You win! You're awesome.
Another name for Pyramid is “Trieze” which means thirteen in French. This is appropriate because of the way the game is played: by adding cards up to the number thirteen. This game is a bit challenging because of that, but ultimately still quite engaging and fun.
Pyramid is commonly joked about as the “Egyptian” game. This is because the tableau layout is in the image of a large pyramid. Pyramid is yet another variation of the game Classic Solitaire. There are different versions of Pyramid that take on other Egyptian themed names.
Solitaire is a game that has lasted through the years, even reappearing in new forms, such as Spider and Freecell, on the computer and online as a playable game. It was originally a fun game to play alone, and it came pre-installed on Windows computers.
Thanks to that, solitaire is a game that has survived throughout time. People love playing it online as it’s quicker, easier, and you don’t have to set up. Just click to the website and get ready to play, no trouble necessary. Of course, nothing beats a good old fashioned game with just yourself and your deck of cards.
It’s amazing how card games have evolved into this era of the internet. There are many different sites available for any game you can think of. People don’t need partners to play anymore, than can just go online and play.
The layout of the tableau for this version of solitaire is quite different from what we are used to, though you still use a nice basic deck of fifty two cards. Gone are the straight easy lines that are easy to figure out on your own. Instead, you start out with twenty eight cards face up and lay one down.
Then you take two cards and partially cover the first card in a line below. Then you take three cards and partially cover the last two cards. Then you take four cards and partially cover the last three cards. So on and so forth until you have seven layers of cards face up in the triangular shape of a pyramid.
You can take the remainder of the playing cards, which should be about twenty four cards, and lay them to the side face down. This will be the stock for this particular game.
The foundation can be laid to the side at the top of the pyramid. You only need two spots for that.
A fun part of this game is that suits don’t matter; it’s all about the numbers. You cannot build on the pyramid so instead you remove cards to the foundation.
You remove cards by adding two of them up to the number thirteen. Since they aren’t numbers, the Ace, Jack, Queen and King are 1, 11, 12, and 13. When you get to a King you can place it in the foundation alone because it adds up to thirteen.
Only the cards that are no longer hidden underneath another card are available to be played. The empty spaces left by cards you’ve placed in the foundation are not available to be moved into. You can only remove cards from the tableau.
Once you have all the cards off the table you’ve won.
Now that everything is set up it’s time to play. Pyramid isn’t about building, nor is it about number sequences. It’s about adding up the cards and getting them to the foundation.
Check out your first row of available cards. There should be seven facing up, and one card in reserve. Glance over them. See any King playing cards? Take those Kings and drop them off with a flourish into your foundation. They add up to thirteen, the number you need, so they’re an easy bank.
Pyramid is different, and because of that it can be a little bit more complicated. Don’t get overwhelmed though, there are plenty of chances to tip the odds in your favor. The goal is to match up two cards to the number thirteen, then move those to the foundation.
As with all solitaire games, you win by getting all playing cards into the foundation. There may only be one foundation spot, but that doesn’t mean it’s harder to reach your goal because you’re not forced to build in any certain order. Just match up your cards.
Since there is just the one number you have to add up to, thirteen, there are only seven different ways to pair your cards. This can make it even more simple because you can just glance and see what’s available for your pairs on your tableau.
The pairs to remember are King, 6 and 7, 5 and 8, 4 and 9, 3 and 10, 2 and Jack, Ace and Queen.
You can deal one card from the stock at a time. The top card of the stock is face up and available as well. You can pass over three cards in the stock at a time if need be. Be careful to look over all of your options so that you don’t miss out on a good chance and get stuck.
If you run out of stock cards then the game is over and you’ve lost. So be sure to pass sparingly.
Pyramid can be a tough game to play because you have to consider every move painstakingly. That does not make it unwinnable though. Of course not, it just means you need to give it your full and undivided attention.
It’s important after you’ve set up your tableau to glace at it and take in what you see. You can know if a game is basically unwinnable if all the cards you need to match are too far from one another. Do the math real quick, and if it doesn’t match up right reset the tableau. There’s no shame in being honest with yourself.
