~ 4 Minutes

How to Play Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire, also known as Solitaire 13, is a widely favored card game renowned for its simplicity. Characterized by straightforward rules and a brief learning curve, it presents an ideal solution for utilizing spare moments. As with the classic solitaire game, Pyramid Solitaire is designed for a single player and employs a standard 52-card deck. The game’s objective centers on the removal of cards arranged in a pyramid structure.

What sets this game apart from the standard version of solitaire is its unique setup. After shuffling your deck, you begin to create your pyramid by dealing cards. The first row should contain 1 card, the second 2, the next 3, and so on until the final row consists of 7 cards. Note that these rows will overlap each other. Once set up, you will have a pyramid comprised of a total of 28 cards. The remaining cards are placed face-down, forming your draw pile.

The game commences with players revealing cards from their draw pile, one by one. An unutilized card from the pile is overlaid by the subsequent one in that pile. Should you uncover it later, you can utilize it, as discarding from the draw pile is permitted. Additionally, you can discard 2 exposed cards whose sum is 13, which is why this game is often referred to as Solitaire 13. However, keep in mind that discarding is optional; if it doesn’t advance your game, you’re under no obligation to do so.

When there aren’t cards overlapping those on the pyramid, they then are considered to be exposed. You can only expose a single card at a time from your draw pile.

When playing Pyramid Solitaire you should know the value of each card to create accurate discard combinations. The value for aces, jacks, queens, and kings are 1, 11, 12, and 13, respectively. However, you can discard kings as a single card. Examples of discard combinations include card number 7 + card number 6, queen plus an ace, a number 10 card plus number 3, anything equaling 13.

Also, note that players can reveal cards in sets of three instead of each at a time from the draw pile. Your first 3 pile set is laid on the table to form three new piles. Once the draws are done, later on, 3 new piles are spread over with 3 new cards. You should have a constant order of placing the cards on these piles throughout.

We also should mention that there are two types of pyramid solitaire; classic and modern. While both have some similar rules, the modern version is a bit easier and more fun for many. However, all use the same idea of removing cards from the pyramid. With the classic version of the game pyramid, you can either remove the pyramid on its own or remove all cards in the deck.


Pyramid Solitaire is won when a player removes all cards from a pyramid or after exhausting the given draw pile. Some strategies to help you win include;

  • Remove kings as soon as you can as they only block your way
  • Plan your moves since each move frees up a card. However, note that planning is usually useful for the modern version. The classic one is based mostly on luck.
  • If you want to remove the pyramid, then removing cards in it is the right strategy. However, if you aim at removing every card, consider removing cards from the lower three-card deal while carefully analyzing your pyramid so that you don’t end up blocking yourself.

Grasping the principles of Pyramid Solitaire is not challenging. However, similar to any other game, employing a successful strategy can significantly augment your prospects of victory. Implement these tips to refine your gameplay the next time you partake in this card game.

For more tutorials and fun games, visit mobilityware.com

Recent Posts