How to Play Pyramid Solitaire

There are plenty of solitaire games that are available for play. If you have been used to playing a particular solitaire game and you are starting to get bored, you can always switch to Pyramid Solitaire. This popular solitaire variation is easy to learn and comes with straightforward rules.

How is the Pyramid Solitaire Played?

You can play this game anywhere and anytime as it only requires a short time to play each hand. This game requires a standard deck of 52 cards and a single player. After shuffling the cards, the game begins by building a pyramid containing seven rows.

The uppermost row, which is the top of the pyramid, contains one card facing up. The second-highest row includes two cards, while the third-highest row contains three cards. The arrangement continues in that order down to the lowest row, which has seven cards.

When the pyramid is complete, it should have 28 cards facing up. The cards that remain after you form the pyramid are placed face down on the table to create the draw pile. You only win the game when the draw pile is exhausted or after all cards are cleared from the pyramid.

The game requires that you reveal cards in the draw pile, each at a time. A card from the draw pile that you have not used should be replaced by the immediate next card from the stack. You can then utilize the unused card later in the game only if you uncover it after discarding the draw pile cards before it.

You can only discard two cards if they add up to 13. For instance, you can dump a nine and a four that are exposed in the pyramid. Also, you can discard an eight in the draw pile and a five in the pyramid. The game derives the name “Solitaire 13” from this rule. However, discarding the cards is optional. There are times when retaining the cards is the better option.

The game allows you to expose only one card at a time from the draw pile. Also, you can only reveal a card if no card is overlapping it.

Card Values

Different cards have different values in this game. Aces are worth 1. The kings’ value is 13, while the queens’ and jacks’ values are 12 and 11, respectively. The game allows you to discard kings as a single card. More discard combinations include:

  • A queen and an ace
  • Number 6 and number 7 cards
  • Number 4 and number 9 cards
  • Number 8 and number 5 cards
  • Number 10 and number 3 cards
  • Number 2 card and a jack.

Consider revealing cards from the draw pile in sets of three, rather than revealing them one at a time. The first set is laid on the table to set the foundation for three unique piles. You are now supposed to spread any three new cards on top of the first set on the table. For consistency purposes, Pyramid Solitaire rules require that you continue with the same order that you place the cards on the pile throughout the game.

Game Rules

Just like all solitaire games, Pyramid Solitaire comes with its own unique set of rules. These rules include:

  • You can pair and remove the top card from the pyramid and the top card from the waste pile if their total value is 13.
  • You can pair and remove the top card on the waste pile and the top card on the deck if their value totals 13.
  • You can skip an open move if you want.
  • If the deck runs out, you can turn over the waste pile to reset the deck that you draw from.

Final Thoughts

Just like most card games, Pyramid Solitaire is very interesting. You only need to grasp a few ground rules after a few plays, and you are good to go. Sites such as provide more insight on how to play solitaire games.


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