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Jeff Werner

Designer in Vancouver, Canada. Secretary of the 221A Artist Run Centre, member of Fieldwork design collective, and former exhibit designer at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduate of Emily Carr and University of Victoria, and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Cycling advocate and race on the Garneau Evolution team.

university Daily Activities, January 28, 2007 6:58 PM 16 comments

FreeCell Best Streak

My top winning streak in the solitary computer card game FreeCell and my strategy for avoiding essays.


I played a lot of FreeCell during my UVic and PC days. The above is an image of my best streak: 71. After I lost that one I never played again. I also bought a Mac. And if there's a FreeCell for OSX I don't want to know about it. I waste enough time as it is.

However, I suppose I did learn something about strategy. Or maybe just FreeCell strategy. Let me try to recall my process:

  1. Locate the Aces. If it's a good hand they won't be buried too deep. If they are, just keep in the back of my head that I need to slowly but surely dig them out. Also keep in mind where the 2s are.
  2. Mentally test options, between four to eight moves, before moving cards.
  3. Clear a whole row and keep at least one holding spot open. Do that and I'm nearly guaranteed home free.
  4. Look for Queens on matching (i.e. opposite colour) Kings already on the board. Clear down to the Queen and stack there.
  5. Be very, very careful about putting Kings into the top left holding area.
  6. Never start a game when you're already fucking sick of FreeCell and just want to go to bed. Impatience was the number one killer.
  7. Keep in mind there is only one (or is it two?) flawed FreeCell games (I think one was in the 20,000 range), i.e. every other deal is completable.

16 comments on FreeCell Best Streak

1. Julius Davies | January 30, 2007 5:20 AM



"The project was finished in October 1995, and only one game defied every human player's attempt: #11,982."

Nice streak, Jeff!

2. Anne | January 30, 2007 9:34 PM

I always prefered solitare myself. Triple deck, timed deal. I had a brief flirtation with minesweeper, but wasn't quite patient enough to keep the affair going. Plus, you couldn't dress up minesweeper - solitare let me make my deck pretty!

3. Julius Davies | February 7, 2007 8:41 PM


Wow! 12,856 game winning streak.

More details here:

"The all-time record on NetCELL is 12,856, set by Bob K., a retired chemist in the Atlanta area (under the name rgk1). This shattered the old record of 5301 by a player going by the name Michelangelo."

4. Arielle | March 28, 2007 9:41 PM

im working on a record,so far i only have 20, but then again that's also just today.

5. Mike | May 8, 2007 11:19 AM

Eat your heart out. Since I got my new computer last Feburary, my record is 178 wins in a row and still counting, with no losses, ever.

6. Mahmoud | May 13, 2007 5:52 PM

That record of 12856 is not a streak, read again.

Meanwhile there are some games I can mathematically prove for you can never win them!
try -1 and -2 for example.

Good Luck.

7. Scot Wells | June 19, 2007 9:59 AM

My current wins in a row is 1141 and my greatest # of losses in a row are 1... The advise someone gave above of showing tons of patience is the absolute key I think

8. Bob | July 5, 2007 4:26 PM

My streak ended at 49 which isn't bad.

9. RRSPSRME | December 9, 2007 7:15 PM

Right now I am currently at 308 wins in a row. I have play 896 games since clearing the stats and 61 losses. total 94% wins to losses. I will be looking for game 11982. I love playing the game. Took me a while to get the hang of it. enjoy

10. Anonymous | March 12, 2008 8:58 PM

I'm currently at exactly 200 wins in a row! A record for me. My current overall stats are 1131 wins and 49 losses for a 96% win ratio. I do best when I only play 3 or 4 games at a time. Patience is absolutely vital in this game!

11. Anonymous | March 15, 2008 6:36 AM

The latest Windows XP version allows you to undo an indefinite amount of times, you can always go back to earlier positions. Since i know that i am at 620 and counting. It makes you a bit more careless, but at least i have a shot at the difficult games.

12. Bob | May 8, 2008 12:35 PM

Windows XP vista allows you to go back and undo an indefinite amount of times, If you mess up you can always go back to earlier positions. I now have a win streak of 185 games and not one single loss. I also play only 2 to 3 games at a time otherwise impatience sets in and that may lead to losses. It is also helpful to concentrate on digging 2 identical color cards(ex.2red jacks) out if they are near the top. They are needed for the natural progression and you may run out of options and room if you can't get to them.

13. Michael Keller | June 12, 2008 6:48 AM

What makes Mahmoud think that 12,856 is not a
streak? It certainly is. And it's not the
record anymore. As of today the record is
a still-active streak of 16,920, by the
same player. And that's a streak in the
online version which does not allow undos.


Michael Keller
FreeCell FAQ
Solitaire Laboratory

14. MM | January 30, 2009 10:41 AM

You cannot trust any record coming from Windows. There is a known hack to quit a game without marking it as a loss. CTRL-ALT-DEL. End Freecell process. Select "No". Wait 4 or 5 seconds and windows will ask if you'd like to quit. Select "Yes". You've now quit the game and not recorded a loss. Many people know this and so no streak given above can be trusted.

15. Anonymous | March 3, 2009 6:41 AM

Press Ctrl+Shift+F10 click on abort and win the game. 10,000 wins+ are now possible.

16. Michael Keller | March 3, 2009 9:23 PM

I agree that winning streaks in Microsoft
FreeCell are meaningless, but none of these
Windows hacks apply to the record streaks in
NetCELL. The best is now 19793. This is a
real, legitimate streak (with no undos) in the
online version of FreeCell at www.freecell.net.
If Guinness ever wants to publish an official
world record for the longest streak of FreeCell
wins, that's the place to look.

Michael Keller
FreeCell FAQ
Solitaire Laboratory

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