How To Play Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid solitaire is a fun solitaire game that’s quite different to normal solitaire- in most solitaire games you build up cards onto a foundation, but in Pyramid solitaire you remove cards! Cards can only be removed when they add up to 13. With it’s easily recognizable layout (shaped like a pyramid), and requiring a combination of luck and skill, it’s a popular solitaire game played by many.

The basic rules are…

  • You win if you can remove ALL cards from play
  • Cards are removed in pairs, when they add up to 13
  • You can deal from the talon at any time
  • You get 2 redeals of the talon
  • Only a maximum of 2 cards are visible from the talon at any time

You can only use cards that are completely uncovered( If a card is in the pyramid but covered by another card, you cannot select it)
For example, if a part of the pyramid looks like this…

... K...  
... Q.7...  
..2.4.7.. 
.5.8.K.J.

Initially you won’t be able to pair the Jack with the two (because the two is covered by the five and the eight cards). Start by removing the five and eight. Now the 2 card will be uncovered, and can be paired with the Jack card.

The possible pairings in Pyramid Solitaire are…

King 
Six Seven 
Five Eight 
Four Nine 
Three Ten 
Two Jack 
Ace Queen

Kings are a special case, that are removed on their own.

Pyramid Solitaire Tips

  • Don’t just automatically combine any cards you see. Knowing when to match and when to hold off is usually the difference between winning and losing.
  • Always remove Kings as soon as you can. There is never any reason to keep them in play.
  • Look for cards “trapped” by other cards underneath. You may need to remove specific cards in a certain order to get to them

Here is an example of a “trapped” card…

... 2...  
... 5.3...  
..8.8.4.. 
.7.8.6.6.

Notice the five has 3 eight’s underneath it. Fives are removed with eights, so we’ll need to pay special attention to this inversion. That 5 can’t be matched with any of the eight’s underneath it. Wherever the other 8 is, we will need to keep it for THIS five. If we use it on another five, then we will never be able to remove this one, and the game will become unwinnable.

That might sound a little complicated but don’t worry too much about it- you’ll start picking it up effortlessly the more you play.

Pyramid solitaire can be quite hard sometimes. In fact some deals are actually impossible to complete. You can still win quite often though- data collected from Dailysol show that you can win approximately 60% of games- so make sure you don’t give up to early!