Learning how to play Tripeaks Solitaire means clearing the peaks by creating a ‘chain’ of cards, as symbolized by the photo above.

Tripeaks Solitaire is one of the most popular variants of classic Solitaire. Its rules make it a fun challenge for any Solitaire enthusiast. Learn how to play Tripeaks Solitaire with our easy step-by-step guide.

How To Play Tripeaks Solitaire

Similar to other variations of Solitaire, Tripeaks requires a standard 52-card deck without the jokers. Before outlining the rules, let’s go over some of the setup.

Moving from the peaks to the base, deal 24 cards into the classic three-peak layout. As shown below, each peak has six face-down cards, and they’re connected by a base of ten face-up cards.

Learning how to play Tripeaks Solitaire means familiarizing oneself with the famous 'three peaks’ card layout as depicted on the screen.

The leftover cards are your draw pile, which goes face-down on the table. Next, start the waste pile by drawing the top card and placing it face-up next to the pile. This is no ordinary waste pile, however. In Tripeaks, the waste pile functions similarly to a foundation pile, which is the final destination in other versions of Solitaire. We’ll cover this in more detail below.

Like other versions of Solitaire, the goal is to clear the layout. Move cards from the peaks to the waste pile until there are no more moves, or the layout is cleared. Note that the draw and waste piles don’t have to be cleared to win the game.

The first card of the waste pile is called the base card, and it begins the chain that you’ll use to clear the Tripeaks. Scan the face-up cards on the layout for opportunities to move them to the waste pile. The game is over when you run out of plays, or all 52 cards are in the waste pile, also called the chain.

There are key differences between Tripeaks and other versions of Solitaire:

  • Numerical order matters most. When a card is one rank lower or higher than the base card, transfer it to the waste pile. For example, if your base card is a 3, you’ll follow it with either a 2 or 4. Neither the suit nor the color of a card is important. Using this chain of numerical sequencing, build the chain up or down until the layout is cleared or you run out of moves.

  • The waste pile is a line. Place cards slightly off-center to expose the card beneath. Whether you build the chain horizontally or vertically, all of the cards need to remain visible.

  • The stock has rules. You can’t draw until you run out of moves using only the cards on the peaks. When you run out of moves, you start a new numerical sequence by drawing from the stock, and you’ll build onto this new sequence using only the cards in the layout. You’ll repeat this pattern throughout the game. Every time you draw from the stock to start a new chain, the previous cards are no longer relevant.

The traditional ruleset of Tripeaks Solitaire specifies that the waste pile cannot be reused to restart the stock pile. In some variations, however, you can reshuffle the waste pile to produce a base card that potentially starts a new chain based on your available cards.

Tripeaks Tips

Now you’re ready for a few tips to help you exercise your skills in Tripeaks Solitaire:

  • Analyze the peaks. Find the move that unblocks the most number of cards.

  • Save the stock. Avoid drawing cards unnecessarily since you can only go through the stock once. Prioritize building chains from the cards in the peaks.

  • Practice patience. The ultimate goal is to enjoy the game while playing it.

Similar Solitaire Variants

If you enjoyed learning how to play Tripeaks Solitaire and want to check out other variations with a ‘chaining’ mechanism or peaks structure, then these options are for you:

Pyramid Solitaire: Similar to Tripeaks, Pyramid Solitaire uses a peak/pyramid layout. Both Pyramid and Tripeaks rely on removing cards (as opposed to building suits) to win the game. However, Pyramid Solitaire clears the peak/pyramid by pairing cards that add up to 13.

Golf Solitaire: Instead of using a pyramid/peak structure, Golf Solitaire uses a layout that is more similar to Klondike. Seven rows of face-up cards are dealt onto the table from which the player forms a chain using the ‘base card’ of the waste pile. Think of it as a face-up Tripeaks game without the iconic peak structure.

Clock Solitaire: This variant uses a circular or ‘clock’ tableau structure, with the ‘base card’ in the middle. Similar to Tripeaks, players need to clear the structure by following a specific sequence of moves.

Accordion Solitaire: This variant uses a mechanism similar to Tripeaks to clear a long, single pile of overlapping cards. To win, a player needs to clear cards and compress the ‘accordion’ pile by removing them based on rank (one rank higher or lower than the base card).

Black Hole Solitaire: This final variant shares Tripeaks’ mechanism of removing cards to clear the table. Cards are dealt in a circular pattern around a ‘black hole’ where the base card is placed. The player then needs to find cards from the tableau that are one rank higher or lower than the base card until the table is cleared.

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Play Arkadium’s Tripeaks Solitaire

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Category: Card Games