Syed ArhamSyed Arham05.31.2024

    An Easy Guide To Playing Scarab Solitaire

    Scarab solitaire

    Remember that scene from The Mummy (1999) where the scarabs burrow under the skin of the explorers and eat them from the inside out? Yeah, those bugs terrified me as a kid, and seeing a Solitaire variant named after those nasty insects definitely doesn’t bring up good memories for me. But at the same time, when I first heard of Scarab Solitaire, I couldn’t help but wonder how this game earned its name and what gameplay it offers.

    As far as its name is concerned, Scarab Solitaire is called so to reflect its Ancient Egyptian theme. Scarabs, known as the ‘dung beetles’ in modern times, are one of the most common symbols seen in Ancient Egyptian culture. From jewelry to clothing, these beetles were the hot trend 5000 years ago. Before you start panicking, real-life scarabs are harmless beetles and have thankfully never been observed eating anything other than plants, dung, and manure. The question of why this Solitaire variant is associated with Egyptian mythology, however, is answered by its gameplay.

    Bearing a striking similarity to TriPeaks Solitaire, Scarab Solitaire features three ‘pyramids’ of six face-down cards each, with a layer of ten face-up cards at the foot of the pyramids. So, if you’re already familiar with TriPeaks Solitaire, this game should be a walk in the park (or, should I say, an oasis) for you. However, if you’re a complete newbie, fret not! This comprehensive blog will guide you through everything you need to know about this fascinating Solitaire variant.

    How to Play Scarab Solitaire?

    How to Play Scarab Solitaire

    Scarab Solitaire is a simple game to understand and play. And this is the only reason why, on a particularly boring and uneventful day, I decided to give this weird TriPeaks Solitaire variant a shot. And just like that, I went from not even knowing about this variant to starting my journey to mastering all the skills required to win consistently at this game. And now it’s your turn! The following points highlight every single rule that you would possibly need to play Scarab Solitaire:

    Game Setup

    • The game requires a standard 52-card deck.
    • Three cards are placed face-down to form the ‘Scarabs’ or the three peaks of the pyramids.
    • Two face-down cards are placed, slightly overlapping each of the three peak cards. 
    • Then, three face-down cards are placed, slightly overlapping the previously placed cards.
    • Finally, a row of 10 face-up cards is placed, slightly overlapping the previously placed cards.
    • The remaining deck is kept face-down and forms the Stock.
    • The top card of the Stock is flipped up to start the Discard pile.

    Game Rules

    • The objective of the game is to move all the cards from the three pyramids into the Discard pile.
    • A card from the pyramids can be moved to the Discard pile if it’s one rank higher or one rank lower than the rank of the top card on the Discard pile. For instance, you can move a 5 of Spades on a 6 of Hearts or a 4 of Diamonds. 
    • Extending this rule, a King can also be played on an Ace and vice versa.
    • The game begins when the player starts moving any cards possible from the pyramids to the Discard pile.
    • When a face-down card doesn’t have any other card overlapping it, it becomes available and can be flipped face-up.
    • When there are no cards from the pyramids that can be discarded, the top card of the deck is placed on the Discard pile.
    • Scarab Solitaire is a timed game, and if the timer runs out before you make a move, the top card of the Stock will automatically be drawn to the top of the Discard pile. Typically, the timer is set for 12 seconds.

    Game Scoring Rules

    • For each card moved down from the pyramids, you receive 10 points in addition to the current time bonus.
    • For each card you move in a row, you receive an extra 10 points. For example, the sixth card in a row will earn you 60 points plus the time bonus.
    • Each Scarab card is worth 1000 points.
    • Since the game awards the most efficient plays, for each card left in the Stock, you receive 10 points in addition to 10 points extra for each card before that. For example, if you have 5 cards left in your stock, you’ll earn 140 points (10 + 20 + 30 + 40 + 50).

    The game is won when the player is able to get all the cards from the pyramids into the Discard pile. Tallying the total score gives the player a measure of their performance compared to other players or even their own past plays.

    Tips and Strategies to Win at Scarab Solitaire?

    Despite having a considerable amount of experience playing TriPeaks Solitaire, the little clock ticking away at the side of the screen never failed to bump up my heart rate to triple figures when I was still a new player. I can only imagine how much more intimidating this timer can be for players that are completely new to Solitaire. 

    Thankfully, Scarab Solitaire has been around for quite a while now, and veterans of this game have come up with a couple of handy tips and strategies that are an absolute must to know for any player thinking of playing this game. These tips definitely helped me prevent soaking my mouse with my palm sweat every time I played this game. So, rest assured, they’ll prove to be the ultimate guidelines for you should this game ever try to scare you with its timer.

    Don’t forget about the face-down cards!Prioritize freeing up face-down cards, especially from the largest stacks. Not only does this give you access to free up even more cards, but it also often unveils cards that could potentially help you get out of a stuck game.
    Don’t let the Stock tempt you!Try to exhaust all options to move cards to the Discard pile from the pyramids before turning to the Stock.
    Don’t let the timer intimidate you!The presence of a timer sometimes leads even experienced players to make mistakes. Therefore, always stay calm while making moves – 12 seconds is often more than enough to do so.


    It’s fair to call Scarab Solitaire a timed version of TriPeaks Solitaire, and this is precisely why it has garnered a considerable fanbase in recent years. It breaks the traditional ‘calm and easy’ Solitaire playstyle and adopts a much high-stakes approach thanks to its timed nature and scoring system. I always recommend this game to Tripeaks Solitaire players who believe that they’ve mastered the game. Turns out there’s always something new to learn in the world of Solitaire!

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