Pyramid Solitaire: How To Play, Rules, Variations And More

Pyramid Solitaire: How To Play, Rules, Variations And More

Solitaire has been a popular card game among people for generations. Folks have been playing and enjoying this amazing game for a long time all over the world. However, a game can get boring if we play it regularly, and so is the case with solitaire. But, we all love solitaire, aren’t we? So, to enjoy this game without getting bored, one of the best things you can do is try some variations in it like pyramid solitaire. 


Pyramid solitaire or as also known by the name of solitaire 13, is a popular variation of the good old solitaire. The pyramid is a game with simple rules that is fun to play and easy to learn. What makes it even more fun is that it doesn’t need much effort or time and can be enjoyed even when you just have a few minutes to play a hand. The pyramid game, like the traditional solitaire, is played with a single-player and a 52-card deck from the pyramid. 


This makes this game easy to learn and play if you already know the traditional solitaire game. However, there are some rules for game setup, and playing which you must know before playing. Thus, to help you with playing this game better, we have prepared a small guide on pyramid solitaire, which will help you better understand the game and master it. 


How To Setup The Pyramid Game?

One of the first things to know before playing a game is to know how to set up the pyramid solitaire. To help you with this we have put together this information on how to set up the game. 


The setup of this game is what makes the pyramid different from the traditional solitaire. In it also, as usual, you need to shuffle the deck first. After that deal with the card and form a pyramid which starts with a row of one card to start the pyramid solitaire setup.


Later the row formation is continued like one, then two cards in the next row, then three and more until the row comes down to the seven cards. Each row of the card must overlap the previous row of cards. The pyramid, in the end, must include the 28 cards in total once complete. 


After the completion of the pyramid in this version of solitaire, the remaining cards from the deck are set on the table. These cards are set face down on the table in a way that they form a draw pile. Once you are done, you are ready to play the pyramid solitaire. 


How To Play Pyramid Solitaire?

  • Start by revealing the cards and draw one card at a time from the draw of the pile. 
  • If a card in the draw pile is left unused, it must be covered using the next from the pile of the draw. 
  • You can later use the covered card in the game but only in a situation when the card covering it is able to be discarded.
  • A card is considered discarded if the total of the two exposed cards is 13. The two cards, thus whose total is 13, are both discarded. This is why the pyramid solitaire is sometimes also known by the name of solitaire 13. 
  • Discarding cards in this version of the solitaire is optional. Thus it’s up to you whether you want to discard the card or keep them according to tactical benefits. 
  • Cards in the pyramid solitaire are exposed if there are no cards to overlap them. 
  • At a given time, only one card is exposed from the draw pile. The only card that’s exposed from the draw pile is the card that is most recently turned up from the draw pile. 
  • For example, if in a game of pyramid solitaire, four and nine are both exposed, then they can be discarded. If a five in the pyramid is exposed, and an eight after being turned up is exposed from the draw pile, then both of the cards can be discarded. 


These are the steps that will make you learn the game and how to play pyramid solitaire. One good thing about this game is that you don’t need to purchase or go for any payment for the game. This is because there are many versions of free pyramid solitaire games available in the game. 


You can also enjoy pyramid solitaire online as there are many paid and free solitaire games available which you can enjoy on your PC or mobile.


The pyramid solitaire online games also give you an option for multitasking as there are embedded games in them. These free solitaire games are generally also multiplayer, and thus you can also enjoy the game with other people online without any need to visit them. You can also meet new people through these free solitaire as they also give you an option for playing with international players from various places. 


Pyramid Solitaire Card Values

Aces in this version of the solitaire have a value of 1. While the jacks in the game are worth 11. Queens in the game carry a value of 12, while the kings carry a value of 13. Kings in the pyramid can be discarded as a single card. 


Some possible discard combinations in the pyramid solitaire are:

  • Kings: if they are as a single card
  • Queen + ace
  • Number 2 card + jack
  • No. 3 + number 10 cards
  • Number 4 + number 9 cards
  • No. 3 + number 10 cards
  • Number 8 + number 5 cards


These are some of the card combinations which you can discard doesn’t matter if you are playing pyramid solitaire with your friend or any online free solitaire with your virtual friends. 



  • The objective of the game is to remove the card which adds up to the total of the highest card in the draw pile from the 28 card pyramid arrangements. 
  • The highest value is at 13, so to set up the pyramid, a card is dealt with face up on the top of the playing area. After that, the two that are below it, are partially covering it, and after it the three below it. This sequence continues till the last row of the pyramid. 
  • After the cards in this way reach the seventh row, the remaining cards in the game are placed as stock in a side facing down. 
  • The card in the game with their face value total of 13 can be removed immediately. So, the king can be removed from the foundation immediately as its face value is 13.
  • If an ace rests above the queen in the game, then the queen card can not be removed. 
  • You are allowed to draw a single card at a time, and then match its face value with the other exposed cards. If the match is totaled to 13 both cards are discarded, however, if there is no match, then the card drawn is discarded in the foundation. 
  • Once the stock in the pyramid solitaire is exhausted, or no cards are available to make a pair, the game is concluded.
  • To score in this solitaire version, count the face-up card number in the pyramid. Zero is the perfect score in this game where all the cards in the foundation are matched. 
  • To win the game, all the cards should move into the foundation, and thus if at least two cards are there which cannot be moved from the stock, then the game cannot be won. 



  • Relaxed Pyramid Solitaire: To win the game, you must move all the cards in the game to the foundation from the pyramid. The game in this version can also be worn with the stock cards left. 
  • Redeals are allowed.
  • Three cards at one time can be drawn from the stack. This is done repeatedly until no match is found for totaling the cards to 13.
  • Alternatively, in this game, seven cards are dealt below the pyramid. These cards can be matched to cards in the stack or other exposed cards.


Final Words

Pyramid solitaire is a fun and easy version of the traditional solitaire game. In it, the objective of the game is to move all the cards into the foundation from the pyramid. To do so, the cards when exposed are matched with others, and if their total is 13, they both are removed. One thing to remember about this game is that the kings’ cards in this game are removed directly as their face value in the game is already 13. 


When are you trying this fun game? Or have you ever tried it? Please do let us know your thoughts in the comment box. 


Jatin Choudhary

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