Classic Pyramid Solitaire

Classic Pyramid Solitaire is a captivating and enjoyable card game that has delighted players for generations. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of Classic Pyramid Solitaire, from the fundamentals of gameplay to the game’s rules and winning strategies. By the end of this article, you will be well-equipped with the knowledge required to excel in this timeless classic.

Discover How to Set Up and Play Classic Pyramid Solitaire

Setting up a classic solitaire pyramid requires a strategic arrangement of cards to create the iconic pyramid layout.

  1. Start by dealing one card face up at the top of the playing area.
  2. Beneath it, place two cards, partially covering the first, and continue this pattern until you have a row of seven cards, totaling 28 cards (or 21 cards in a six-row variation).
  3. The remaining cards are set aside face down as the Stock.

To play this captivating game, uncover pairs of cards whose combined value equals 13 and move them to the foundation. Since Kings hold a value of 13, they can be immediately transferred to the foundation. Keep in mind that cards must be fully exposed to be removed; for example, a Queen covered by an Ace cannot be taken away. Once cards are discarded, they are permanently removed from play and cannot be matched again.

Draw cards from the Stock one at a time, aiming to match them with any exposed card. If you can’t find a suitable match, place the drawn card into a waste pile. The top card of the waste pile can be matched with the next card drawn from the Stock or any uncovered card in the pyramid. The game ends when the Stock is depleted and/or no more pairs can be made. In a variation known as Par Pyramid, classic solitaire players are allowed to turn over the waste pile twice and deal it as a new Stock.

To determine your score, count the number of remaining face-up cards in the pyramid. A perfect score is zero, indicating all cards have been successfully matched and moved to the Foundation.

Victory in Classic Pyramid Solitaire is achieved when all cards, both from the pyramid and the Stock, have been transferred to the foundation. With these instructions, you’re ready to dive into the exciting world of Classic Pyramid Solitaire and put your strategic skills to the test.

Winning Tips for Classic Pyramid Solitaire

When playing Classic Pyramid Solitaire, you will always want to win. Thinking about the game, please see below some tips and tricks to get that ultimate win. We would love to say every time, however that is not always the case.

Analyze the pyramid and assess your winning chances

Classic Pyramid Solitaire utilizes a single standard 52-card deck, which means you have only four cards of each value available. 

For instance, if you have three 4s in the pyramid positioned above a 9, it implies that only one 4 remains in the stockpile. If you use this 4 to remove another 9 in the pyramid, you make the game significantly more challenging to win. It can even become unwinnable if the 9 is beneath the 4s in the pyramid.

Similarly, if there’s a 10 at the pyramid’s top and all the 3-value cards are also displayed on the tableau, it’s clear that the game is unwinnable. You can only remove the 10 by pairing it with a 3, but you need to eliminate all the 3s first to reach the 10 – an impossible task.

By examining the pyramid at the game’s beginning, you can identify potential difficulties and plan your strategy accordingly. The online Classic Pyramid Solitaire is designed to prevent unwinnable card arrangements, ensuring an enjoyable gaming experience.

Send Kings to the foundation immediately

Since Kings are worth 13 points, they can be sent to the foundation on their own – consider them a “gift.” 

There’s no reason to keep them around, especially if they’re in the pyramid, obstructing other cards.

Maintain a balanced pyramid

Aim to remove cards evenly from both sides of the pyramid, keeping its base as broad as possible throughout the game. 

The worst scenario is ending up with a row of overlapped cards. In this case, you can only remove them by finding specific cards to match each one, one at a time. While this is achievable if the required cards are available in the stockpile, it can be tedious.

Discover Exciting Variants of Pyramid Solitaire

Playing the same version of Classic Pyramid Solitaire can get quite tedious, so why not try some of these variants that we have highlighted? The immense popularity of Classic Pyramid Solitaire has led to the creation of numerous exciting variants, each with its unique twist on the classic game. Here are some notable versions to explore:

Relaxed Pyramid

In this more forgiving version, only the pyramid cards need to be moved to the foundation for a win, making it possible to emerge victorious even with cards remaining in the stock or waste.

