Sum of 10 Pyramid Solitaire Card Game

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My daughter is obsessed with the card game solitaire, and so I was really excited to teach her how to play Pyramid Solitaire, centered around finding the sum of 10. 

She LOVED it.  In fact, I had to pull her away to eat her lunch and this kid loves her lunch. 

Are you game? 

First off, grab a deck of playing cards, removing the Jokers, Kings, Queens and Jacks. 

Shuffle your deck and place 21 of the cards face up in a 6-row pyramid.  You should have 19 cards leftover which becomes the DRAW pile.  There are two rules that must be followed when playing this Pyramid Solitaire Game: 

  1. Only fully exposed cards can be played at any time.  That means, to start, only the bottom 6 cards can be considered until you start removing bottom cards. 
  2. You can only remove cards that equal 10, and only up to two cards at a time.  For instance, you can remove a 10, or you can remove a 6 and a 4 (because added together they equal 10), but you can't remove a 2, 4, and a 4, even though, added up, they equal 10. 

Let's play a few rounds and see if we can get you familiar with this game:

Take a look at the bottom row of 6 cards (pictured above).  Do you see a card that equals 10, or two different cards that added together equal 10?

Yes!  We have a 10. 

Place it in the discard pile. 

The 7 and 3 can also be picked up and discarded. 

Since there are no more open cards that can be added to get the sum of 10, we need to pick a card from the DRAW pile. A Nine of Clubs! 

We can pair that with the Ace and get a sum of 10!  Cards that don't form matches are put in the DISCARD pile face up.  You can use the top card only of the DISCARD pile in any other future match-ups. 

We draw again and get a Ten of Hearts!  Instant success!

When we drew another card, we got a Seven of Clubs and was able to pair it to the fully exposed Three of Clubs on the next level, to make a sum of 10.

Cards that do not form a match are placed

Continue on until all 19 cards that were not part of the original pyramid have been turned over, and when you have no more cards to work with; that is, until no other card can be combined to make a sum of ten. 

As you can see, we have four cards left.  The score is the number of cards remaining, so our score is 4.  The smaller the score, the better!

I found this fun game in the book Games For Math by Peggy Kaye.  You can find more delightful lessons on her site by the same name,

Leave me a comment with your score!  Do you know any other variations of this game?  Let us in on the fun!