Warning! - Pretty Good Solitaire may be addictive. We are not responsible for lost productivity, neglected spouses, children, or pets. We are not responsible for lost sleep because you stay up to play "just one more game".
Five Piles is a simple one deck addition type game.
At the start of the game, one card each is dealt to five piles (hence the name of the game). The object of the game is to discard the entire deck in pairs, except for Kings, which are discarded singly when they appear.
Valid pairs are any two cards whose ranks add to 13. Aces and Queens are a pair, as are Twos and Jacks, Threes and Tens, Fours and Nines, Fives and Eights, and Sevens and Sixes.
When all possible cards are paired, clicking on the stock will deal out another row of cards on the 5 piles, covering any remaining cards. Then remove any more possible pairs. When you get to the bottom of the deck, only two cards will remain. Clicking on the stock will then deal these two cards out to two special additional piles, which can be paired with any of the original 5 piles or each other.
While the game is simple and mechanical, there is opportunity for skill in choosing which cards to pair when there is more than one option. As a general rule, you should pair cards that have the most cards buried underneath them. However, it is worthwhile to keep in mind what cards are buried where (and you can also peak under the top card of a pile to see the card immediately below). Look to choose cards to pair that will uncover more cards that can be paired.
Five Piles is a tough game to win - you are doing well if you can win a few percent of the time. Most games will block with half the deck remaining in the piles, and a few games with block when you get agonizingly close to winning.
Fourteen Up is a related game that uses pairs that add to 14.
Five Piles is one of the 850 games in Pretty Good Solitaire.
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