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Old 08-23-2019, 04:45 PM   #1
Flint
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How to win at Solitaire

I'm referring to, of course, Klondike Solitaire, draw three.

About 80% of games are theoretically winnable, and a skilled player should be able to win about half of those, or 40%.


Basic Concepts:
Always favor playing within the Tableau (the seven red/black piles) over pulling from the Stock. Tableau cards that have not been uncovered can render a game unplayable.

The deck order can be manipulated to make Stock cards available (every card pulled re-orders the deck by one card in the next rotation*).

When moving within the Tableau, if two moves are possible, move from the stack with the lowest number of cards**— this will get you closer to uncovering the entire stack and creating an open space.

Opening spaces for Kings is a continuous goal— but, never leave more than one space open, even where possible by stacking. There is more strategic advantage to having multiple Tableau piles to play on.

Wherever possible, always pull cards back from the Foundation (the Ace-up piles) to the Tableau, creating a stackable position (ideally, to move an entire Tableau stack).

Uncovering the Tableau piles is the number one priority! Decks become unplayable because of the cards that are not in play. Thus, having the maximum number of playable piles, with the ability to make space for a King if necessary, is the position you want to stay in.

Your goal is to expose every card to the Tableau. Moving to the Foundation is an afterthought— exposing cards is the real goal.



Mechanics:
Microsoft Solitaire has unlimited Undo moves with the Ctrl+Z hotkey. Use them. When you spot a move you have missed, Undo the deck to the first point the move became possible and re-play from that point. Microsoft will tell you when there are no more moves left. Do not quit until it tells you this. If you can’t see any more moves, Undo the entire game and start over. If Microsoft tells you there are no more moves, select Return, Undo the entire game and start over.



Two-card Strategy:
Two cards have and unequally weighted advantage/disadvantage ratio. Every other card has two primary functions: 1) to play to the Tableau and be made playable to the Foundations, or 2) to provide a stacking place for lower numbered cards to be pulled out of the deck and be made playable to the Tableau. However, because Aces are always playable instantly, the Two card does not share the second function (stacking aces has no strategic function).

Every card also carries a disadvantage in concert with card stacking— a stacking position is created below, but the card above is covered up and made unplayable. For every other card besides the Two card, this advantage and disadvantage is considered as a trade-off. For Two cards, however, there is no playable/unplayable trade-off, only the disadvantage of the card above being made unplayable. For this reason, Two cards are considered to have lower strategic value.

Therefore, whereas every other card should always be pulled from the deck and played to the Tableau (except where deck order is being purposefully manipulated), Two cards should only be pulled from the Stock if the card underneath the Two card has strategic value***. When applying this rule, the Two cards serve another purpose, as a “reserve” move to unblock a deck that has become unplayable—i.e. only when every other move has been taken should the Two cards be pulled from the Stock. The Two cards will not provide a stacking advantage to the Tableau, but pulling them from the Stock will re-order the deck by one card for every card after they are pulled.

Finally, if the deck remains unplayable after playing Two cards to the tableau, the final “reserve” function of the Two card comes into play— the player can Undo their moves back to the point that the Two card first became playable, re-playing the deck, re-ordered from that point forward. Thus, strategy around Two cards provides two specific opportunities to save an unplayable deck****.


*For every card AFTER the card pulled
**Where there are two equally numbered piles, choose from Left to Right. If the deck becomes unplayable, Undo back to this point and select Right to Left.
***Or, if you are purposefully manipulating deck order by pulling the Two card.
****I’m not sure if I’ve ever recovered an unwinnable game in this fashion, but it’s nice to feel in control.
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:49 PM   #2
glatt
 
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Duly noted.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
Flint
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I made a spreadsheet that inputs my number of wins, number of games, and outputs win percentage. Then, the columns underneath that increment number of games by one, and calculate number of wins needed to maintain my current average.

Then, a number of columns to the right forecast the win percentage for 1 win per 2 games, 3 games, etc. up to 1 win per ten games. These columns are conditionally formatted to show how many games I would need to maintain that ratio to either go up or down by 1 percentage point.
__________________
******************
There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:16 PM   #4
glatt
 
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You could have been passing the time by playing solitaire but instead passed the time by thinking about playing solitaire. That's super meta, or something.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:56 PM   #5
Dude111
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I cant believe how much I have LOST playing the solitaire game on my computer the last few months,its unreal!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:11 PM   #6
Diaphone Jim
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Regular solitaire (Klondike?) has always seemed like a waste of a computer.
Tell me if there is a difference between that game and the ultimate low-tech deck of cards.
I play a solitaire game of Freecell every day and find it fun, challenging, and a good mind exerciser.
I think you need a computer for Freecell, but maybe that is wrong, too.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
Undertoad
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Freecell is good on tablets. You just touch the cell to reveal it.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:27 AM   #8
Diaphone Jim
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Reveal it?
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:15 PM   #9
Undertoad
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OMG, no, I was thinking of minesweeper!
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