Pyramid is an interesting solitaire game that does not have "building" or "packing" elements to it, but involves matching pairs (or a single King) of cards whose values add up to 13. This tutorial will show you the steps to set up, play, and win Pyramid Solitaire.
Pyramid Solitaire Layout Terminology
The Pyramid Solitaire has 4 locations: a single pile foundation, a 7 row, pyramid-shaped tableau, a stock, and a discard.
The foundation is a single pile of face down cards that have been already matched.
The tableau has 7 rows where each row overlaps the cards in the row above. It is pyramid-shaped with the first row having 1 card, the second row having 2 cards, and so on.
The stock has cards that are face down and they are drawn one-by-one into the discard.
The discard has cards that are face up. In different variations the discard is treated differently. In standard Pyramid Solitaire, the discard contains a single face up card and if there is no match with a card in the tableau, the card is moved to the foundation and placed face down.
Pyramid Solitaire Relaxed Variation
In this variation, cards are not moved from discard to foundation.
Pyramid Solitaire with Redeal Variation
In this variation, when the stock is exhausted, the cards in the discard are returned to the stock.
How to Set Up Pyramid Solitaire with Cards
To start, you need a standard deck of playing cards. Remove the jokers and set them aside in a safe place because Pyramid Solitaire does not use jokers. We will use all 52 cards that are Aces through Kings of each suit. Next, shuffle the deck so that the cards are distributed randomly.
Create the seven rows of the pyramid using the next steps.
Step 1: Place one card face up near the top of your flat space.
Step 2: Place two cards face up in a row below the top card and slightly overlapping it.
Step 3: Place three cards face up in a row below the row of two and slightly overlapping them.
Step 4: Place four cards face up in a row below the row of three and slightly overlapping them.
Step 5: Place five cards face up in a row below the row of four and slightly overlapping them.
Step 6: Place six cards face up in a row below the row of five and slightly overlapping them.
Step 7: Place seven cards face up in a row below the row of six and slightly overlapping them.
The layout is complete and we are ready to play the game.
Pyramid Solitaire Gameplay Rules
In Pyramid Solitaire the object is to remove all the pyramid cards (Relaxed Variation) or to move all of the cards to the foundation. Cards match if their values sum to 13 or if the card is a King.
Pyramid Solitaire Gameplay
A card is available to remove to the Foundation if it has its bottom uncovered. Then, if a match is found it can be removed. Kings can be removed immediately as they don't require a match.
The King is uncovered and does not require a pair, so can be removed to the Foundation.
Cards are turned over into the discard until a matching pair card is found for one of our uncovered cards. The Queen can be paired with the Ace.
The 2 can be matched with the Jack. The 2 and the Jack are removed to the Foundation.
The game ends when the top card in the pyramid is removed or the Stock has been exhausted and there are no matches to be had with uncovered cards. When you manage to remove the top card in the pyramid, this means that all pyramid cards have been removed and you have won the game.