OBJECTIVE OF PYRAMID SOLITAIRE: To discard all 52 cards and demolish the pyramid in turn.


MATERIALS: A standard deck of 52 cards and a large flat surface

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire


Pyramid Solitaire is a game played by one person where the goal is to discard all 52 cards into a discard pile and demolish the pyramid in doing so. The game technically is won once the pyramid is gone so not all of the 52 cards will necessarily need to make it to the discard pile for you to win.

To discard cards, it must be done in pairs, and each pair must equal 13. We will discuss card values later, but to get the main point of the game, you must discard cards totaling 13 in value and do this to uncover more cards in the pyramid to discard.


The cards all hold different values most of them are easy to remember because they coincide with the numerical value on their card. Like all 2s hold a value of two, all 3s hold a value of three, and so on and so forth. There are a few discrepancies though and I will explain these to you now. Aces have a value of one, jacks have a value of eleven, queens have a value of twelve and kings have a value of thirteen.

The king having a value of Thirteen means it’s the only card that doesn’t need a pair to be discarded.

Card Values


To setup pyramid solitaire you will thoroughly shuffle your 52-card deck and start the pyramid by placing the first card face up, now to start the second row you place two more face-up cards slightly overlapping the top card. This pattern is repeated until you reach your bottom row which will have 7 cards in it.

The Setup

Once the pyramid has been constructed you will continue with the rest of the board. In some games, you will do a second row of seven below (not overlapping) the bottom row of the pyramid. This is called the reserve and these cards are always available to be played. But for now, we will continue as if we are not playing with a reserve row. Once the tableau is dealt the remaining cards are placed to the side face-up to form the stockpile and you will use cards from this deck throughout the game.

It is smart to move your top card from the stockpile to the discard pile. Cards in the discard pile are also placed faced up and essentially the reverse of your stockpile. You can play from both piles throughout the game.


The game is played by pairing cards to a total value of 13 points and discarding these pairs. Only cards that are available can be used in pairs. At the start of the game available cards include the bottom row of the pyramid, the top card from the stockpile, and the top card of the discard pile.

To make more cards available in the pyramid both cards that overlap it must be removed, once a card has no others overlapping it can be used to pair.


The game is over once there are no more pairs to be made legally or the pyramid is completely destroyed. In the case that the pyramid is destroyed you have won the game. If the game ends without the pyramid’s destruction, the game is lost.

If you want to win this game, try employing some basic Solitaire strategy!

Looking for other games to play by yourself? Check out our list of the best single player card games!

Nakoa Davis