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Freecell

This page gives the solutions to the most difficult Freecell games in the range 1 to 2000, based on various lists on the web, and my own experience. The solutions can be regarded as hints, but actually show a crucial intermediate screenshot in the solution which will guide the player to a place where the remaining moves can be found.

There is no objective way of determining which are the most difficult games, and much depends on the tactics which a particular player employs.
Some examples on this page illustrate that fact.

 

A Solution to Freecell Game 1

Freecell game 1
Game 1 is not an especially difficult game but it certainly must come into the category of 'most difficult game so far', or the 'lowest numbered most difficult game'. Indeed it is more difficult than the next few games. You can see at a glance that those two black kings on top of a 2 are likely to give problems.
By including this game this page I can claim to have all games which are (in numerical order) 'the most difficult game so far'!

Incidentally the whole question of 'combined superlatives' such as 'the nearest large town' etc is something inherently vague and difficult to define!

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 10

Freecell game 10
A candidate for the next game 'most difficult so far'.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 21

Freecell game 21

Games 10, 21 and 25 are all of approximate equal difficulty.

 

A Solution to Freecell Game 36

Freecell game 36
This is a novelty solution for game 36. Perhaps if people are looking for an additional challenge they might wish to play around creating interesting patterns!

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 57

Freecell game 57
Game 57 may be slightly more difficult than any previous game.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 63

Freecell game 63
Game 63 is only difficult because it contains an 'elephant trap'. It is so tempting to get out the aces in column 4. It then becomes much more difficult (but not impossible!)

What makes a game difficult.

The difficulty of a game is not only dependent on the complexity of the steps needed but also depends on whether it is possible to see what the required steps are.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 64

Freecell game 64
I believe this is more difficult than any lower numbered game so far.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 82

Freecell game 82
Similar level of difficulty as 64. Perhaps this is harder.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 92

Freecell game 92
I believe this is more difficult than any game yet encountered, i.e. in range 1 to 91.

 

The most difficult games so far.

To recap, these are the games which were each more difficult than all previous ones:
1, 10, 21, 57, 64, 82, 92.
It is like raising the bar in a high-jump contest. We would expect games more difficult that the standard set by these to be less frequent.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 157

Freecell game 157
A tricky game but imo not as difficult as 92.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 169

Freecell game 169
Comparable in difficulty to game 92.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 178

Freecell game 178
Another game comparable in difficulty to games 92 and 169.
One way of solving game 178 (as shown here) is to take out all the hearts up to at least 4. There is another way.

Alternative Solution to Freecell Game 178

Freecell game 178
This solution is distinctly different because it does not require all hearts A to 4 to be cleared at an early stage.
See previous step.   See next step.

What makes a game difficult.

The existence of two or more very different solutions must mean that a game is somewhat easier than when there is only one possible solution.

Trying to assess the difficulty level.

I am sure that some people will have different views on the difficulty of freecell games. As said, it partly depends on your technique and whether it works well with a particular game. Of course we can conclude that a game is difficult precisely because we took a long time to solve it, or perhaps because we were unable, but I think in an attempt to be as objective as possible it is better to wait until the solution is found before coming to a conclusion. It is then possible to see whether there were any alternative moves.

Some methods used by others to assess difficulty:

  • Personal judgement, and taking into account the experience of others.
  • The number of attempts a player made before the game was solved.
  • The number of requests for solutions.
  • Whether a game can be solved with a lesser number of freecells.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 617

Freecell game 617
Comparable in difficulty to games 92, 169 and 178.

My experience was that this game, 617 was no more difficult than those mentioned, but taking into account some consensus on the internet, I think I must count this as another which is the most difficult so far.

That concludes the list of games which are the lowest numbered and most difficult in the range 1 to 1000. There is now only a very small number of games of equal difficulty, and only one game which is convincingly more difficult until over 8000. That is game 1941.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 718

Freecell game 718

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 829

Freecell game 829
Difficult, and comparable to the hardest yet encountered.
Perhaps in the top 4 most difficult in the range 1-1000.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 915

Freecell game 915

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 917

Freecell game 917
Strangely, I completed this game without noticing anything abnormally difficult, but I see that there are a lot of requests for solutions on the Web. I think the difficulty may be because of the 'trap' similar to game 63. It's notable that nobody else seems to have had trouble with 63, and it all shows that we all have different approaches which give different levels of success with different games.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 921

Freecell game 921

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 940

Freecell game 940
The key to this game seemed to be to avoid building on everything available but keep a number of short descending columns.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 956

Freecell game 956

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1045

Freecell game 1045

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1082

Freecell game 1082

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1125

Freecell game 1125

 

Freecell game 1125

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1136

Freecell game 1136

 

Freecell game 1136

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1167

Freecell game 1167

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1196

Freecell game 1196

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1256

Freecell game 1256

 

Freecell game 1256
Game 1256 is probably the most difficult since 617 and
comparable in difficulty to games 92, 169, 178, 617 and 829.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1263

Freecell game 1263

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1285

Freecell game 1285

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1288

Freecell game 1288

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1317

Freecell game 1317

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1365

Freecell game 1365

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1381

Freecell game 1381

 

Freecell game 1381

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1388

Freecell game 1388

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1480

Freecell game 1480

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1483

Freecell game 1483

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1495

Freecell game 1495

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1506

Freecell game 1506

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1535

Freecell game 1535

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1656

Freecell game 1656

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1689

Freecell game 1689

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1690

Freecell game 1690

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1734

Freecell game 1734

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1767

Freecell game 1767

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1822

Freecell game 1822

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1918

This game solution is presented in two parts, not because it is exceptionally difficult, but because the solution was difficult to convey in a single image.

Freecell game 1918

 

Freecell game 1918

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1941

I consider game 1941 to be the most difficult I have solved. Because of the difficulty of this, I have included three stages along the way to the solution.

Freecell game 1941

 

Freecell game 1941

 

Freecell game 1941

 

Game 1941 is the most difficult on this page, i.e the most difficult in the range 1 to 2000 which is covered here. There is a consensus of opinion on that from others. Indeed it appears to be the most difficult until game 8591.

The web site solitairelaboratory.com refers to a woman who played all the games from 1 to 32000. She found 617 and 1941 to be the most difficult she solved, but at the time was unable to solve five, the lowest numbered of which was 8591. The others were 11982, 13007, 31465, and 31938. Game 11982 is universally regarded as impossible, although note that in the Windows XP version of Freecell it says, "It is believed (although not proven) that every game is winnable"!

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1996

Freecell game 1996
At first sight this game appeared very difficult, almost impossible, because all the aces are within the top two cards of columns, and three of the 2's are too. In fact if proved to be only of moderate difficulty. This is because a Freecell game is tackled simultaneously from two angles. One is to get out the low cards, and the other is to build downwards on the high cards.

 

The Solution to Freecell Game 1998

Freecell game 1998

Creative Commons Licence

These Freecell screenshots are licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
The attributions already on the images are sufficient.
No further attribution needs to be added.

All text, other graphics and site content remain fully copyright.

 

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