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Build up all 52 cards from Ace to King in the four foundation piles. This early version of Free Cell is a fun and challenging game, and unlike other versions of Solitaire, it can be won most of the time.
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The object of the game is to build up all 52 cards on the foundations on the right from Ace to King by suit. There are 8 Free Cells (top), 4 of the free cells contain a card when the game starts. Top cards of tableau piles and cards from the Free Cells are available for play. You can build tableau piles down and on suit. Only one card at a time can be moved (but you can move group of cards in the proper sequence if you have enough free Cells and/or tableau piles). The top card of any tableau pile can also be moved to any Free Cell. Each Free Cell may contain only one card. Cards in the cells can be moved to the foundation piles or back to the tableau piles, if possible.
Eight Off is a solitaire card game, named after the eight free cells used in the game. It is similar to Free Cell and is played with one deck of playing cards. Like most patience games, the object of the game is to move all the cards onto the foundations.
In this article, we'll look at:
The origins of this game are blurred with a closely related game called Baker's Game. Baker's Game was described in a magazine in 1968, claiming the game originated as early as 1920. There haven't been many mentions of the game elsewhere, however.
Eight Off is significant as it introduced the concept of temporary storage spaces for single cards, known as “free cells”. This led, of course, to the popular game FreeCell now bundled with Microsoft Windows.
Eight Off uses one deck of 52 cards. The aim of the game is to move all the cards to the four foundation spots. Each foundation spot starts with an Ace.
The game is laid out with eight spaces, with four of those spaces holding one card each at the start. These are called free cells, and can hold any one card temporarily. You then have eight Tableau piles consisting of six cards each. You can use these piles to move cards into the desired order. Finally, you have four foundation piles. You need to move all your cards onto these piles to win the game.
You stack cards on the Tableau piles and those cards must follow suit. Each card you add is one rank lower than the card beneath it. For example, three and four of spades are both the same suit and the three can go on the four.
If you're left with a blank Tableau spot because you've moved all the cards from it, you can start the pile again using a King. If the game is a relaxed version, then you can place any card.
Keep stacking cards on other cards until you have a complete ranked pile in sequence, all in the same suit. You can also use the free cells to temporarily store cards.
Keep repeating this process until all cards have been moved to the foundation piles. If you do so, you win. If you're blocked at any point, you lose the game.
Try to uncover Aces early. Aces start the foundation piles, then two then three and so on, so get these cards out as soon as you can. However, it is still possible to win the game by placing Aces late.
Free cells are useful but not as useful as a column as a column can hold more cards. If you have a King and a free column, it's typically better to start a new column than use a free cell.
It can be a disadvantage to move a card atop of another in the tableau because it can restrict your options. Always try to give yourself the most options at any one time.
Moving cards to the foundation increases your options. Typically, prioritise this move above all others.
How many cards are used in Eight Off?
Eight Off uses one deck of 52 cards.
Are Aces high in Eight Off?
In Eight Off, Aces are the lowest rank. Kings are high.
What are the chances of winning at Eight Off?
Eight Off has very similar odds to FreeCell. It is estimated that 99.999% of possible deals are solvable. For example, Microsoft Freecell has 32,000 deals only one of which is unsolvable.
There are many close versions to Eight Off. These include: