Pyramid Solitaire Rules

Pyramid SolitairePyramid is one of the best-known and well-loved solitaire card games. It's easy to learn, but difficult to win, and offers plenty of room for skillful play. As you play the game more, you'll find that there is more to it than appears at first glance.

Pyramid is one of the very best of the "simple addition" games, where the object is to remove pairs of cards totalling a certain amount (in this case, thirteen).

Number Of Decks: 1

Alternate Names: Pile Of Twenty-Eight, Triangle


The game is begun by dealing 28 cards, face up, to the "tableau" in the form of a pyramid (or triangle). The remaining 24 cards form the "stock". The "waste" pile is initially empty. The layout will look something like this:

Pyramid Solitaire Layout

The object of the game is to remove all the cards from the stock, tableau, and waste. Cards are removed singly or in pairs that add up to 13, regardless of suit. Kings count as 13, Queens as 12, Jacks as 11, and all other cards as their face value (Ace = 1).

These are the valid moves:

Pyramid Solitaire Card Combinations

Only cards that are completely visible are available for play. The top card of the wastepile, if any, is also available for play. If the top card of the stock cannot be played, move it to the wastepile.

When all the stock cards have been played or moved to the wastepile, you can move all the cards from the waste back into the stock. In this way, you can go through the deck up to three times.

The game is won if you remove all the cards from the tableau, stock, and waste.


At the start of a hand, examine the initial tableau closely. This will allow you to see any potential blocks, and either plan a strategy to deal with them, or to not even attempt the hand if it is obviously impossible. For example, if the top of the pyramid is an ace, and all four queens are in the tableau below it, then the hand is clearly unwinnable.

Also, pay attention to matches between the top of the stock and the top of the waste. This is always an easy play, but it's not always a wise move.

See Also: Pyramid Solitaire: A Strategy Guide For Beginners

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Play Pyramid Solitaire Online

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