Here are 5 basic facts about the solitaire card game FreeCell. FreeCell can be played on Windows, Mac, or iPad using the game Pretty Good Solitaire. All of the game numbers referenced below work in Pretty Good Solitaire or FreeCell Plus.
Nearly every FreeCell game can be won. Only a very few FreeCell games are unwinnable. Using the basic deal numbering system that virtually all FreeCell games use, game #11982 is the first unwinnable game of FreeCell. After that only the games #146692, #186216, #455889, #495505, #512118, #517776, and #781948 are unsolvable out of the first million games. Therefore, unsolvable games of FreeCell are literally eight out of a million.
A student named Paul Alfille invented FreeCell and wrote the first FreeCell computer program for the PLATO educational computer system
at the University of Illinois. This was a mainframe computer in the days before PCs. FreeCell itself is actually very much Like
another solitaire game called Baker's Game. The only difference
between FreeCell and Baker's Game is that the cards are built down by alternate color in FreeCell and by suit in Baker's Game. While
this difference seems tiny, it makes a huge difference in how often the game can be won. Baker's Game has many, many more unsolvable
deals than FreeCell./p>
FreeCell became a wildly popular solitaire game when it was included as a game in Windows 95 along with the regular solitaire game (which is actually the solitaire game Klondike). It quite possibly even became more popular than the regular solitaire game. The Windows 95 game was written by Jim Horne. He developed the game numbering system by which the original 32000 games were numbered. This was later increased to 1,000,000 game numbers in later versions of Windows.
Even though nearly all FreeCell games are winnable, some FreeCell games can be quite difficult to solve. The low number games that seem to give people the most problems are #178, #617, and #1941. If you want a challenge, try one of these games. After that, try #10692 and #18872.
The first version of Pretty Good Solitaire released in 1995 for Windows 3.1 contained FreeCell as one of its 5 first games. At the time Windows 95 had not even been released yet and most people had never even heard of FreeCell. When Windows 95 was released, FreeCell nearly instantly became a highly played solitaire game and Pretty Good Solitaire was one of the few programs that could play FreeCell on the still popular Windows 3.1.
Today Pretty Good Solitaire has grown to over 800 games and works on all types of desktop/laptop Windows. It not only contains FreeCell but also nearly 60 different FreeCell type games, including Baker's Game, Sea Towers, Eight Off, and Penguin.