FreeCell

In the FreeCell overview (in the help file) it says: "It is believed (although not proven) that every game is winnable." I have been playing the FreeCell games sequentially and indeed they all seem to be winnable. There are 1,000,000 games programmed into Windows™. Go to any Windows™ computer and you can play the same one million games. If you play it with a real deck of cards, then there are 52!/(4!4!) ≈1.4 × 1065 possible games (many more than the million programmed into Windows™). I have yet to run across one that I couldn't win although some were very difficult to win. Between a colleague and myself I know that the first 2566 games are winnable, because we have won them. Prof. Heisler has won most of those and I won the last few. I didn't want to waste too much more of my time so I decided to try to design an unwinnable game. Following is the image of the game that I came up with.

I was hoping to create a game where only 4 moves would be possible, but that was impossible. I also was unable to create a game where only 5 moves were possible, because after the fifth move, more things open up. Still I believe this game to be unbeatable. Correct me if I am wrong, but the first three moves must be to put the Jack, Seven and Three of one suit into the free spaces. Then you place a King of the opposite color in the last free space. This allows you to move the Eight onto a Nine, The Queen onto a King, bring the other King back down from a freespace, move the Queen that you just moved over to that King, move a Jack over and continue building down. You should quickly run out of moves. If I am wrong and there is a way to win this layout, please let me know by e-mailing me at: shearsl@lcc.edu. Please include some detail about your moves.

Thank You,
Laura

P.S. Occassionally, I get an e-mail from a freecell player that tells me which games they haven't been able to win. I decided to start making a list of those game numbers. Here is what I have so far, curtosy of Lisa M. (if she gives me permission, I can post her last name as well):

Laurie and her husband had troubles with:
Lisa M. has won all of the first 32,000 games except:
  • 26693
  • 29596
  • 31465