To start a game, press the Play button and choose a Random Shuffle, a Number Selected Deal, a Winning Deal, or Replay the current game.
FreeCell deals games in three ways: Random, Selected, and Winning. A Random Deal shuffles the cards randomly and consequently only some games can be won. A Selected Deal is chosen by its random seed number (see "About Numbered Deals" for more information). A Winning Deal is guaranteed to have at least one winning solution, and if you have trouble finding the solution it can be shown to you by using Show Me How To Win. When a Winning Deal is dealt, a gold star will appear on the toolbar. Tap the star in the toolbar to show the Winning Deals display. This display shows information about your game play and a leaderboard with the top scores.
FreeCell is a form of Solitaire (or Patience) played with a standard 52-card deck. It is different than most other solitaire games in that nearly all deals are winnable making it more of a game of skill than luck.On the opening deal, the cards are placed face-up into eight columns that form the tableau. Four of the tableau columns contain seven cards and four columns contain six cards. The remainder of the playing area is comprised of the foundation piles (the card spots with the letter "A" in the middle) and the free cells (the card spots without the "A").
During play, cascades or sequences are built within the tableau columns. Sequences are built downward in decreasing rank, for example 4-3-2-A, 10-9-8-7-6, K-Q-J, etc. To form sequences, cards may be moved as needed from one tableau column to another, or to and from the free cells. Sequences are built in alternating colors (red, black). Any exposed card at the bottom end of a tableau column may be moved to another tableau column to form a sequence, to a free cell, or to fill a card spot at the top of an empty tableau column. Additionally, any sequence of cards may be moved together to another tableau column to form a sequence or to fill a card spot at the top of an empty tableau column. To move a sequence of cards there must be enough free cells to accomplish the move as if each card or subset of cards were moved through the available free cell locations - any of the four designated free cell card spots that are empty and any empty tableau column spots.
As cards become available, they may be moved in order from Ace to King to the foundation piles. The game is won when all cards are moved to the foundation piles.
The hint feature is intended to aid the player in identifying available moves which can be made in the playing area. Tap the button labeled "Hint" to activate the hint mechanism. The hint mechanism was not designed to show all available moves, only those deemed to possibly be productive in arriving at a solution. Furthermore, the number of hints shown is limited to 5 in order for the player not to have to wait an extended amount of time to resume play. Additionally, the screen can be tapped at any time to exit the hint mechanism early.