## Re: Summary of FCS Lecture - Rev. 2

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• ... At the beginning of the game yes, but Freecell Solver was adapted to solve boards in the midst of play. ... In Freecell all cards are visible at the
Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2001
On Thu, 1 Nov 2001, Nadav Har'El wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 01, 2001, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Summary of FCS Lecture - Rev. 2":
> > * There are 8 stacks, 4 freecells, and 4 foundations.
> >
> > * An atomic move consists of:
> > - moving a card from a stack to a freecell.
> > - moving a card from a freecell to a parent card on a stack.
> > - moving a card from the top of a stack on top of a parent card on a
> > different stack
> > - moving a card from the top of a stack or from a freecell to the
> > foundation.
> >
> > * A parent card is such that its rank is higher by 1 and it is of a different
> > colour.
> >
> > * The foundations build by suit from Ace to King.
> >
> > * Each freecell can hold one card.
>
> I think for an ignorant like me (who played various versions of Solitaire but
> never heard of freecell), you'll need to be a little more specific (maybe
> it's easier to do it interactively than via email - you can even play a demo
> on the computer, if you use one in the presentation :)), because from this
> explanation I had to do a lot of deduction and guessing to figure out how
> this game is played.
>
> What is a "stack" (I guess a stack of cards)? How many cards does it start
> with (after all, you can't divide evenly 52 cards into 8 stacks)? From how
> many decks of cards (I guess one 52-card deck)? are the cards in the stack
> visible to the player or not (or only the topmost card is visible)? Do
> "freecells" and "foundations" start empty (I'd guess yes)?
>

At the beginning of the game yes, but Freecell Solver was adapted to solve
boards in the midst of play.

> The visibility question is obviously very important, because it (I think)
> completely changes your ability to solve the problem (if only the topmost
> card is visible on every stack, you can't walk the tree of all possibilties,
> and need to make guesses that you can't undo, and come up with a probabilistic
> solution, e.g., an algorithm which only solves 20% of the games). I think,
> by the way, that these probabilistic and invisibility issues are what make
> a solitaire game fun and interesting, rather than a very hard riddle.
>

In Freecell all cards are visible at the beginning of play. In any case, I
don't find the fact that all cards are revealed in Freecell, to lessen its
fun factor.

> Please define "parent card" before you first use it.
>
> What is the goal of the game? My guess: to build 4 piles, each of a different
> suite, from ace to king, and I guess you called these the "foundations"?
>

There are 4 special piles called foundations, to which all the cards need
to be moved. (from ace to king).

> Is there no additional large pile of cards like I know from other solitare
> games - just the "stacks" that start off with all the cards?
>

There is no Talon in Freecell, because all the cards are dealt to the
piles. (I decided to call those piles "stacks" because they behave much
like programming stacks).

I guess I'll have to refine my description a bit...

Regards,

Shlomi Fish

> --
> Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Nov 1 2001, 15 Heshvan 5762
> nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
> Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above
> http://nadav.harel.org.il |are not my own.
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Shlomi Fish shlomif@...