How to play: Pyramid 13
Pyramid 13, or simply Pyramid solitaire, is one of those games that is deceptively addictive, despite the fact that the game does not actually work out a very large percentage of times. A mixture of luck and some strategy is usually required to win the game.
The initial layout consists of a "pyramid" of face-up cards as shown in the screenshot, with 1 card at the top, 2 cards in the second row, 3 in the third etc down to a bottom row of 7 cards. Except for the bottom row, each card is therefore partially covered by two cards in the row below it, although all cards are visible. The remaining cards form the stock.
Pyramid 13 layout in Solitaire Whizz for iPad
The aim of the game is to discard all cards from both the pyramid and the stock, by "pairing them off" as described below.
Any card in the pyramid that is not covered by any other card is available for play. The top card of the stock pile is also available for play. Double-tapping the top pile of the stock moves it on to the waste pile, and the top card of the waste pile is also available for play.
You can discard any pair whose ranks total 13: pair any 6 with a 7, an 8 with a 5, a 9 with a 4, a 10 with a 3, a J with a 2 and a Q with an A. Kings can be discard on their own.
Any two available cards can be paired off together. Therefore, you can pair off two available cards from the pyramid, a card from the pyramid with the top card of either the stock or the waste pile, or the top cards from the stock and waste.
A total of two redeals are available, in which the stock pile is gathered up and dealt back on to the stock pile. (N.B. Solitaire Whizz version 1.0 allows just one redeal; in Version 1.1, this has been increased to two.)
Despite the simplicity of its gameplay, Pyramid 13 will not come out as frequently as games such as
Klondike and indeed other pair discarding games such as Monte Carlo. To
win the game, you will often need to employ at least some basic strategy.
- try to strike a balance when deciding whether to discard cards from the stock or from the
pyramid: remember that you need to discard all of the cards to win the game, not just the
- but look ahead in the pyramid for cases where a pair will be impossible to pair off in the pyramid,
and make sure that you use the corresponding card from the stock instead (for example, if you have
a J covered by a 2 in the pyramid, then that J is "trapped" and you will need to use another J
from the stock);
- try to avoid discarding cards from the pyramid so that you end up with only a single card number
available– instead, try to maximise your available moves by having cards with a variety
of ranks available.