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This version of Solitaire is deceptively simple yet can be rarely solved on the first try. Don’t let that discourage you: With a talent for combination and foresight, this Solitaire game can be solved more often than it first appears.
Pyramid Solitaire – remove the cards from the board!
You are playing with a French deck of 52 cards. Unlike with a Classic Solitaire game, you aren’t building anything here – on the contrary, it’s about clearing away.
Pyramid Solitaire begins with 28 cards, laid out face-up in the form of a pyramid: One card forms the top, followed by a row of two cards, then three and so on; the bottom row consists of seven cards. At the top left is the hidden Talon. A discard pile of unused cards grows next to it as the game progresses. Your task is to dismantle the pyramid by removing matching pairs of cards.
This game is all about the cards’ point values. The values are as follows:
Ace = 1 point
Two to ten = the respective face value
Jack = 11 points
Queen = 12 points
King = 13 points
To dismantle the pyramid card by card, remove two exposed cards from the board if their point values add up to 13. For example, you could remove eight and five, jack and two, queen and ace. With a value of 13 points, the king is the only card that can be removed by itself.
If you can’t make a total of 13 with two cards, you can get help from the Talon. To do this, click on the stack. The revealed card can be used to form a pair with a free card on the pyramid. For example, a seven from the pyramid can be removed from the stack with a six. But be careful, you can only go through the stack three times, at a normal difficulty level.
This Solitaire game is won as soon as the pyramid is completely dismantled. It doesn’t matter if there are still cards in the Talon. If there are no more pairs to be found, or if the stack has been played through three times and there are still cards left in the pyramid, then you have lost.
Playing Pyramid Solitaire
To begin this Solitaire game, first choose a difficulty level. Alternatively, you can activate the TIME LIMIT option, choose the level, set the challenge time and click on START GAME.
At the start of the game, the pyramid is formed out of seven rows of exposed cards, where initially only the bottom row is playable. The Talon is hidden at the top left. Each playable card that you click on “looks” for an exposed card with which it adds up to 13 points, and both of them disappear from the board. Caution: This doesn’t always result in the pair that you had in mind, so pay attention to which card you activate.
The Pyramid Solitaire Menu Bar
– The options EASY, NORMAL or HARD give you a new pyramid on the selected level.
– With RESTART you will receive the same card formation again.
– UNDO undoes moves, REDO restores them.
– HINT shows you a possible move.
– During a PAUSE, the screen darkens.
– The TIME DISPLAY informs you of the game duration. If the time limit is activated, it counts down to zero.
– The three counters on the far right show the number of moves made, how many cards are still face-down in the Talon and how often you have played it through.
Strategic Tips for Pyramid Solitaire
Anyone who delves into this Solitaire game quickly discovers that it takes more than the simple ability to add two numbers to 13. The following tips are a great start to enjoying the many-layered gameplay of Pyramid Solitaire.
Tip 1: Check the Tableau
Sometimes you can see whether you can dismantle a pyramid before your first move. For example, if a queen in the top is buried under all four aces, don’t even bother starting.
Tip 2: Match the Talon and Pyramid
The Talon is played through, unmixed, the second and third time – the cards are always drawn in the same order. Knowing which cards are drawn and when can be helpful in assessing the chances of a solution.
Tip 3: The Pyramid goes before the Talon
If there are three cards of the same value in the pyramid, for example three nines, then leave the fourth in the pile untouched, if possible. Instead, use the exposed fours to further dismantle the pyramid. In this Solitaire game, the number of cards in the Talon is irrelevant for the result.