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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Jack_Bauer, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Like I said, you can win every game but you have to be willing to keep working at it.
  2. Frankenberry

    Frankenberry New Member

    If they don't beat it they get a loss. They can keep replaying the game until they beat it and only get one loss. But if they quit the game and come back later they get another loss. But every game is winnable.
  3. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I'm trying to decide if I'm curious enough to check that out. I'm still skeptical.
  4. Frankenberry

    Frankenberry New Member

    I would swear that it's true, but Wikipedia says in the old Microsoft version, there were 32,000 games thought to be winnable -- but one game apparently was not. Now there are 1,000,000 but 8 aren't winnable. At least that's what Wikipedia says. Here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freecell

    While there are actually 52!, or approximately 8.07×1067, possible games, some games may be similar to others because suits assigned to cards are arbitrary. When a card is black, for example, it may be assigned to clubs or spades.

    The original Microsoft package includes 32,000, generated by a 15-bit random number seed. These games are known as the "Microsoft 32,000". Later versions of Microsoft FreeCell include more games, of which the original 32,000 are a subset.

    The original Help file remains through modern Microsoft versions: "It is believed (although not proven) that every game is winnable." This was known at the time to be untrue in its strictest sense. Games numbered -1 and -2 were included as a kind of easter egg to demonstrate that there were some possible card combinations that clearly could not be won. Nevertheless it started a flurry of interest in the question of whether all of the Microsoft 32,000 could be beaten. Smart players could win most games most of the time, but that wasn’t proof either way.

    The Internet FreeCell Project by Dave Ring, which was finished in October 1995, took on the problem. Ring assigned 100 consecutive games chunks across volunteering human solvers and collected the games that they reported to be unsolvable, and assigned them to other people. This elegant project used the power of multiprocessing, where the processors were human brains, to quickly converge on the answer. Only one game defied every human player's attempt: #11,982.

    In later implementations of FreeCell in Microsoft Windows, there are 1,000,000 games. Of these 1,000,000 games, 8 have been found to be unsolvable. They are games No. 11,982, No. 146,692, No. 186,216, No. 455,889, No. 495,505, No. 512,118, No. 517,776, and No. 781,948.
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