Any time you see a King and you can nab it, then do it. They go straight into the foundation and it can help speed up the game if you drop them into the foundation. It’s also a good idea to always play from your stock or waste, even if the same card is in the pyramid. That’s because if you use up your only chance to add up that card then you’re stuck with having to pass on it in the stock. If you pass on it you’ve pretty much lost already.
If you have three of the same card in place in your pyramid like a 2, then don’t play the fourth one out of the stock. Do your best to match those cards in your pyramid first so that you have it saved for a harder to reach one later.
If you take out cards on either side of the pyramid evenly, then you’re giving yourself your best chance at having the cards you need available to play. It’s the smart way to play so you don’t get stuck with a line of unmovable cards.
Make sure you consider all matching cards slowly. You don’t want to miss out just because you were excited that you matched a pair. Stay focused on the end goal. If you miss out you can cut yourself off quite completely.
Often there are terms which are well known to the average card player. It is important to know the right terminology so that you can play the game properly and be informed enough to know what you’re talking about.
Available Cards: Cards that have no restrictions and can be played.
Base Card: The first card that can be placed down to start playing; like the Aces in the foundation.
Marriage: Placing a card in the same suit on the next number, lower or higher.
Released Cards: When you use a topmost card and the one beneath becomes accessible.
Suitable Cards: Cards that fit into the game and can be played from the position that you’re in.
Some basic solitaire terms:
Fanned: The cards are spread out in a fan like shape, overlapping over one another. The card suits and numbers can still be seen.
Foundation: The topmost row in front of you. It’s where you start squaring up your cards from Ace onwards.
Reserve (Boquet): The cards pulled from the stock available to play.
Squared: The cards are stacked in a way that the edges are aligned with one another.
Stock: The pile of cards from which you draw your next card.
Tableau (Garden): The row of cards in front of you from which you start your game. Some are face up, some are face down, and you sort them.
Waste: The pile of cards where the stock goes after you’ve drawn your cards into play.
Instructions for building are pretty straight-forward. Here are a few examples:
By Suit: Cards have to be placed on their same suit.
By Suit Sequence: Cards have to be placed on their same suit in order of numbers.
By Color: Cards have to be placed on like colors.
By Alternating Colors: Cards have to be placed back and forth on alternating colors.
Other Variations Of Pyramid
Apophis- Just the same as regular Pyramid but with three waste piles available. Then you have more cards in play at a time and more opportunities to add up to thirteen.
Dark Pyramid- This is Pyramid, but with the cards all placed face down instead. It can be more challenging because you can’t predict moves ahead of time.
Double Pyramid- A game of Pyramid using two decks of cards instead of the usual one deck. More time to play, more fun.
Giza- A game of Pyramid with a tableau of all the cards instead of having a stock. Then you just move them from the get go.
King Tut- Pyramid with three cards dealt simultaneously and unlimited passes.
Par Pyramid- Pyramid allowing three passes through the stock instead of the usual one pass.
Pharaohs- Pyramid but instead of the usual one pyramid, you get to make up three pyramids.
Triangle- Pyramid but inverted. This means that the pyramid is started with the point down at the bottom, facing you. Definitely considered to be more difficult.
Can you only remove cards that add up to thirteen?
Yes, the only way to take cards out of play is to match up the ones that add to thirteen. Of course, in the case of the Kings, they go straight into the foundation because they are, in a sense, a thirteen. Kings will be Kings.
What if there are three cards that add up to thirteen, but not two?
Then you’re out of luck. They have to be pairs to make it into the foundation, sadly. Of course, if you wanted to play it that way no one would know. But if you want to hold on to the traditions of the game then you must do it in pairs. Most players stick to the original to keep the spirit of the game.
I feel like this game is unwinnable.
There is a chance it could be. There’s no shame in taking all the cards out, shuffling, and resetting. You’re meant to have fun, not rip your hair out. So get to it.
Make sure you do spend time considering all available options though. Nothing is better than that rush of euphoria when you spot a chance you didn’t see before. Even if you can only make a few moves, that’s a few you didn’t see until you tried.
How is this still Solitaire?
It’s based off of solitaire in that it is a game you play alone, with one single deck of cards. There are many grandchildren of the original solitaire and they sometimes look completely unrelated. You also still have your stock, your waste, your tableau, and your foundation. It just feels so different because you don’t have to build and it looks like a pyramid.