Useless trivia: 11,982 is the unsolvable FreeCell game

A friend & coworker, Rose, has solved (off-the clock I'm sure), all but a half dozen of the 32,000 FreeCell games. It turns out 29,999 of them are solvable. Only game # 11,982 is not solvable. So Rose has five more to figure out still.

—Michael A. Cleverly


  1. Gordon wrote (at Wed, 17 Aug 2005, 18:36):

There are 1,000000 Freecell games in the windows XP version.

  1. Gerhard Falley wrote (at Tue, 21 Aug 2007, 10:25):

Freecell 11982 ist normal nicht zu knacken!

  1. Finch wrote (at Wed, 26 Mar 2008, 11:53):

If there are 32.000 games of which 29.999 are solvable, then there are 2001 unsolvable and not just #11982, i believe #13304 is also one.

  1. David I. McIntosh wrote (at Tue, 29 Apr 2008, 15:27):

Actually, 31,999 are solvable. Only 11982 is unsolvable, in the sense that none of the computer solvers have been able to solve it, and nor has any human. I haven't seen any mathematical proof (or computer proof) that it is unsolvable, but I don't know if the computer algorithms do a complete search.

  1. Angelique Hardy wrote (at Wed, 23 Jul 2008, 12:13):

After 2 months of nothing but 11982 and many different ways to solve I always got stuck. I had to make myself quit trying and ask friends to help. Finally a co-worker, Kalvin, told me he check google and found that I was not alone. Thank goodness! So far I have beaten every one I've played but that one and now I can give up 11982 and put it and myself to rest.

  1. Laura F wrote (at Thu, 24 Jul 2008, 23:25):

For the last three nights, 11982 had me up from 11pm to 3,4,5am. My head aches, my eye hurts and I still wanted, no needed to solve this deal. I am so glad I decide to search this deal.... It's unsolvable!!! My score when from 80% to 62% just from this deal.....

  1. KGBostonMA wrote (at Sat, 03 Jan 2009, 18:47):

I believe #617 is unsolvable as well.

  1. kashimashi wrote (at Sun, 11 Jan 2009, 20:53):

How many cards has anyone actually posted up on game 11982? The farthest I can get is 2... AH & 2H

  1. DB UK wrote (at Tue, 27 Jan 2009, 08:03):

617 is solvable - my wife did it in less than 5 mins (sad, eh!)

  1. CR wrote (at Mon, 09 Mar 2009, 13:33):

11982 had me beating my head against the wall for days....killed my 93%. I'm glad I finally searched it. I tried 13304 listed above...took about 15 minutes but I got it.

  1. Amrinder wrote (at Sun, 15 Mar 2009, 01:41):

11982 is actually very easy. Start the game. Then press Ctrl Shift F10 -> Abort. Then, move the 4C under 5H. You win right away.

Si. mple.

  1. Haris Sestic wrote (at Fri, 01 May 2009, 17:14):

3 months of playing 11982... then i started to search some help on web...i started a new game 11982, then pressed f10, left king(i.m bad with eng) moved to number 3 and i finished the game in 3 minutes...i'dont beleive is this cheating? i've got 2 pictures, anybody interested MAIL ME

  1. Haris Sestic wrote (at Fri, 01 May 2009, 17:17):

3 months of playing 11982... then i started to search some help on web...i started a new game 11982, then pressed f10, left king(i.m bad with eng) moved to number 3 and i finished the game in 3 minutes...i'dont beleive is this cheating? i've got 2 pictures, anybody interested MAIL ME

  1. Haris Sestic wrote (at Fri, 01 May 2009, 17:31): also watch this, i think it is bug

  1. Dan Davis wrote (at Sat, 02 May 2009, 23:08):

That guy said game#13304 that He solved . Believe It when I See Proof. Dan

  1. Haris Sestic wrote (at Tue, 05 May 2009, 12:02): look this: Another update, again in June 2002! Reader Thierry of France discovered this interesting cheat: 1. Start game #11982. 2. Move the 2-of-hearts onto the 3-of-spades. 3. Press the F3 key to start a new game. 4. Quit the game, but type in 11982 as the new game to start. 5. Press the F10 (undo) key. For some reason, this flips the 3-of-spades over onto the 2-of-hearts, which is a bug, but one that you can exploit to win the game. Now this does not count as a solution, but it is definitely yet another interesting cheat! Thierry, Merci!

  1. Carlita wrote (at Thu, 20 Aug 2009, 15:24):

Urgh! I fought on 13304 forever, then I came to this blog. Immediately after reading that someone solved it in 15 minutes, I went back and solved it in no time! Before now it's been a total crypt to me!

