atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#355: How to cheat at Freecell.

The new version of "Freecell" has some features which make it possible to raise your win-to-lose ratio.

That's if infinite undo and no auto-lose aren't enough.

What you do is get a game so that it's one move away from winning. Open up the options menu and check "Always save game on exit". You can also check "Always continue saved game" if you want. Then click "OK" and exit the program.

Restart the game; if you checked "Always continue saved game" you'll be presented with the game you just exited. (Otherwise you'll get a dialog box asking if you want to continue your saved game. Click "Yes".) Finish the game.

Here's where it gets interesting.

If you select "Exit" rather than "Start a new game", and then restart the program (again, selecting "Yes" if you are asked if you want to continue the saved game) you can win the game again and the "won game" counter will increment.

You can win that game any number of times you wish, and it always counts as a unique won game even though it's the same game over and over again.

If you don't select "Exit" after winning the saved game, just make sure you finish whatever games you play--don't leave any cards on the screen. The next time you start "Freecell", that one-move-from-won game will still be there and you can pad your "won" count before starting another game.

I haven't tried figuring out what happens to this stuff when you lose a game.

I discovered this because I--while trying to get the new hard drive working--was in the middle of a game when I wanted to reboot. So I checked the "save" option and exited the game.

The next several times I restarted Freecell, I was presented with that exact game, in the place I had left it. Foolishly I had expected Microsoft to have written "Freecell" so that the saved game was cleared when it was won--I was wrong. Anyway, it got me to thinking, so a little noodling around led to this little discovery.

Okay, it's not going to win me a Nobel Prize, but I think it's pretty nifty.

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