Skip-Bo Rules | Official Game Rules (2024)


144 numbered cards and 18 SKIP-BO cards. 162 cards total.

Beginning Play

Shuffle the deck. Each player draws a card. The person with the highest card is the dealer. The dealer deals 30 cards to each player if there are two to four players. In five to six player games, each player is dealt 20 cards.

These cards are dealt face down and form each player’s Stock pile. Once all Stock piles have been dealt, each player flips the top card of their Stock pile right side up and places it on top of the pile. The remaining cards not dealt are placed face down on the table to form the draw pile.

Playing Area: Each player is going to need room for four Discard piles near their Stock pile. You will also need room for four Building piles in the center of the table near the draw pile. These piles are formed as the game progresses—so make sure you leave space for them.

Stock Pile

The top card is always face up. Each player has a Stock pile.

Draw Pile

This is the pile in the center of the playing area created with all cards remaining after Stock piles are dealt.

Building Piles: Building piles are where players build the 1-12 sequences and can only be started with a 1 or a SKIP-BO (SKIP-BO cards are wild, so it would represent a 1 if used to start a sequence). Once a pile has the complete 1-12 sequence, remove it from the playing area and start a new building pile.

Discard Pile

Each player may form sequences an any of their four discard piles. There is no limit to the number of cards in the pile, nor is there a restriction on the order. The top card of your discard piles is available for forming sequences (can be played).

Playing Skip-Bo

Play begins to the left of the dealer. Draw five cards at the beginning of your first turn (and back up to five on subsequent turns). You can use a Skip-Bo (wild card) or a 1 to begin one of the four building piles in the center of the playing area. You may continue to play cards from your hand onto the building area (1-12 in sequence only).

If you play all five cards in this manner, draw back up to five (this process can repeat if needed). You may also play the top card from your Stock pile onto a building piles, and can continue to play from the Stock pile as long as the play is legal. Remember, you win by running out of your Stock pile, so play from there when you can. Your turn ends when you can’t or refuse to make a play. Discard one card from your hand onto one of your four discard piles. You may play the top card of any of your discard piles on any turn after the first. Play continues clockwise.

Winning the Game: Choose a point total to play to (500 is recommended to start). The winner of each round scores 25 points for winning the round and five additional points per card remaining in each other player Stock pile.

Team Skip-Bo

You can play with partners. In team situations, you can legally play from your Stock and Discard piles as well as your partners. One catch—your partner can’t talk during your turn, and you can’t talk during theirs. Instead, you have to give verbal commands for any necessary actions involving their cards. If the other players catch you breaking this rule, you must take two cards from the draw pile(without looking at them) and place them on your stock pile. The round ends when all of the players on a team reach the end of their stock pile.

Special Rules

If you draw too many cards, shuffle the extra cards into your Stock pile.

If a player draws and plays out of turn and they are caught, undo any action and play continues as normal until it reaches that players turn. On their actual turn, a penalty is enforced—they must make their play without drawing from the draw pile. If no one notices that the player played out of turn, the play is legal and no penalty in enforced.

In team play, anyone on the team can continue to play from the remaining Discard and Building piles, even if a Stock pile has been depleted.

Skip-Bo Rules | Official Game Rules (2024)


Do you discard after every turn in Skip-Bo? ›

You may then continue by playing another card from your STOCK pile onto a BUILDING pile. If you play all 5 cards, draw 5 more and continue playing. If you can't make a play or just don't want to, end your turn by discarding one of the cards from your hand onto one of your four DISCARD piles.

Can you play two Skip-Bo cards in a row? ›

A SKIP-BO card may be played brown town on top of a numbered card, or as the 1 card to start a new build pile, but you can't play 2 in a row and you always have to cover it up with a number card, so you can't use it as a 12 card. You may also discard SKIP-BO's into your discard piles.

What is the object of the card game Skip-Bo? ›

Object: Be the first player to play every card in your Stock pile, by playing all of your cards in numerical order, 1 to 12. For two to six players ages seven and up. Contents: 144 numbered cards and 18 SKIP-BO cards.

What happens if you run out of cards in the draw pile in Skip-Bo? ›

Play moves clockwise. Once a building pile has reached 12, that pile is closed out. Place the cards to the side - you will need to shuffle them later to use as a draw pile when you run out. You may now start a new pile by playing either a 1 or a Skip-Bo card from your hand or your stock pile.

Do you always have to have 5 cards in your hand in Skip-Bo? ›

The play will start with the person to the left of the dealer. Each player's turn begins by drawing 5 cards from the draw pile. It is possible to create a pile in the middle with a 1 or with a Skip-Bo card. If you have a 1 on your stockpile, you can use this card to begin a common pile on the table.

Do colors matter in Skip-Bo? ›

Skip-bo is a card game for 2-6 players where runs of 1-12 are made, and Skip-bo cards are wild. The object is to be the first person to play all of the cards in your stock pile. The cards are color coded to show tiers of value; 1-4 are indigo, 5-8 are green, and 9-12 are pink.

Can you stack in Skip-Bo? ›

Game play remains the same: players create sequential stacks with their cards. The Skip-Bo wild cards break up static situations and may be played strategically as any number. For added fun, players can team up as partners. The first player or team to use all the cards in their stack wins!

Does the youngest go first in Skip-Bo? ›

Each player turns the top card of their stockpile face-up (leaving it on top of the stockpile). 4. The youngest player goes first. There are two ways to play Skip-Bo Junior: Level 1 and Level 2.

Is there any strategy to Skip-Bo? ›

Your primary goal is to play all the cards in your stockpile onto the building piles. Focus on creating sequences on the building piles whenever possible. “Skip-Bo” cards can be particularly useful for filling gaps and progressing faster.

Can you put a skip card on a skip card? ›

Skip Card – When you play this card, the next player is “skipped” (loses their turn). This card may only be played on a matching color or on another Skip card.

Can I stack skips? ›

If multiple Skips are stacked, the number of players skipped corresponds to the number of skip cards (3 skip cards = skip three players). If multiple Draw 4 cards are stacked, the next player must draw the combined sum and forfeit his/her turn UNLESS the player has a Draw 4 to play.

What are the rules of Skip-Bo? ›

They must play either the next card in sequential order or a wild Skip-Bo card, using either cards in hand, the top card of their stock, or the top card of any of their four discard piles. If the player can play all five cards from their hand, they draw five more and continue playing.

What is the dice for in Skip-Bo? ›

Roll the dice and place them on the gameboard to score the most points. Place the gameboard in the center of the play area. Note that the gameboard has 12 spaces numbered 1thru 12. The dice correspond to these spaces in color and number.

What else can you play with Skip-Bo cards? ›

To play Ripple, you'll need one set of Skip-Bo cards for 4-5 players. If you have more players, you'll need two decks. The object of the game is to have the lowest score. (This game is similar to the Golf card game that I have previously shared.)

Can you play Skip-Bo with a regular deck of cards? ›

Play Skip-Bo with regular cards: Three decks of playing cards Ace = 1 2 through 10 = 2 through 10 Jack = 11 Queen = 12 King or Joker = Skip-Bo Have more than six players? Double the card game set by adding three additional decks of playing cards, six decks total.

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