Tut’s Tomb (also known as King Tut)

This variant involves dealing three cards at a time from the stock and repeating the process until no matches can be made. All card pairs totaling 13 are placed in a stack, with the King of Spades representing King Tutankhamen atop a pyramid.


This interesting adaptation features three waste piles instead of the traditional single pile.


In this version, conceived by Michael Keller, the remaining deck is dealt into three rows of eight cards after forming the pyramid, with exposed cards available for matching with other exposed cards from the pyramid or tableau.


This variant starts with an inverted pyramid for an interesting change in the initial deal.


Some variations permit redeals, adding flexibility to the gameplay.


A reserve of seven (or six) cards is dealt beneath the pyramid, allowing these cards to be matched with each other or exposed cards in the pyramid or stack.

Cell play

This variation incorporates a cell, filled either from the tableau or the waste top card.

Combo removal

Some versions of Classic Pyramid Solitaire allow players to remove a pyramid card in combination with a card covered by the first, as long as no other card is covering them. Both cards must be fully exposed in other versions.

Discover the Fascinating History of Pyramid Solitaire: A Journey Through Time

Classic Pyramid Solitaire, a beloved card game enjoyed by millions, boasts a rich and intriguing history that dates back centuries. Its early roots can be traced to 1808 when it first appeared in a lesser-known book called “Neue Königliche L’Hombre.” The game has since evolved, with the modern version we know and love today emerging in the 20th century.

Albert Hodges, in his 1949 publication “The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games,” introduced the contemporary form of Classic Pyramid Solitaire. This seminal work helped to popularize the game, showcasing its unique blend of strategy and skill that has captivated players for generations.

However, the true explosion in popularity of Classic Pyramid Solitaire occurred with the advent of personal computers and the release of Windows 3.0. Microsoft’s decision to include a free version of solitaire played with a mouse marked a turning point for the game, bringing it into the digital age and making it more accessible than ever before.

This technological shift opened the door for countless players to explore and enjoy the many exciting variants of the game, including Classic Pyramid Solitaire. As a result, it became a staple on computers worldwide, helping to bridge the gap between traditional card games and the digital era.

Today, Classic Pyramid Solitaire continues to thrive, with players of all ages and backgrounds drawn to its engaging gameplay, strategic depth, and satisfying challenges. Its fascinating history serves as a testament to the game’s enduring appeal, as it continues to captivate new generations of card game enthusiasts.

As you delve into the world of Classic Pyramid Solitaire, remember to appreciate the rich history and evolution that has made it the beloved classic it is today. From its humble beginnings in the pages of “Neue Königliche L’Hombre” to its modern digital incarnations, Classic Pyramid Solitaire’s journey through time is a captivating tale of innovation, adaptation, and timeless entertainment.


Q: Can I play Classic Pyramid Solitaire online for free?

A: Yes, there are numerous websites and apps available that offer free Classic Pyramid Solitaire games. You can play the game here on our website or check out apps for Android and iOS devices.

Q: Are there any tips for improving my Classic Pyramid Solitaire skills?

A: Practice is essential for honing your skills in Classic Pyramid Solitaire. Additionally, focusing on developing strategies, planning your moves in advance, and learning from your mistakes will help you become a more proficient player.

Q: Is Classic Pyramid Solitaire purely a game of luck?

A: While the initial card layout in Classic Pyramid Solitaire involves an element of luck, the game also requires strategic thinking and planning. By carefully considering each move and employing effective strategies, you can increase your chances of winning.

Q: Can I play Classic Pyramid Solitaire with physical cards?

A: Yes, Classic Pyramid Solitaire can be played with a standard 52-card deck. Simply follow the instructions provided in the “How to Play Classic Pyramid Solitaire” section of this article to set up the game and start playing.

The Last Draw

Classic Pyramid Solitaire is a timeless card game that offers hours of entertainment and a chance to exercise your strategic thinking and planning skills. With its rich history and many exciting variants, there’s always something new to discover in the world of Classic Pyramid Solitaire. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner looking to try your hand at this beloved game, there’s no better time to lose yourself in Classic Pyramid Solitaire. So why not give it a try today? You never know, you might just become a Classic Pyramid Solitaire pro in no time!