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How to play Pyramid Solitaire 

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The objective of pyramid solitaire is to match pairs of cards that tally to a total of 13.

Unlike other solitaire games, the aim in pyramid solitaire is matching cards into pairs that result in 13, as opposed to building up each suit. In a pyramid solitaire, Ace is 1, Jack is 11, Queen is 12, and King is 13.

So, how does a player play pyramid solitaire? To set up pyramid solitaire, the player places one card face-up on the playing area. A pyramid solitaire features a tableau that is triangular consisting of seven overlapping rows with more card more than the previous row. 

One card is dealt face-up, and the player places the card on top of the pyramid Tableau. A pyramid Tableau is different from another version of solitaire since it is completely faceup.

Form the second row using two cards so that the two cards are placed partially on top of the first card. However, the position of these three cards must form a horizontal symmetrical triangle, and continue down to row seven.

Continue adding rows until 28 cards are dealt in total. Any added row must add one more card compared to the one underneath it, for a total of seven rows.

Place stacked cards that remain in the face-down along the side to form the stockpile, remember the suit doesn’t matter in pyramid solitaire. 

The goal is to remove all card pairs that total 13 in value, which means a King can be removed by itself without forming a pair. 

Like normal solitaire, pyramid solitaire is a single-player game played with a deck of playing cards

The goal of pyramid solitaire is to remove all cards from pyramid formation into the discard pile by forming pairs that value 13 using the pyramid, draw pile and discard pile. Answered below are frequently asked questions about playing pyramid solitaire and strategies you can use to improve gameplay.

What is the object of pyramid solitaire?

The main objective of pyramid solitaire is to match cards into pairs that add up to 13. Once the player forms the pairs, the cards are removed from the pyramid foundation and placed in the discard pile. 

Cards are taken away by removing the two cards that tally to 13 from the board. The face-up cards in a pyramid solitaire value are Jack 11 points, Queen 12, and the King 13 points, therefore it can be removed by itself. 

Is pyramid solitaire always winnable?

No, pyramid solitaire is not always winnable. For instance, when a player has an Ace on the underneath row, and all four Queens above it, then there is no way a player to remove this Ace card, and thus the game becomes unsolvable. 

Remember, for a player to win a pyramid game need a combination of 13 points, a Queen is 12 points, and an Ace is worth 1 point. 

Therefore, if all the Queens are found behind the Aces, no single Queen is available to complete the combination by clearing Aces on the board.

How do you get a high score on pyramid solitaire?

A player earns extra points in the pyramid when they clear horizontal rows. When a player clears the top row of the pyramid, the more points a player earns, but once the player clears the board, the player earns the most points.

In a solitaire game is always wise to match two cards together in the pyramid if a player wants to earn more points. A player should try to pile cards to match those cards on the higher up the pyramid that can block cards at the lower rows.

How to play pyramid solitaire

A player’s objective when playing pyramid solitaire is to form combinations of 13 points by matching pairs or cards. Ace is worth 1-point, numbered cards from 2 to 10, and face cards are Jack 11 points, Queen 12 points, and King 13 points. 

A player tries to match a pair of two cards to from a combination of 13. For instance, Jack + 2 equals 13 and can be removed to the discard pile.

A match is done by picking two cards on the pyramid or using the top cards from the draw pile or stockpile. Once a match is made, the pair is set aside, and a player cannot use the paired cards later in the game. 

If it happens, the top card from the drawcard doesn’t match the card from the pyramid. It is always kept aside to form a waste pile. Again, just like matched pile, a waste pile cannot be reused as the game progress. Thus, the board cannot reach a point that is out of cards.

What is the rule of pyramid solitaire?

  • Like a normal solitaire, it falls under the category of single player card games. A player builds a pyramid structured using one card at the top row and seven cards at the bottom row.
  • A player can only reveal the top card on the draw pile one at a time.
  • A match of two cards must give a tally of 13 points to score successfully and remove the cards from play.
  • Only make a match using cards that are not blocked by other cards.
  • Use the top card on the draw pile, discard pile or cards from the pyramid to form a match.
  • The top card from the draw pile forms a waste pile that doesn’t match the card from the pyramid.
  • Cards found in the discard pile can be used in the game.
  • If a player cannot make a move, then the game ends, and the score is tallied.
Tips to play pyramid solitaire

Playing Pyramid Solitaire: Conclusion

Pyramid Solitaire is a card game with a unique gameplay layout that is designed for a single player. The game is enjoyed by people who are good at puzzles because there are some similarities in solving the challenge.

The player aims to form pairs that give a combination of 13 points. The matched pairs form the matched pile, and cannot be used again in the game. 

A round of pyramid solitaire is not always winnable, especially when the cards to complete a match are blocked above other cards in the lower rows of the pyramid. When the player cannot move anymore, the game ends and the final tally is taken.

An interesting fact of pyramid solitaire is that it’s the simplest to learn compared to others versions of solitaire games, but it has the least winning chances. Mathematically, the winning probability of pyramid solitaire is 0.5 to 5.5%. 

A pyramid structure consists of 7 rows with one card at the top and seven cards at the bottom row. Rules are there to ensure players do not make invalid matches during the game. 

All the unmatched cards from the top of the draw pile form the waste pile, which a player can reuse in the game. However, some play that the waste cards cannot be recycled, which significantly ups the chances of losing. 

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