I didn’t like the Windows 10 Solitaire Collection for several reasons:-
a) There was no way of resetting the score to zero
b) If a game had to be restarted, holding Ctrl + Z down together no longer produced a fast return to the starting point, but went back only one card movement. It was the same in effect as the “back arrow” – one card at a time.
c) Many of the games available in Windows 7 were no longer available. This didn’t affect me so much, as I only ever played Spider Solitaire or Freecell, but other users were affected.
Checking around on the Internet, I found that Microsoft had made changes to a later edition, and scores could be reset, so I resolved to update my games.
The first step was easy enough – remove the present games. There are various ways of doing this, but I opted for an easy one – CCleaner – and it was done in a flash.
Now it got rather tricky. It was theoretically possible perhaps to download and install an updated games package, but I connected in to Microsoft, made the appropriate requests, … and nothing happened!
So, I gave up on that, and looked for an alternative. Ah, there it was! “How To Get Classic Windows 7 Games In Windows 10”
“Luckily, restoring classic games in Windows 10 is fairly simple thanks to Eldiabl0 at MDL forums. The Windows 7 Games for Windows 8 and 10 tool brings back Chess Titans, Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Purble Place, Mahjong Titans, and Hearts games to Windows 10.”
Step 1 in the instructions takes you to a developer page which you wont be able to read until you open an account and log in – all perfectly painless.
Download the installer package, its about 170 Mb.
Step 2 Run the installer, and select the games you want to install. I deselected all the games that require an Internet connection, and installed the rest.
Note! If you read the comments at the bottom, a number of people seem to have lost their Windows 7 games after an automatic Windows 10 update. Reloading the games after the update doesn’t seem to work, so if you want to keep your Windows 7 games, you have to stop Windows 10 updating automatically! Use a personal firewall, or whatever you have to do to stop Windows 10 accessing the Internet without your knowledge. Luckily, my Wifi Hotspot does it all for me. Nothing goes anywhere until I allow it, and I can see exactly where it is trying to go.
My favourite game used to be Spider Solitaire, but I have now switched over to Freecell, as I have found a couple of tricks to improve my score.
As long as you haven’t moved any cards, you can select a new game by pressing F2.
Inspect the layout you have been offered. The deck is divided into 2 blocks; the lefthand block has 4 rows, each of 7 cards, whereas the righthand block has 4 rows, each of 6 cards.
As a requirement of the game is to clear one row completely, it is easier to clear 6 cards than 7. And to improve matters still further, if we have 2 aces in one row, we only have to find homes for 4 cards to get it clear.
So, keep pressing F2 until you have a hand with 2 aces in one of the righthand rows. This gives you a distinct advantage.
Of course, you will also have to inspect the hand to ensure that it is worth starting to play. If you cannot clear a row without using up all of the free cells, then you don’t have much change of getting it out to completion. It is possible, however, to get that first row clear, and have all 4 free cells empty.
It is also possible to get all four aces out with the first card moved!
However, even though the aces are available, it is also necessary to consider the position of the 2’s and the 3’s, and a big part of some games is piling up cards on top of the aces. As a rule, I try to make sure they are at least no higher than the third position in any row.
By the way, as long as you have that starting advantage, with 2 aces in one of the righthand rows, the likelihood of success is very high. If it doesn’t seem to work out, and you get to a position where there are no more moves left, go back to the start, and start in another row. Repeat as necessary – it will probably work.
Just to show that it is possible:-