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Freecell Duplex – otherwise known as ‘Double Deck Freecell’ or ‘Two Decks Freecell’ – is a Freecell variant played with two decks instead of one, with eight foundation piles instead of four.
Like traditional Freecell, the name of the game refers to the ‘free cells’ that act as backup storage for cards on the tableau. Typically, you have four of these to use, but in Freecell Duplex, you have eight.
The object of the game – identical to that of traditional Freecell – is to build all eight foundation piles, starting with the ace and building up to the king.
Like traditional Freecell, Freecell Duplex also follows the rules of basic Solitaire – with the end goal being to stack all the cards on the tableau into foundation piles based on suit in ascending order.
A foundation pile is complete when all 13 cards in a given suit are stacked in order from ace to king.
When aces are exposed in tableau, they can be placed immediately in one of the foundation slots to begin a new pile. From this point, cards can be moved to these piles chronologically depending on their value and color.
Traditional Freecell has four ‘free cells’ for players to move one card into to free-up space on the tableau. Freecell Duplex gives players eight cells to ‘rest’ cards into to open up play.
In Freecell Duplex, the game is won when all cards on the tableau are stacked into the eight available foundation piles and there are no remaining cards in the free cells.
Freecell Duplex is a unique twist on traditional Solitaire meaning some slight changes to the rules. Because of the addition of more cards, piles, and free cells and subtle differences to the rules, it’s completely different to play when measured up against traditional Solitaire.
Some rules to consider when playing Freecell Duplex include:
Cards can only be moved if they’re the right color and value – Cards can only be moved across the table if they’re one less in value than the top card in that pile and the opposite color.
There are now eight ‘free cells’ available instead of four – Because Freecell Duplex means everything is now doubled, an additional four ‘free cells’ are available. However, each cell can still only hold one card at a time.
Foundation piles are built one card at a time, above the tableau – Cards can only be moved one at a time, in chronological order, into foundation piles – unlike Spider Solitaire, in which stacks are built in the tableau and then moved to the foundation pile all at once.
Understanding what sets Freecell Duplex apart from other variants is vital to improving your chances of winning. See our top tips for winning a game of Freecell Duplex below:
Plan ahead – Don’t rush moves. Before moving cards between columns, ‘free cells’, or the foundation pile, consider what that move does. For example, consider whether moving a card exposes more cards you can use or if it blocks you from making a key move later in the game.
Aim to create empty columns – In theory, empty columns are basically ‘free cells’, increasing the number of opportunities to move cards around the tableau and expose valuable cards.
Don’t rush to fill the ‘free cells’ – As helpful as the ‘free cells’ are, they can hinder your ability to move many cards quickly. It’s best to view them as a necessity rather than a luxury.
Focus on aces – Aces open play and are the key to getting the foundation piles started. Getting as many of these down as possible dramatically increases the number of options you have to play any given card.
Customize your gameplay – Solitared.com boasts a range of features to customize your game. For example, if you’re new to the game, make use of our undo feature, options to play only winnable games, and our hint button.
Alternatives to Freecell Duplex
Below is a list of terms commonly used in Freecell Duplex and other similar games. We’ve included definitions so you can better understand the game, more easily learn the game’s rules and improve your gameplay.
Blocked – When a player is in a position where they cannot make any more moves or see a way out of a situation.
Foundation – Refers to the eight piles that need to be created to win the game. Each foundation pile must be organized by suit and ascend chronologically from ace to king to win the game.
Free cells – The eight ‘free cells’ above the tableau that players can use to temporarily store cards during the game.
Home cells – Refers to the foundation piles
Stack – A pile of cards ranked by value and color.
Tableau – The name given to the general playing area.
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