  1. marine wrote (at Tue, 15 Sep 2009, 01:19):

FREECELL GAME #617 Solved perfect for me like this, the top its classified by a,b,c,d - e,f,g,h and the bottom rows by numbers 1 to 8. So heres how you win: - 83 - 53- 6a - 6b - 6c - 56 - c5 - 95 - b6 - 2a - 4b - 45 - 21 - 41 - 72 - 4c - 4d - 47 - ch - 51 - 54 - 5c - 56 - b6 - 76 - d5 - 14 - 15 - 12 - 7b - 7d - 76 - 17 - 14 - d4 - 1h - 27 - 21 - 25 - 71 - 7d - 27 - d7 - 2d - d2 - c2 - bh - 8b 87-8c-c8-78 58-37-35-3c a4-34-b4-c2 13-1a-1b

  1. ehsan wrote (at Sat, 13 Feb 2010, 09:10):

i solved 11982!! i am student of electronic engineering.

  1. Pat Lee wrote (at Mon, 03 May 2010, 22:10):

Games I couldn't solve on initial try: 8, 598, 657, 828, 865, 900, 915, 1136, 1217, 1413, 1414, 1495, 1496, 1567, 1941, 2048, 2057, 2059, 2068, 2075, 2090, 2099, 2127, 2139, 2144, 2149, 2165, 2170, 2173, 2198, 2200, 2241, 2439, 2552

  1. Pat M wrote (at Thu, 01 Jul 2010, 19:34):

Free cells are labeled a,b,c,d. Columns are labeled 1-8. A move to column 9 goes to a foundation cell. This solves 13304: 8a-87-8b-81-8c-87-a8-6a-68-63-41-c8-34-a4-6a-61-63-18-16-2c-1d-12-13-b2-12-31-39-38-d3-41-48-31-28-23-21-51-74-7a-7b-7d-73-d7-a7-5a-57-b9-27-c7-35-45-4b-2c.

  1. L~ wrote (at Sat, 04 Sep 2010, 12:29):

The only game up to 32,000 I haven't been able to solve is 11982.

13304 is tricky but solvable, 617 isn't even very tricky and sovable in at least two ways

  1. sasan wrote (at Wed, 22 Sep 2010, 02:19):

  1. cleverboy from Illinois wrote (at Sun, 30 Jan 2011, 16:19):

Game number {Minus One) and (Minus Two) are unbeatable'll see why when you try them... Gon't load them if you want to keep your average. Cheers!

  1. Blubber boy wrote (at Sat, 19 Feb 2011, 01:34):


  1. Rose wrote (at Sat, 23 Apr 2011, 13:55):

I'm not the Rose of the original post, but 11982 is the only one I was not able to solve. It was a number of years ago when I did them all, except that one, of course. I kept a log of every game and played them in order. That was the only one of the 32,000 I didn't solve. Until I Googled "unsolvable Freecell games," it was driving me crazy. What a relief it was to find out it wasn't just me.

  1. Anonymous wrote (at Sat, 30 Apr 2011, 20:53):

I am also a FreeCell enthusiast, and out of curiosity, here are some deals found hard by fellow players: 1941 - This is by far the hardest of the 32000 solvable ones. Why? Well, first, it can't be solved with three freecells (most deals can, however). And, you can't solve it if you move every card to the foundations (homecells) whenever possible, BUT you also can't solve it when you only rely on the automatic homecell moves the program makes; in other words you have to choose which manual homecell moves to make. 617 - Not as tough as its reputation. 13304 - I believe that it cannot be solved with three freecells, however it is not as frequently cited as 617 or 1941.

Also, I want to point out that out of the 1 million Windows XP deals, 8 are unsolvable.

If you're up for a challenge, I recommend either: 1. Play 11982 with not four, but five freecells, as it is solvable then. It's still tricky, though. 2. 80388 is really tough, according to some friends (I have never played it). You can play this one in XP, as Windows 95 only goes to 32,000.

(NOTE: To use five freecells, use FreeCell Pro.)

  1. DM Giles wrote (at Sun, 30 Oct 2011, 19:35):

After trying to solve free cell #11982 for 6 months or longer, I finally did it. I've tried every move possible without success and tonight I was able to do it. I did take a picture of the solved puzzle, however, I do not have a clue as to which card I moved first.

  1. eren wrote (at Mon, 02 Jan 2012, 02:05):

proof ,link please

  1. cool wrote (at Sun, 22 Jul 2012, 06:58):

Impossible FreeCell Game # 11982 other way

  1. cool wrote (at Sun, 22 Jul 2012, 06:59):

Impossible FreeCell Game # 11982 other way

  1. Sushil wrote (at Sun, 30 Sep 2012, 10:27):

  1. 12Lions wrote (at Tue, 11 Jun 2013, 20:06):

I haven't tried it because I don't know what will happen if I actually try this supposed solution to 11,982.

  1. Raymond Dorais wrote (at Wed, 25 Sep 2013, 06:46):

I have solved the Freecell game #11982. You have to start by clearing the left column. Move the king of club, the jack of diamond, and the 6 of club to the top box. Move the jack of club on the queen of diamond. Move the king of diamond to the top box. Move the 3 of diamond on the 4 of clubs. The ace of diamond is now cleared and you have an empty column to start with. I leave the rest of it up to you. There are possibly other ways to start in order to solve it but this one worked for me.

