will get better if you play more.

During gameplay ensure you adhere to all Freecell instructions, observe Freecell rules when moving cards.

Keep practicing with the strategy described in this guide, and you will get better results in no time and long to spend more time enjoying Freecell Solitaire.

Practice playing FreeCell Solitaire on our website.

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