Introduction to Baker's Solitaire
Baker's Game is similar to and predates the FreeCell solitaire game. The only real difference is that in Baker's Game cards are built by suit, while in FreeCell, they are built by alternate (red and black) colors.
This one different makes Baker's Game much more difficult to win than FreeCell. According to solver programs, of the approximately 1.75x10^64 distinct games of Baker's Game, about 75% are winnable, while FreeCell has the same number of distinct games and all of them are winnable (except a tiny fraction). Apparently due to the greater ease of winning, FreeCell appears to be much more popular than is Baker's Game.
C. L. Baker, a mathematician, is credited with invention of Baker's Game.
It first appeared in Martin Gardener's Mathematical Games column of Scientific American in June of 1968. However, its roots go much further back.
Baker's Game Strategy
Please refer to Classic FreeCell Strategy, along with the following additional tips:
- Due to the fact that each non-King card can only be placed onto one particular card, mobility (the ability to move cards around) is restricted as compared to within FreeCell. For this reason, it's imperative that players who do not wish to habitually undo moves devise a good plan before making any moves. Usually, a plan consists of moving many cards around in several piles and free cells, as well as possibly placing cards in the foundation. A plan should end with the state of the game conducive to making further gains. More than one plan is usually necessary to win a game.
- As much as possible, build up suited runs in the tableau. Remember that suited runs can often be moved all at once or one move at a time. As well, remember that as long as the lowermost card of a suited run can be placed into the foundation, all of the cards in the suited run can be placed into the foundation, one card at a time.
- It can sometimes be a disadvantage to move a card atop of another in the tableau because it can hamper mobility. For example, several moves after placing a 2 onto a 3-4 run you might discover that a 3-4 run could have been moved from its pile onto the 5 of the same suit in another pile, while a 2-3-4 run can't be moved there because there are not enough empty free cells available.
- Moving cards from a pile to the foundation removes cards from the tableau and can only increase mobility. So, (unlike with FreeCell) moving a card to the foundation is never a bad move.