Remove all of the cards from the layout as quickly as possible by tapping on cards that are one rank higher or lower than the card on top of the discard pile. Extra points are awarded for speed and for "streaks" (removing multiple cards in a row without drawing a card).
Each game begins with a randomly selected layout dealt onto the board. The layout will consist of some number of facedown cards with some face-up cards laid over them. The remaining cards in the deck are then placed into a draw pile at the bottom of the board. The top card of the draw pile is turned over automatically to create the discard pile.
The goal is to remove all of the cards in the layout. To remove a card, tap a card in the layout that is one rank higher or lower than the face-up card in the discard pile. For example, if there is a 4 showing in the discard pile, you can tap on a 3 or a 5 in the layout to remove it. The removed card goes to the top of the discard pile and play continues from there. When a face-up card is removed from the layout, any facedown cards immediately beneath it will automatically be flipped over.
In this game, the Ace and the King are considered to be adjacent ranks. If an Ace is showing in the discard pile, you can remove a King or a 2 from the layout. If a King is showing, you can remove a Queen or an Ace.
When there are no cards that can be moved from the layout onto the discard pile, tap on the draw pile to flip a new card over onto the discard pile. You can do this as many times as needed to find the cards that you need to remove everything from the layout. If the draw pile runs out of cards, the discard pile will be reshuffled into a new discard pile so that you can continue playing.
At the top of the screen is a streak meter. If you remove two cards in a row without drawing from the draw pile, a streak begins and you receive extra points for each card you remove in the streak. The streak meter will light up to show you that you are on a streak. The streak bonus reaches its maximum value after four consecutive cards are removed, and each card after that is scored at the maximum value. When you flip a card over from the draw pile, the streak ends and the streak meter is reset to the base card value. (Refer to the scoring section below for details.)
In each game of Solitaire TriPeaks, you also receive one wild card which can be found in the lower right corner of the board. You may use this wild card one time during the game. Tap on the wild card to play it atop any card on the discard pile. You can then remove any card from the layout by playing it onto the wild. (Exception: Shark and Bait cards cannot be removed with a wild.) Playing a wild does not disrupt your streak bonus; one good strategy is to use the wild card in order to extend a high-scoring streak!
The game ends when/if one of three things happens:
- You remove all of the cards from the layout.
- You run out of time. (Each game has a time limit of 120 seconds.)
- A Bomb card detonates. (Refer to the next section for details.)
Some difficulty levels feature special "hazard cards" in the layouts:
- Easy - No hazard cards
- Medium - Shark cards, Bait cards, and Trap cards
- Hard - Shark cards, Bait cards, Trap cards, and Bomb cards. More hazards overall.
Shark cards block the layout and can only be removed by finding the corresponding Bait card. There will always be one Bait card in the layout (sometimes hidden facedown) for each Shark card. Once you find it, tap on the Bait card to remove both the Bait and the Shark.
Trap cards require two steps to remove. The first tap removes the trap and also removes the top card of the discard pile. You then have to find another legal play to remove the trapped card itself. For example, suppose that there is a "trapped" 9 card in the layout and an 8 card on the discard pile. Tapping the 9 will remove the trap as well as the 8 card. This will reveal the card in the discard pile that is beneath the 8 (perhaps a 7, for example). You will then need to use an 8, 10, or wild card to remove the 9 that was trapped.
Bomb cards are removed just like normal cards. However, each bomb card has a 30-second timer on it (seen as a shrinking meter on the card). If you don't remove a bomb before its timer runs out, it will explode, immediately ending the game! Be sure to remove Bomb cards as quickly as you can so that your game isn't cut short.
The controls for this game are very simple:
- Tap on a face-up card that is one rank higher or lower than the discard pile to remove it from the layout.
- Tap on the draw pile to flip a new card onto the discard pile.
- Tap on the wild card to play it to the discard pile.
- Tap on the empty draw pile to reshuffle the discard pile into a new draw pile.
When a card is removed from the layout, a base score of 100 points is awarded. This score value goes up when a streak bonus is in effect:
- First card: 100 points
- 2nd card: 125 points
- 3rd card: 150 points
- 4th card: 175 points
- 5th card and beyond: 200 points
If you remove all of the cards from the layout, you will receive a time bonus of 25 points for each second remaining on the clock. (Note: Although the game timer only shows seconds, this is actually calculated in milliseconds -- 1 point for each 40 milliseconds remaining. This is why you will often see a time bonus that is not a multiple of 25.)