I see you are a seeker of wisdom, a seeker of patience and perspective, a seeker of inner peace and tranquility.
But mainly you seek a way to win a game of Interchange and then your life will be complete.
Apparently real life isn't hard enough for you; no, you've got to play the hardest game in the Pretty Good Solitaire inventory.
Mr. Warfield gives it a success rate of less than 1% and for those of you who have yet to win a single game, I'm sure even that goal seems unreachable.
However, I am here to tell you that Interchange games can be won. I have won ten of them as of January 2005 and doubtless there are others who have won even more, so it is possible to win. Interchange is addictive and it's the only solitaire game I play now, perhaps because the thrill of winning is so intense.
Heck, anyone can win FreeCell. Even Rouge et Noir and Forty Thieves pale in comparison to the challenges of Interchange. None of my victories was easy, but in retrospect some of them seem easier than others. Some of them took only two or three attempts before winning, while others required dozens of frustrating, exhausting tries before I found the way. Perhaps by following the advice below, you too will find The Way.
Warning! - Pretty Good Solitaire may be addictive. We are not responsible for lost productivity, neglected spouses, children, or pets. We are not responsible for lost sleep because you stay up to play "just one more game".
After playing hundreds of games of Interchange I have come to the conclusion that you have to choose very carefully the games you're going to play. You may think the advice below is a little compulsive, but I follow it, and I've won ten games with it. It's based on logic and percentages which, after all, is the basis for winning any game of chance.
These rules also apply to some degree to most of the Forty Thieves type of games: you want to see more aces at the beginning of the game and fewer face cards. You may have played San Juan Hill. It's nearly the same as Forty Thieves, the difference being all the aces are dealt at the beginning of the game. Even so, San Juan Hill is not easy to win.
When I play Interchange I choose the "any card fills a space" option (KingOnly Off). "Kings fill spaces" is just too hard, and this game is hard enough already. But perhaps you're younger than I am and life doesn't seem so short to you. Hey I get happy just creating open columns.
Let's start with the premise of the perfect game of Interchange.
The perfect game would consist of eight aces across the first row (including an ace in the waste pile). The second row would consist of all two's, the next row, three's, and so on. There would be no face cards appearing anywhere in the tableau. They would all be in the stock pile, in order. All you'd basically have to do is click AutoMove and the game would play itself to completion.
Has anyone ever seen the Perfect Game? If you have, let me know. After all, in theory it could exist. Let's calculate some odds for Interchange.
Games Similar to InterchangeUnlimited
With unlimited redeals making it easier to win.
A one deck version.
A three deck version.
An easy variation with building regardless of suit.
All cards face up and alternate color building. This is probably the original game from which all the others derived.
The theoretical odds for any single Interchange game appearing can be calculated by finding the number of possible different Interchange games. With two decks, 104 cards, this is 104! (104 factorial) possible different games. This is an astronomical number, one so big that your computer might not be able to display it on your screen, let alone in the little fields we see in the game. The odds for winning the lottery jackpot are much better. But Mr. Warfield has chosen to limit the number of possible games to a little over two billion (2,147,483,648 to be exact). These games range from Game 0 to Game 2147483647. You should play these games, just to say you have. They're nothing special, but at least you can say you've played the alpha and the omega, a fitting metaphor in your search for The Way.
Once you win a game a funny thing happens: it can be very hard to repeat the win. I like replaying my wins, just to prove that it really happened. For some of those inscrutable rascals, though, I wonder whether I only dreamed it. I have to keep checking my stats to prove to myself that I actually won that game. I resort to capturing screen shots and pasting them into Word just so I can track where I've been and work my way back through the maze. The winning move is often so counter-intuitive that I can't believe I performed it in the first place. Sometimes you have to backward before you can go forward.
As you play Interchange, remember the Perfect Game. The Perfect Game is our goal. We may never achieve it, but we should come as close to perfection as possible each time we play. Observe the eight basic rules below each time you play and I guarantee that if nothing else happens, your scores will improve immediately. And if you win a game, you owe me big. It is The Way.
When playing Pretty Good Solitaire, if you do a new game before making any moves, the game does not count in your statistics. This is very helpful for the strategy below.
If you can decide that you don't want to play a game before playing any moves, you can just skip it and it doesn't count against you.
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