DogMelon

Classic Solitaire: Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire is a fun elimination game with a distinctive initial tableau. Although there is a strong element of luck, a good memory can make the difference between winning and losing. Pyramid Solitaire has a low success rate.

Aim:

The aim of Pyramid Solitaire is to eliminate all cards from both the pyramid and the talon.

How to Play:

Pyramid Solitaire is an elimination game.


The opening tableau has:

  • a pyramid-shaped set of cards, and
  • the talon.


During play, cards are dealt from the talon. At any time, a maximum of two cards from the talon are visible.


Eliminate cards by selecting pairs of cards (or a King by itself) which add up to 13. Cards may be selected from the talon reserve piles, or from the pyramid itself, as long as the cards are completely exposed.


The possible selections are:

  • Ace and Queen
  • 2 and Jack
  • 3 and 10
  • 4 and 9
  • 5 and 8
  • 6 and 7
  • King (This is the only card in pyramid solitaire that is not removed with another card)


Click the talon when additional cards are needed. You can cycle through the talon 3 times.


Pyramid Solitaire is won when the entire deck is eliminated.

Pyramid Solitaire Strategy:

Always eliminate Kings immediately.


When you eliminate a card, it may or may not expose a new card, depending on the current layout. When you have a choice between eliminating two cards, eliminate the one which will expose a fresh card.


Another thing to watch for in pyramid solitaire is maximizing the number of choices available later in the game. If possible, try to eliminate evenly across the pyramid. Try not to leave a deep run, because it can be difficult to eliminate. In the following example, there are no other cards in the pyramid, so your choices are limited to the cards as they are dealt from the talon:


Pyramid Solitaire 1
It's important in pyramid solitaire to eliminate cards evenly


You can cycle through the talon three times. If possible, try to remember the order cards come out from the talon on the first cycle. Sometimes, the difference between winning and losing pyramid solitaire comes down to eliminating the right cards, at the right time.

Example:

Suppose that the initial deal looks like this:


Pyramid Solitaire 2
Pyramid Solitaire deal 1


You can immediately eliminate the King of Diamonds. The 3 of Hearts can be eliminated with either the 10 of Spades of the 10 of Diamonds. At this stage, there is not enough information to choose between them - it depends on which cards are due to come out of the talon.


Soon after, we arrive at the following interesting scenario:


Pyramid Solitaire 3
The next move would be the 9 and the 4...


We can eliminate the 9 of Clubs with the 4 of Diamonds. Then we have a choice:

  • eliminate 3 of Hearts and 10 of Spades, exposing Queen of Hearts, which can immediately be used to eliminate the Ace of Spades, or


  • eliminate 3 of Hearts and 10 of Diamonds, exposing 7 of Spades, which can immediately be used to eliminate the six of Hearts.


It's not immediately obvious which choice is better, and this is where clever anticipation comes into play. It's these choices which make pyramid solitaire so fun!