Pyramid Solitaire is a fun single-player card game that you can also play with friends! If you’re looking for a simple non-competitive card game, then it’s easy to recommend. But while the rules are simple, you shouldn’t underestimate this game either.
Pyramid Solitaire can be quite a complex puzzle at times as well. So, if you’re a fan of strategy board games or puzzles, you’ll be sure to enjoy a game of Pyramid Solitaire. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the game is all about.
What is Pyramid Solitaire?
Despite its name, Pyramid Solitaire isn’t played like regular Solitaire. However, it’s still classed as a Solitaire-style game. The objective of the game is to remove all the cards from the pyramid. But you can only do this by creating pairs.
To be removed, pairs must have a value of 13. While this might sound simple enough, the game will get more difficult as it progresses. You could also end up stuck and unable to completely dismantle the pyramid if you don’t play strategically.
Pyramid Solitaire is an excellent drinking game to play with friends as long as you have space to set up. But whether you’re playing with friends or on your own, this game is a great way to pass the time, and it can be surprisingly challenging. Let’s take a look at what you need to play.
What You’ll Need To Play
There are a few different ways to play Pyramid Solitaire. But the good news is no matter which version you’re playing, all you need is a deck of playing cards. Pyramid Solitaire also lends itself well to themed-playing card decks as well.
So, while you could simply use some traditionally designed cards like these from Maverick, you could also be a bit more creative. Themed cards like these mythical beast ones from Bicycle, for example, would make a great choice. As long as you can easily tell what the card represents, you’ll be fine.
Pyramid Solitaire Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The aim of Pyramid Solitaire is quite simple. The player or players need to pair all the cards in the pyramid to dismantle it. Sounds easy, right? However, you can only pair cards if they have a combined value of 13.
You also can’t just pick cards from anywhere on the pyramid, either. You can only pair cards if you have access to them. We’ll talk more about this below because the set-up is critical in Pyramid Solitaire.
If you’re unlucky, you could have a very challenging game right from the start! But that’s part of the fun and helps ensure no two games are ever the same. So, now you know the objective let’s look at how you set the game up.
To start, remove the Joker cards from your deck. You’ll also want to ensure your cards are well shuffled as well. You could use an automatic card shuffler for this. Once the cards are ready, make sure you have a big enough play space.
You’ll then place cards face up to create your pyramid. The pyramid is made with seven rows of cards. The top of the pyramid features one card, the second row features two cards, and so on. Make sure to place the cards carefully, so they overlap each other slightly.
If you’re having trouble with this, try to ensure the top half of each card is visible. The pyramid should have 28 cards in it once finished. When done, place the deck down at the bottom of the pyramid; this will be your draw deck for later in the fame. Now you’re ready to play!
Once the pyramid is built, you can start to remove cards. Cards must equal 13 points in total to be removed. When cards are removed, they are placed face down in a discard pile. You should make sure you keep the discard pile separate from your draw deck.
The draw deck can also be used to create pairs. To do this, flip up the top card and then use it to pair with a card from the pyramid. Once paired, the cards go to the discard pile as usual. Now it’s also important that only open cards are removed.
An open card is a card that isn’t partially covered. Remember, when building the pyramid at the start of the game, all the cards need to be positioned, so they are overlapping. However, the bottom row of cards won’t be, so you need to start at the bottom and work your way up the pyramid.
When a card that was overlapping another is removed, you’ll be able to pair up more cards. If you take a card from the draw deck that can’t currently be used, it will go into the waste pile. Don’t get the waste pile and discard pile confused. The cards in the waste pile are placed face up.
The top card from the draw deck and waste pile can also be paired if they equal 13. They will then be placed in the discard pile. The top card from the waste pile can also be paired with a card from the pyramid.
Once your draw deck is empty, you should turn over the waste pile. The waste pile then becomes your new deck. Under traditional rules, you can only do this once. If you can remove all the cards from the pyramid, you win! However, if you get stuck at any point and can’t pair any cards, the game is over, and you lose.
So, now you know how the game is played, let’s take a quick look at how the cards work. To understand how the cards are valued, check out the list below.
- Aces – 1 Point
- Jacks – 11 Points
- Queens – 12 Points
- Kings – 13 Points
- Numbered Cards – Face Value
Because the King cards are worth 13 points, they are the only cards that can be removed without a pair. So, if you manage to get all four King cards as part of your pyramid, you’ll have a slight advantage.
Cooperative Play and Rule Variations
Pyramid Solitaire can make a fantastic two-player card game. Player’s can simply work together to dismantle the pyramid. One version of the game also has players building their own pyramid and then racing against each other.
You’ll need two decks of cards to play this version and a big enough playing space. Players will also need to keep an eye on each other to ensure no one cheats. There are also a few different rule variations you can try.
One common variation is to build an inverted pyramid instead of a traditional one. This will usually make the beginning stages of the game more challenging. Another popular rule variation is to allow players to use their waste pile more often.
For example, players could use their waste pile two or three times during the game instead of just once. This will help increase your odds of dismantling the pyramid. Another popular rule says the top card of the pyramid must be the Ace of spades.
You could even come up with your house rules like in Monopoly. For example, you could add the Joker cards to the deck. They could then act as other cards like wild cards in Uno. But whether you play with the traditional rules or your own, Pyramid Solitaire is sure to be a fun time.
Pyramid Solitaire – A Surprisingly Challenging Card Game
Pyramid Solitaire is a great game to play, whether alone or with friends! The basic gameplay is simple and easy to understand. However, you’ll need to play strategically if you want to ensure you win.