An ace of spades and a queen of hearts suspended in air.

Pyramid Solitaire is perfect for anyone who’s looking for something a little more challenging than the classic version of the game. If you want to start collecting those wins, however, then you’re going to need a crash course in Pyramid Solitaire strategy. After a quick explanation of the rules, we’ll reveal our favorite tips for novices and advanced players alike to improve their chances of success.

Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire is a matching game like Mahjongg Solitaire, except it requires a regular 52-card deck as opposed to Mahjongg’s symboled tiles. Here, the cards are laid face up in a pyramid structure. Working from the top down, start with the top of the pyramid by laying down one card. Setting up the layout is easy if you remember this rule: the number of the layer always matches the number of cards within it. As the image below shows, the layout is complete when you’ve all seven cards on the 7th layer.

A layout of a Pyramid Solitaire game.

Similar to Klondike Solitaire, this layout includes a stock and waste pile, but that’s where the similarities end. The goal is to clear the pyramid while following these rules:

  • Matching two cards of any suit, locate pairs that add up to 13.

  • Only unblocked cards can be matched.

  • When there are no more matches on the pyramid, you can cycle through the stock pile one card at a time.

  • If a card drawn from the stock cannot be played, discard it in the waste pile.

  • The stock pile can only be cycled through three times.

  • The game ends in two ways: when all cards have been cleared off the pyramid or if there are no remaining moves to be played.

As you can see, the rules are rather straightforward. Let’s dive into the techniques that will help you win.

Pyramid Solitaire Strategy

It’s easy to start making pairs quickly when the cards are all facing up, but we encourage you to start slowly. Although clearing pairs seems simple, you won’t get very far unless you strategize. Which Pyramid Solitaire strategy will tip the odds in your favor? Here are a few of our favorites.

Analyze the Pyramid

Choose the best move, not the first move. Find moves that create more opportunities. Prioritize pairs that unblock key cards. With practice, you’ll plan your moves that result in a domino effect, allowing you to clear multiple pairs in a row.

Memorize Pairs

When playing against the clock, memorize the card pairs that add up to 13 so you can identify the pairs quickly. Improve your time by using this cheat sheet of Pyramid Solitaire pairs:

  • King
  • Queen and Ace
  • Jack and 2
  • 10 and 3
  • 9 and 4
  • 8 and 5
  • 7 and 4
  • 6 and 7
  • 5 and 8
  • 4 and 7
  • 3 and 10
  • 2 and Jack
  • Ace and Queen
  • King

Prioritize the Top Layer

You can’t use a card until it is in play, so prioritize moves that will unlock the most number of cards trapped below. The more cards you remove, the more options you open up.

Balance the Pyramid

Attack both sides to keep the pyramid balanced. Eliminating more cards on one side of the pyramid may prevent you from accessing vital cards later.

Spare the Stock

Exhaust all possible moves on the pyramid before going to the stock pile—because you can only cycle through it three times. Limited access to the stock is one of the challenges of Pyramid Solitaire. It’s best to focus on clearing the layout instead of relying on the stock to create pairs.

These five strategies help you understand the underlying structure of the game. With practice, you’ll be playing like a pro in no time.

Pyramid Solitaire Tips

Further your odds by using tried and true tricks of the trade. Here are some quick Pyramid Solitaire tips to help you win your next game:

Unseat Kings

Kings aren’t paired with other cards because they’re already worth 13 on their own. Once they become available, remove the kings to erode the pyramid quickly.

Use the Undo Button

Sometimes, we learn best from our mistakes, a frustrating reality for novices in particular. When you’re still learning, it’s nice to have the option to undo a move made in haste. That’s why our online games come with an ‘undo’ button. Re-adjust your strategy and find the winning moves to clear the pyramid.

Take a Hint

With all the cards facing up, the brain can get overwhelmed by assessing their value, recognizing patterns, and finding pairs quickly. If you think you’ve hit a dead end, don’t call it quits just yet. Try using the hint button to keep the game going.

Restart the Game

This is your party, and you can restart if you want to. It’s just a game, and there’s no shame in starting over.

Play Pyramid Solitaire with Arkadium

Start racking in the wins by using our Pyramid Solitaire strategies and tips. Play today on Arkadium—no download needed. All of our games are browser-based and can be played anytime, anywhere.

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Category: Card Games