Fun Card Games

Pyramid Solitaire: Ready Your Reflexes

This simple solitaire from Italy can be played against the clock or with multiple players vying for the fastest win.

The Deck

Pyramid Solitaire is played with a 40-card deck (A-7,J-K). You can remove the 8s,9s and 10s from a traditional 52-card deck, or use an Italian deck, which typically contains 40 cards with the same distribution.

The Setup

To begin a round of pyramid solitaire, create a pyramid of five rows of face-down cards, each new row overlapping the previous row by about half a card. Then add the final row of six cards face-up (see above picture). Each row has one more card than the previous, resulting in a pyramid.

Place the remaining cards to the side of the pyramid. These are the drawpile, which you can cycle through in one direction as many times as necessary.


Match pairs with a sum of ten.

The object of pyramid solitaire is to disassemble the entire pyramid card by card, flipping over cards only when both the cards beneath it have been removed and it is completely uncovered.

To remove a card, match it with another card that yields a sum of ten. Kings can be removed without pairing, given they are worth ten.

To make the game easier (though perhaps less aesthetic), leave the 8s, 9s and 10s in the deck and remove all three face cards.

Card Values

Card Value
King 10
Queen 9
Jack 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
A 1


Use you smartphone’s stopwatch function to measure how long you need from start to finish. But watch out– you won’t always win! Forgetting to flip cards and missing matches not only makes you slower but also increases the chance you won’t be able to reach the tip of the pyramid.

A very good time is about 55 seconds, while a good average is somewhere around 90 seconds.