How TriPeaks Solitaire Helps Improve Brain Skills

The card game Solitaire has been around since the 19th century and for something to last that long and still be relevant today says a lot. It has since branched on to many variations, and one of the easiest-to-play variants is TriPeaks Solitaire.

If you have not heard about or played TriPeaks, it’s time to give it a try. While it shares similar characteristics with other Solitaire games, it is relatively easier and more fast-paced. The rules are pretty straightforward, and even kids can probably master them in a couple of tries. But aside from its entertainment value, do you know that you’re doing your brain a huge favor by playing TriPeaks Solitaire?

Sounds interesting? Well, it sure does! But before delving into the details on how playing TriPeaks is excellent for your brain, let’s learn a little history first and a step-by-step guide on how to play TriPeaks solitaire.

What is TriPeaks Solitaire?

TriPeaks Solitaire (try here Anytime.Games), is a relative newcomer in the Solitaire world, having been invented in 1989 by Robert Hogue. It has since gained popularity, which is understandable given the game’s breakneck pace compared to Klondike or other Solitaire variants. Its inclusion in the Microsoft Solitaire Collection also gave TriPeaks the much-needed push in terms of its acceptance.

Therefore, another significant difference between TriPeaks and other Solitaire variants is that the former started as a computerized version. It was only later, after its inception, that it migrated from the cyber to the non-cyber world. People soon realized that if you can play TriPeaks with virtual cards, you can play it with real ones, too!

How to Play TriPeaks Solitaire

It has been mentioned how easy it is to get started playing this Solitaire variant. The goal is to put every card from the tableau (or peaks) and move them into the “Waste” or “Discard” pile. Once you do this, you are declared the winner.

Tripeaks is said to be a cross between Golf, Pyramid, and Spider Solitaire. It’s a fast-paced game that requires a plan of action and a little luck. If you want a more mentally challenging game than classic Solitaire but aren’t ready for the tenacity needed to play Spider, Tripeaks may be the game for you.

Remember that not all TriPeaks decks are winnable, but you have a good chance of achieving the objective.

These are the steps on how to play TriPeaks Solitaire:

  1. After shuffling the deck, deal three cards into three different piles. This is how you build the “peaks” (or tableau). Every card dealt on the tableau must be kept face-down.
  2. The next step is to build the pyramids. Since the “peaks” are formed from the first three cards dealt from the deck, the game is called “TriPeaks.” Underneath the first card, place two face-down cards. Place three more cards beneath them. The pyramids should be arranged in a way that the ones beneath overlap the cards above. This step should be repeated for every one of the three cards that were initially placed.
  3. At this juncture, the pyramids should be close enough but not touching each other. The last, or fourth level of cards, connect the pyramids and should contain 12 face-up cards. All the cards left will make up the “stock” pile and must be set aside.
  4. The “stock” pile is your lifeline here, and play begins by flipping up the first card on the said pile. The first card is the beginning of another pile called “Waste” or “Discard.” As soon as the game starts, the objective is to move the cards from the tableau to the “Discard” pile.
  5. You may do this by carefully searching the faced-up cards in the last level of the tableau. Look for cards ranked a level higher or lower than the previous card on the “Waste/Discard” pile. Remember that only the numbers matter in this game; you may disregard the card suit completely. For example, if the card in the Waste pile is an 8 of clubs, you may put a number 7 or a number 9, if any of these cards are in the last level of the tableau.
  6. When the cards from under a card on the pyramids are cleared, that card can be flipped over. If you remove every card from the first peak’s last row, you can flip the cards on the third level. However, remember that whenever a card is still bounded by a card beneath it, it cannot be turned over.
  7. If you can’t make more moves using the face-up cards in the tableau, you can flip another card up from the “Stock.” You can keep flipping cards up until new possibilities open, and you can take it from there. Depending on the rules, you may go over the “Stock” only once, but you may also agree that you can cycle through it multiple times. However, once the card is in the “Waste,” it can never be used again.

Following these steps, there are only two outcomes possible: Either you move all the cards from the tableau to the “Discard,” or you run out of legal moves. To determine a winner, online TriPeaks games may use a point system or a timer. The faster you get rid of the cards, the more bonus points you score.

Benefits of Playing TriPeaks Solitaire

As soon as you get the wordy instructions out of the way, you can master TriPeaks in no time. But, aside from the fun it brings, there are actually more benefits to playing TriPeaks than meets the eye. Here are some of them:

  • Helps improve decision-making

Playing TriPeaks Solitaire (and other variants) helps enhance your mental skills, of which one facet is decision-making. You may encounter scenarios where you have the option of moving only one of two or three cards in the tableau. From that, you learn to think things over and not rush with a decision.

Scenarios like these teach your brain to assess each move, wait for a better time to make a decision, and look for more options if a better move pops up. Once you are trained to think like this, you can use it to gain mastery over the game and in everything where a decision needs to be made.

  • Gives a Much-Needed Alone Time

No man is an island, but even the most extroverted persons need some “me time” every now and then. Since TriPeaks Solitaire is a one-player game, it provides a way to simmer down after a whole day of interactions. Self-reflection is an invaluable skill and an essential component of mental health. Time alone allows your brain to truly unwind without having to process the opinions of others, which is a type of psychological stress whether you enjoy the company of others or not.

  • Helps Calm the Mind

People who may experience anxiety could use TriPeaks Solitaire as a way to calm their minds. Playing TriPeaks puts one into a light meditative state, where your brain processes your next moves. Initial research indicates that this practice can help reduce pain, depression, stress, and anxiety over time.

Pyramid Solitaire

Considered a contemporary to TriPeaks, this version of Solitaire is similar in its fast-paced and engaging gameplay. It differs in that it resembles Klondike, a version of Solitaire where cards are in a pyramid scheme. Try playing Pyramid Solitaire here.


Tripeaks Solitaire is a newcomer in the Solitaire family tree, but its straightforward rules have allowed the game to acquire popularity as the years went by. It is arguably the most fun Solitaire variant out there because of its fast-paced nature.

But did you know TriPeaks isn’t just about fun? Yes, playing TriPeaks brings many mental health benefits, including easing stress and better decision-making skills. If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to chill out and relax, try playing TriPeaks Solitaire and see for yourself.