How to Play Pyramid Solitaire

Solitaires Team

Pyramid Solitaire is this classic card game that's been a hit for ages. It is simple to learn how to play Pyramid Solitaire and you can enjoy it solo, making it a great way to pass the time. There are different versions of Pyramid Solitaire, but they all share a similar set of rules. Let’s dive into the Pyramid Solitaire rules in detail.

The Layout of Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire, just like classic Solitaire, uses a standard 52-card deck, where 28 cards are arranged in a pyramid formation and the remaining cards make up the stockpile. There are several key areas or layouts that are essential to gameplay. Each has a specific role, essential to understanding how to play Pyramid Solitaire.

Pyramid Solitaire Rules: Layout
  • Tableau: This is the main area of the game board consisting of 28 cards that form a pyramid.
  • Stockpile: A deck of remaining cards not initially in the pyramid. Players draw from this pile when they need new options.
  • Waste Pile: Cards drawn from the stockpile that can't be paired immediately are placed in the waste pile. They are available for pairing with the tableau.
  • Discard Pile: This is where paired cards are placed once they've been successfully matched and removed from play.

These components form the Pyramid Solitaire's main areas.

The Objective

The goal of Pyramid Solitaire is to remove all the cards of the pyramid. You need to pair up cards so that they add up to 13.

Pyramid Solitaire Rules

Playing Pyramid Solitaire involves a set of rules that guide you through the game's objective of clearing the pyramid of cards. 

Playable Cards

You can only remove cards that are fully exposed. Only the cards that are not overlapped by any others in the pyramid are available for play.

Pyramid Solitaire Rules: Step 1

Match Cards That Add Up to 13

To remove cards, you must find pairs that add up to 13. For example, you can match an ace with a queen, or a 7 with a 6. According to the Pyramid Solitaire rules, cards from two to ten have their face values. The rest of the cards have the following values:

Ace = 1
Ace = 11
Ace = 12
Ace = 13

Thus, to make pairs, which in total give 13 you will need to make the following combinations of cards:

Ace + Ace = 13
Ace + Ace = 13
Ace + Ace = 13
Ace + Ace = 13
Ace + Ace = 13
Ace + Ace = 13

Kings have a value of 13, so they can be removed from the tableau without a pair.

Pyramid Solitaire Rules: Step 2

Use Stockpile and Waste Pile

If you cannot find any pairs on the tableau, draw a card from the stockpile and see if you can use it to create a pair. If the stock card cannot be used, it moves to a waste pile, where it can also be matched with exposed cards in the pyramid. If you run out of moves, you can reshuffle the stockpile and continue playing.

Pyramid Solitaire Rules: Step 3

As you can see the Pyramid Solitaire rules are very simple; stack pairs of cards that add up to 13. Still, not every game is winnable. So, try playing Pyramid Solitaire right now to see if you can beat this game.

Pyramid Solitaire Strategies 

As you have already realized, Pyramid Solitaire rules and gameplay are very simple, but that doesn't mean you can easily win. Here are some strategic tips that can help you improve your game and help you to beat Pyramid Solitaire:

Expose Hidden Cards

Focus on removing cards from the pyramid that cover others. This way you will quickly reveal hidden options and create more potential moves.

Use the Stockpile Wisely

Only draw from the stockpile when you're sure there's no further moves available in the pyramid.

Maximize Moves

Strive to see several potential combinations of cards on the tableau at once. Try to make pairs in such a way that it opens the possibility to match other pairs of cards, which were previously blocked.

Use the Undo Button

Use the undo button: If you are playing digitally, don't be afraid to use the undo button. Go back and try a different strategy if you get stuck.


Pyramid Solitaire's aim to match cards totaling 13 and clear the board may seem simple, but the challenge of the game lies in the crucial initial setup of cards. The rules of Pyramid Solitaire are straightforward, but the game is extremely addictive and can capture your attention for a long time. Now that you've learned how to play the Pyramid Solitaire, why not put your knowledge to the test?

Solitaires Team

Solitaires Team

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