Tri Peaks Solitaire (Rules and Instructions)

Are you a fan of single-player card games? This Tri Peaks Solitaire rules guide will teach you how to play a challenging Patience variation you’ll surely enjoy. 

If you’re familiar with the classic rules of Solitaire or, even better, you’ve already mastered its variations like Pyramid (see Pyramid Solitaire rules guide), you might need a new challenge.

Tri Peaks Solitaire (known as TriPeaks, Tri-Peaks, or Three Towers, too) is an ideal game for an advanced solitaire player since it allows you to improve your strategic skills. 

As the name suggests, the cards are organized into three “peaks”, and, as always with this type of game, your goal is to remove them all one by one. 

Key highlights of this Tri Peaks Solitaire rules guide:

  • What is Tri Peaks Solitaire
  • Tri Peaks Solitaire Rules
  • Tri Peaks Solitaire Scoring 
  • Tri Peaks Solitaire Rules in Pictures 
  • How to play Tri Peaks Solitaire (Video tutorial)

Read on for detailed instructions on how to play Tri Peaks Solitaire card game.

What is Tri Peaks Solitaire?

Tri Peaks Solitaire Card Game Info image

In Tri Peaks Solitaire, a player builds a shape of three overlapping pyramids out of a deck of playing cards. The challenge is to remove them one by one, following a few simple rules.

Number of Players: 1 

Ages: 8+

Difficulty: Moderate

Length of Play: 5 – 25 minutes 

Type of Game: Solitaire-type card game

Similar to: Pyramid SolitaireSolitaireSpider Solitaire,

Main Objective: Match and remove all the cards from the playing area by building a giant sequence. 

Our Take: Tri Peaks Solitaire is a visually attractive, fast-paced, simple, but also challenging solitaire game for anyone who likes to play cards alone.

What You’ll Need to Play Tri Peaks Solitaire

You don’t need much to play Tri Peaks Solitaire. Just make sure you have the following:

  • Decks: 1
  • Number of Cards: 52
  • Cards Omitted: Jokers

Related: Best Playing Cards

Tri Peaks Solitaire Rules

Before you can start playing the actual game, you have to know how to prepare the shape of three pyramids, which is characteristic of this game.

  • First, remove Jokers from the deck and shuffle the cards thoroughly.
  • Now, take three down-facing cards from the deck and place them in one horizontal line in front of you, keeping some space between them (these will be the peaks).
  • Add two overlapping cards under each peak, forming three small triangles. 
  • Now, create one continuous row of nine playing cards underneath the peaks to connect them into one large base (again, the cards must slightly overlap).
  • Finally, create one more row of ten face-up cards to finish the shape. 

Rest the remaining deck of cards under the layout. Draw the topmost card, turn it over, and place it next to the deck as the beginning of your discard pile.

Now you’re ready to play! 

Starting the Game

In most Solitaire variations, you aim to remove all the cards on the table by building several sequences of them, assorted either by suits or colors. 

In Tri Peaks Solitaire, you have to collect them all into one common discard pile. However, as you’ll see, this does not make the game simpler. 

How to Play Tri Peaks Solitaire

To move the cards from the formation into your discard pile, they must be either one rank higher OR one rank lower than the card that’s currently sitting on the top of the pile. 

The suits and colors are not important. You can also change the direction of the sequence whenever you wish.

Example: If the top card on the discard pile is currently 7 Diamonds, you can play any 6 or any 8 on the top regardless of suit or color. 

Since you’re building one (almost) endless loop, the Aces serve as both the highest and the lowest cards. 

Example: You can place Ace on the top of King or 2 and, again, cover it with either of these two card ranks. 

So, how do you proceed to achieve your objective?

  • Start by discarding any cards possible from the lowest (face-up) row of the layout onto the discard pile. 
  • Once a face-down card is no longer covered by any protruding card from the lower rows, it can also be flipped face-up and moved to the discard pile (if matching).
  • Usually, you can make at least 4 to 5 turns just by following the naturally revealing matches. 
  • However, when you run out of moves, it’s time to restart the flow by flipping the top card from the deck and placing it onto the discard pile. 
  • Again, this should allow you to continue building your sequence for a while. You can repeat it as many times as the deck allows you. 

To win the game, you must remove all the cards from the layout before running out of the deck. If you get stuck with no more moves, the game is lost.

Tri Peaks Solitaire Scoring

The standard Tri peaks Solitaire rules don’t involve any scoring. However, people who play the game often sometimes like to add their own rules to make it more competitive.

Here is some inspiration:

  • Play against the clock. Record your best times whenever you manage to win.
  • Imagine that each card is worth one point. Deduct 1 point for each card left in the layout and record your best scores.
  • Invite a friend for a Tri Peak Solitaire Challenge. Each of you plays individually with their own deck, but you can compare your results or time.

Tri Peaks Solitaire Rules in Pictures

Step 1

Shuffle the deck and create a layout with three peaks and a joint base. Only the bottom row is turned face up. The layout consists of 28 cards.

Tri Peaks Solitaire rules 1 image

Step 2

Place the remaining deck under the layout. Flip the top card and place it next to the deck as your discard pile.

Tri Peaks Solitaire rules 2 image

Step 3

You can remove any unobstructed face-up card from the layout as long as it’s one rank higher or lower than the top card on the discard pile (in this case, we move 5 to 6). 

Tri Peaks Solitaire rules 3 image

Step 4

Your goal is to build an endless sequence of all the cards in the layout where colors, suits, or directions do not matter. Ace serves as both the lowest and the highest card.

Tri Peaks Solitaire rules 4 image

Step 5

Flip one card from the deck to restart the discard pile when you run out of moves. But if you run out of the deck before discarding all the cards from the layout, you lose the game.

Tri Peaks Solitaire rules 5 image

How to Play Tri Peaks Solitaire – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you score the most in Tri Peaks Solitaire?

There are various strategies to win Tri Peaks Solitaire. Usually, players try to uncover as many rows as possible first and build long sequences without changing the directions since that often leads to getting stuck earlier.

Can you always win Tri Peaks Solitaire?

No, you cannot always win Tri Peaks Solitaire – or any other variation of Solitaire. Statistically, only about 80% of all these games are winnable. 

How can you make Tri Peaks Solitaire more difficult?

To make Tri Peaks Solitaire harder, add one more row of cards to the game or build a sequence only from cards of altering colors.

Other Similar Games to Tri Peaks Solitaire (Our Guides)

Once you’ve learned how to play Tri Peaks Solitaire, you can read our guides to a few similar games:

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