- Pretty Good Solitaire


Is Penguin #9270 really unwinnable? I can score 14 (!) points maximum and with another try 13 points, but then i get stuck with just one card blocking. To solve the problems i get always stuck with just one card ahead.


  • I gave it considerable attention last night Marcus. It looks like it should be winnable but no success yet.

  • Message from Mr.R.M. to Mh M.R ........... It's winnable. Great game!

  • Got it. Tricky one.

  • I won it last night and made a beautiful video of the solution on my iPhone (using Pretty Good Solitaire Mini) but now I see I am too late. 😉

    Excellent game, though; I almost packed it in.

  • Glad you attempted it Gregg. The three of us rated it very highly. 😊

  • How about Penguin #9607. I have once listed it as unwinnable, but i am not convinced. I think 6 points have been maximum so far (but didn't go for it).

  • I agree Markus. Many different combinations of moves to try. My time is very limited meantime, so I may have to come back to it in a few days time. 😊

  • I can't find a way through Markus. Could actually be a loser. 😕

  • edited October 31

    I've spent enough time on it now Markus. The positions of the spades in the tableau could not be worse. The 3S and the KS in particular. Only column two has none. That column has four Diamonds in a bad high, low, high, low order. Bad news for two suits. Looks impossible to me.

  • Could you score more than 6 points?

  • edited October 31

    I paid little attention to the scores. I scored 8 at least once. Saw no reason to save it. Six is easy enough.


  • From the FreeCell FAQ website is the following quote.

    Penguin is an interesting variant of Eight Off, with seven columns of seven cards, and seven freecells. The first card dealt to the first column is the foundation base, and the other cards of the same rank are played immediately to the foundations as they are dealt, so that the last foundation card is buried at the bottom of the first column at the end of the initial deal. Sequences in suit can be moved from pile to pile without requiring freecells (i.e. Relaxed play); this is an exception to the usual rule in games of the Eight Off family. Mark Masten modified the Woods solver and ran fifty million random deals, estimating the win rate at 99.94%, slightly harder than FreeCell but slightly easier than Eight Off (99.88%).  

    So if my math is correct, a loser can be expected on average once every 1667 games.

  • So in actual fact Larry, we are lucky to have found one. 😂

  • We will have to consult Markus for his statistics on Penguin.

  • edited November 6

    Stats till #9606.

  • Thanks Markus,

    If you would like to post the 13 losing numbers, we can attempt them.

  • edited November 12

    I know, that in that listing are 14 unwinnable games listed till #9606. I cannot tell you, which one i had one and didn't mark it as for example #6342 or #9270.

  • edited November 12

    Richard, i am trying to reproduce your 8 points on #9607 and can't get it so far. Are you sure with it?

    I have just seen, that you had been editing your post. I got it.

  • #6342 is winnable Markus. Will make some screenshots. Not sure if I'm allowed a video.

  • edited November 20

    Of course is #6342. It was green listed with 52 points. The same is #9270.

  • Okay. I never pay any attention to the scores, only the results If I'd clicked to auto-complete I would have noticed. Good game anyway.

    My video recording software has expired. Glad I didn't pay £50+ to renew. 😮

  • What does the tan color on #7634, #8888, and #9249 mean?

  • edited November 25

    Those i had once (don't know how far ago) played on one of the iPad-apps (before playing them know on the computer again (in climb mode)) and i wrote down the points. Replaying them on the iMacl again, and could achieve my score i once have got on the iPad.

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