Tri Peaks Solitaire Strategy Guide

Tri Peaks Solitaire is a fun and popular solitaire game, combining elements of Golf Solitaire and Pyramid Solitaire. It has an interesting scoring system, which can lead to much higher scores when you are NOT playing all the moves you can.

There are 2 keys to getting a high score in Tri Peaks Solitaire:

  • Clean each peak.
  • Make long sequences.

You get quite a few points for clearing a peak. You get 15 points for clearing the first peak, 15 points for clearing the second peak, and then 30 points for clearing the last peak. That’s a total of 60 points, proving that it’s definitely worth getting rid of all the spikes, and unless you can form an incredibly long sequence, it’s always worth trying to clear the spikes.

The second key to getting it right in Tri Peaks Solitaire is putting together really long sequences, where you don’t deal a claw card.

The Tri Peaks scoring system will give you an additional point for each card you move in a sequence. So the first card you move gives you one point, the next card gives you two points, the next card gives you three points, and the next card gives you four points, etc. The sequence ends as soon as you drive from the claw, and the sequence begins at one point again.

This system is interesting because it often makes sense not to move the cards as soon as possible.

There are two ways to illustrate this.

What do you think would be the difference in score between a 12-length sequence versus two 6-length sequences? Most people know that the long sequence will outperform the shorter sequences, but not many people realized by how much!

The long sequence of 12 gives us a score of 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12, which is 78.

Surely the two 6-length sequences will not be left behind? Well, we get 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 for the first sequence. And then we do 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 for the second sequence.

The total is only 42! Even though the same number of cards were removed, the difference in scores is 36 points!

Another way to illustrate this is to see what would happen if we extended a long sequence.

What if instead of 12 cards in sequence, we could somehow remove 14 cards in sequence? Well, that would give us 13 + 14 extra points, which is 27 extra points.

Adding two extra cards in the 12-card sequence almost results in as many points as two 6-card sequences!

As you can see, it really pays to make a really long sequence. You need to make sure you have a sequence of at least 10 cards before you start to get a reasonable score.

Now when you start Tri Peaks Solitaire, you will usually find that you can form a reasonably long sequence. But it is seldom more than 10 cards. Don’t use that sequence until you’ve studied the chart carefully!

Look at the cards on the bottom layer. Look for many cards of the same rank. See if you can watch long sequences. When you do, see which cards cover that sequence, and then work to eliminate them. DO NOT remove cards that could make the sequence longer, even if you can play them in shorter sequences before the hand. You have to aim for a sequence, as long as you can humanly do, to get really good scores in Tri Peaks Solitaire.

However, this must be balanced with the first key, which is to discover the peaks. You don’t want to wait too long for that perfect sequence, because it may mean you can’t discover the peaks.

Play a few games with the above in mind and you’re sure to see your Tri Peaks scores go up in no time!

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