Pyramid is possibly the solitaire game with the most interesting layout. Like Golf, interest in Pyramid was revived by Microsoft, who included a program called Tut’s Tomb in their Microsoft Entertainment Pack 2 add-on for Microsoft Windows 3.1. Also like Golf, Pyramid is mostly luck-based, and difficult to win.
Object of Pyramid
The object of Pyramid is to entirely dismantle the tableau, which forms the titular “pyramid”, by matching pairs of cards whose values total thirteen.
Grab a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, shuffle, and deal 28 cards in the shape of a pyramid, as shown at the image to the right. One card goes on the top row, partially overlapped by two cards on the second row, followed by three in the third, and so on down to the seventh row. This pyramid forms the tableau. The deck stub becomes the stock. Set aside room for two discard areas, one for waste from the stock, and one for out-of-play discards from the tableau.
All game play revolves around the numerical value of each card, which is devised in the most natural way—aces are one, all number cards are their face value, jacks are eleven, queens are twelve, and kings are thirteen. Any accessible pair of cards may be paired with another card and discarded, so long as they add up to thirteen. Kings have a value of thirteen and thus can be discarded whenever they are available. Examples: a queen and an ace, a jack and a 2, an 8 and a 5, etc.
Cards are considered available if they are not overlapped by any other card. In the starting configuration, only the seven cards in the seventh row of the pyramid are considered accessible. As cards are removed, upper rows of the pyramid are gradually uncovered and become available for play. For example, in the image at right, when the two kings are discarded from the bottom row, this leaves the J♥ without any cards blocking it, and thus it is available for play.
Variation: In Microsoft’s Tut’s Tomb implementation of Pyramid, a quirk in the programming causes a card that is part of a matched pair to be disregarded for the purposes of determining availability for the second card. Therefore, if the Q♦ had been previously cleared, the 9♥ and 4♦ would be able to be matched, because the 4♦ is disregarded by nature of its being part of the pair. This is an extreme edge case that doesn’t really matter in the majority of games, but we recommend allowing yourself to match in this way if you wish, because, let’s face it, anything that makes a win in Pyramid more likely is probably a good thing.
When the player cannot make any more moves from the tableau alone, they may draw cards from the stock, one at a time, and match those cards with any accessible cards on the pyramid, if able. When the stock is depleted, the player may flip the unused cards from the stock face-down and run through them again.
Game play continues until all of the cards in the tableau have been paired off (which constitutes a win) or no further moves are possible (which is a loss).
Golf is a simple solitaire game played by playing cards in sequence to the discard pile. It is so called because the number of cards left in play are considered the player’s score, and as in the other, non-card game of golf, the lower the score, the better. As with several other card games, the game gained prominence in the 1990s due to a software adaptation by Microsoft; Golf appeared in the first Windows Entertainment Pack for Windows 3.1.
Golf is a game of mostly luck and is very difficult to win.
Object of Golf
The object of Golf is to move all cards in the deck to into the discard pile, earning a score of zero. Barring that, obtain the lowest score.
To play Golf, you need one 52-card deck of playing cards. If you use anything other than Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards we will be really, really sad, and you don’t want that, do you?
Shuffle and deal seven piles of five cards each, face up, with enough of each card showing so as to be identifiable. These 35 cards form the tableau. The remaining 17 cards are placed in a pile, face down, forming the stock. Turn the top card of the stock face up, forming the discard pile.
Move cards from the tableau to the discard pile, as allowed, one at a time. Only the topmost card of each tableau pile (i.e. the one without any other cards on top of it) can be accessed.
A card from the tableau may only be discarded if it is consecutive in rank with the top card of the discard pile. Aces are considered low, and can only be played on twos (and thereafter only twos may be played on Aces; there is no “wraparound” from ace to king). No card may be played on a king. Suits are irrelevant to the proceedings.
When no further plays are possible, draw a card from the stock and place it on the discard pile. Further plays may now be made with the new card on the discard pile.
Game play continues until the stock is depleted and no plays are possible. The remaining number of cards in the tableau is considered the player’s score. If the tableau was cleared, earning the player a score of zero, the game is won.
Canfield is a popular solitaire game similar to Klondike, which is the familiar solitaire game most people know from Microsoft Windows. Canfield takes up much less space than Klondike, which is a good thing because software adaptations of Canfield are less common than those of Klondike.
Object of Canfield
The object of Canfield is to move all of the cards up to the foundations.
You will need one standard 52-card deck. Are you using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards? If no, why not?
Shuffle and deal as follows:
- Deal 13 cards face down. Square up the pile, and turn it face up, so you can only see the top card. This forms the reserve.
- Deal one card above and to the right of the reserve. This forms the first of the four foundations.
- Deal four cards in a line to the right of the reserve. This forms the tableau.
- The remainder of the deck is the stock.
Refer to the image at the top of this post for an example layout (click to enlarge).
In Canfield, the king, ace, and 2 are considered consecutive, i.e., the ace is below the 2 and above the king, and both ascending and descending sequences can wrap around from low to high.
The foundation piles are built up by suit, in ascending rank order. The card dealt to the first foundation sets the card that each foundation pile begins with. In this case, since a 3 was dealt, each foundation pile will begin with 3, and will be completed when the 2 of that suit is played upon it.
The tableau is built down by alternating colors (red cards are played on black cards and vice versa), in descending rank order. When a card is moved, all cards on top of it are moved as well. In other words, the tableau in Canfield works pretty much exactly like that of Klondike.
The top card of the reserve is available to be moved to any legal location at any time. Cards beneath the top card are not accessible and should not be known to the player. When an empty spot appears on the tableau, the top card of the reserve is moved to fill the vacancy. If the reserve is depleted, empty spots in the tableau can be filled by any card.
Cards may be drawn from the stock and placed in a discard pile, from which they may be moved to any location. For a more challenging game, draw three cards at once (with only the third card available for play, freeing up the second card when the third is played, etc.) After the stock is depleted, the discard pile is flipped over to replenish it.
Game play continues until no legal moves are possible or all four foundation piles have been completed.