help for the wheels CGI

Tested with netscape nav. 4*

The game page is designed, in windoesn't 9*, in Netscape Navigator, maximized, on a 600x800 display, to fit just barely, with the toolbars hidden. Click on the little textured dealie on the left edge of a toolbar to hide it.

for best results you will want to have enough local display cache to hold all the cards. All the cards can be seen on one page (with links to where I found them, even) here. If you are like my brother and intensely dislike turning on image displaying in your browser preferences, I suggest viewing the allcards page (two links back) and loading the images on it, just to get the cards, then returning to the wheels cgi.

How to play

Click the "lay out cards" button until you get two or more cards that match in rank. Move cards to the left with the movement buttons. Pick up all cards with the pickup buttons. Four matching cards may be discarded. You will when all cards have been discarded.

If you have image loading on while playing, every eight screens you will see a new link-exchange banner. Like billboards on the highway coming along over the next hill. :-)

Use your browser's back feature to retain your game state if you like. The program stores the entire game state in the "query_string" part of the URL, so situations can be explored repeatedly if required -- they can be bookmarked, you can use "back" to undo as many moves as your history list stores.

The Wheels CGI and the Solitaire 500

The rules are the same. Entries for the 1999 solitaire 500 must be running computer programs in the Perl language, not screen captures of wheels cgi displays with low rounds counts. If playing on the CGI demonstration helps you develop your algorithms, that's right on. Please have image loading on while you play so the tipjar link exchange banner will get shown more often.

Strategy hints

Here are a few -- I will post no strategy hints between when I start receiving contest entries and the running of the race.

I set up a mailing list for discussion of Solitaire500; subscription blank

After getting four matching cards together in pile X, immediately pick up the cards, with pile X the last pile picked up. This costs a round, but you are guaranteed that the four cards will be aligned, at the bottom of the deck.

For comparisons, here is a standard shuffled deck to start from if you would like to benchmark your skill against a standard problem.

Here is a smaller shuffled deck to start from if you would like to have a faster game.

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