  1. rheik wrote (at Wed, 09 Oct 2013, 07:15):

Sorry Raymond, don't know what Version you're playing, but mine has the Ace of HEARTS at teh top of left column, not the ace of Diamonds. You didn't solve this, cause you didn't even try to finish

  1. genehall wrote (at Mon, 23 Dec 2013, 18:26):

i dont think it can be solved without cheating.

  1. Donna wrote (at Tue, 26 Aug 2014, 15:34):

I have been playing free cell games since 2004 (?) in my free time. I started at 1 and I'm up to 80,000 just this week. I have solved all except for 7 games, which I try and work on from time to time. I am sure that there are NO unsolvable games, or I am wasting my time.

  1. markvee wrote (at Fri, 27 Mar 2015, 01:22):

80388 is easy but 11982 is unsolvable

  1. Jean wrote (at Fri, 24 Apr 2015, 18:42):

Donna, Which games were you unable to do? I've been playing on and off for about twelve years and I'm up to 46277. I've missed about a dozen.

  1. Ann wrote (at Tue, 28 Apr 2015, 13:27):

Has anyone been able to do 4467, 6183, 20589 or 44797?

  1. Blame wrote (at Wed, 27 May 2015, 16:36):

I am using "microsoft solitair collection" with windows 8.

After winning close on 3000 games I can't solve 5611185. I'm confident its one of about 130 that statistically should be unsolvable among the about 9,999,999 games that should be available.

  1. Neil wrote (at Tue, 02 Jun 2015, 14:59):

Basic Freecell is way too easy. I align the kings and aces with a rule that a king once placed may never be moved again. I like to align the kings in blocks and arrange the game so that no kings go to the aces pile until the very end - a really fun game and way better than the too-easy Freecell game. I try to arrange for maximum "Cards Left" 48 is one of my better achievements -I call it Neil's rules Freecell - try it you'll like it! N.

  1. Jack wrote (at Wed, 05 Aug 2015, 17:12):

Has anyone ever won at the freecell game without putting up a single card into a freecell?

  1. dodie wrote (at Sat, 29 Aug 2015, 05:17):

I have been playing game #8370644. I have not won it yet. I am beginning to think it is not possible. Does anyone know if it is unwinnable.

August 29,2015

  1. jack wrote (at Thu, 03 Sep 2015, 22:12):

I need help with 6182

  1. Dodie wrote (at Fri, 11 Sep 2015, 18:31):

never mind I got it

  1. Purple dreamer wrote (at Tue, 19 Jan 2016, 05:38):

I've actually worked my way through all 32,000 Freecell games and completed them all. Found 617 the hardest. Can you still download Freecell with numbered deals?

  1. Ron wrote (at Fri, 08 Apr 2016, 12:08):

Started at #1 won every game except 11982 now at 51529

  1. max wrote (at Mon, 16 May 2016, 09:27):

9955738 is also insolvable. Please. Someone. Try it.

  1. Sergey wrote (at Wed, 27 Jul 2016, 06:27):

The most interesting to find the most hard (to solve for human) %96 winnable deals. The most decisive factor is the minimum length (in moves), for solutions. The most difficult deal of first million, turned out for me, [b]255317[/b]. And this deal for solve, have a have many moves, almost longest, from the first million, (approximately 51-53 moves).

However, in the set, more than 1 million, exists deals, with an even longer decision in 61-66 moves and even more were found. These are all the deals I decided, but they turned out to be much harder than the 255317 deal. These are the most hard and most long deals, which I was able to solve %96 [b] 94717719, 24515390, 9559005, 9189909. [/b]

If you know of other deals, with very long decisions (more than 60 moves with supermoves for solution), write please, I will be very grateful.

  1. Tom wrote (at Mon, 01 Aug 2016, 21:48):

7484159 has me stumped

  1. Rick wrote (at Fri, 07 Oct 2016, 16:59):

I have windows 8 and in game 11982, the A of Hearts is at top left, not A of clubs. The game was ruled unsolvable by 8 computer programs and a team of experts who played the game for a week without a solution. It appears that there might be 2 different versions of 11982. I have never seen the A of clubs at top left in any Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10.

  1. Rick wrote (at Fri, 07 Oct 2016, 17:03):

11982 can be solved using the cheat tip of CTRL SHIFT F10 Abort.

  1. Sergey wrote (at Wed, 02 Nov 2016, 03:51):

>> These are the most hard and most long deals, which I was able to solve %96 94717719, 24515390, 9559005, 9189909.



Please try to solve - 93877578 , 475577734 , 1129622823 .

I have not solved, but I read, that someone wrote, that these numbers - WINNABLE. Perhaps, most hard deals.

  1. fava wrote (at Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 07:22):

My first unsolvable from start 20 years ago 8381178. good luck.

  1. Dave wrote (at Fri, 19 May 2017, 04:13):

Anyone claiming to have played all million games is lying. If you took 5 minutes per game and played 12 hours a day every day of year, it would take 19 years to complete one million games

  1. Steve wrote (at Wed, 09 Aug 2017, 02:20):

I got a list of unsolvable games from somewhere - can't remember where. 8381178 is on it, and 7484159. 11982 was the only unsolvable in the original pre-XP version, which was also limited to only one undo.

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