How to Play Pyramid Solitaire

Learn how to play pyramid solitaire

How to Play Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire is one of the most popular solitaire card games at Solitaire Paradise. Here we will teach you how to play Pyramid Soltiaire using a standard deck of cards. We'll also be explaining a few rule variations and providing tips on how to win Pyramid Solitaire.

Setting Up Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire is played with deck of 52 cards (with no jokers). As you can see from the picture below, you must deal a pyramid that is seven cards high that descends to be seven cards wide. A total of 28 cards are dealt to this pyramid, all face up. With the remaining 24 cards you can start the game with three cards turned over in seperate columns, also shown in the picture below.

Pyramid Soltiaire Set Up

 

Rules of Pyramid Solitaire

There are two types of pyramid solitaire game, Classic and Modern. They both share the majority of rules, but the modern game is easier and considered by many to be much more fun! The idea of the game is to remove all the cards from the pyramid, although some purists may argue that all cards including the cards you can deal for yourself should be removed. We consider that a solitaire folly, but what the hey, play which ever version floats your boat!

Shared Rules

  • Cards can only be removed if they are completely exposed with no overlapping cards.
  • Pairs of cards that add up to 13 can only be removed together. For example an Ace and a Queen (a Queen is equal to 12), a two and a Jack (a Jack is equal to 11), a three and a ten, and so on.
  • A King can be removed on its own, as it equals 13.
  • You can deal 3 cards out, under the pyramid each time you are stuck.

 

At this point the rules of games diverge.

 

Classic Rules

  • Once you deal out the remaining cards until they run out, they can be combined (without shuffling) 3 times and then redealt. If you are looking for a particularly difficult to complete version, then you can see if you can win using only one deal.
  • Can be played by either aiming to remove the pyramid on it's own, or trying to remove every single card in the deck.

 

Modern Rules

  • The goal is to remove the pyramid only, but for an extra challenge try to remove all the cards that are dealt in groups of 3 aswell.
  • You can only deal out the cards at the bottom once.
  • However to make the game a better test of logic and planning, this version introduces the idea of a temporary card store. You may take one immediately accessible card from either pyramid or the 3 card deal at the bottom, letting it free up a card below. You can then use this card at any point, however the "temporary card store" can only hold one card, so the card in the store must be used before you can place another card in the "temporary card store".

Win Pyramid Solitaire

We all want to be winners, so let's see what tips and tricks will let you do that in Pyramid Solitaire!

  • Always remove Kings as soon as possible, they do nothing except get in the way!
  • See if the game is worth playing! If for example all the 6s are at the top of the pyramid, with all the sevens below it will be impossible to win the game. In the modern version of the rules with the temporary card store, there are far fewer obvious blocking conditions than when using the classic rules.
  • You must look to plan your moves. So ideally each move frees up a card below that you can immediately use. The modern variation favours more planning and logic, than the classic variation which is much more based on luck.
  • Assuming you are playing to the rule of removing just the pyramid, then removing cards in the pyramid is almost always preferable! But if you are playing to remove every single card, it is often necessary to take the effort to split the removal of cards from the lower 3 card deal, while looking at the pyramid to avoid the blocking conditions mentioned previously.
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