SKIP-BO Game Rules and How to Play Guide

In this article, I will introduce you to the basic rules of the card game Skip-Bo and show you how to play. The object of the game is to be the first player to play all the cards in your stockpile.

Setup

Shuffle the deck. In a two to four-player game deal 30 cards to each player. In a five to six player game deal 20. For a shorter game deal each player ten cards instead. These cards are your stock and remain facedown except for the first card which is flipped face-up and put on top of the stock. The remaining cards are set in the center of the table and become the draw deck.

There are four available building piles that all players view in the center of the table. The building piles must be started with a one then ascend sequentially to twelve. A skip-bo card is a wild and may be used as any number.

When a building pile reaches twelve it is set aside and reshuffled with the other completed building piles into the draw deck. When the draw deck runs out of cards each player has four available discard piles.

Gameplay

At the end of your turn, you discard one card onto any of the four spots. Sequential order does not matter in your discard and you may discard cards however you like amongst your four discard piles. The youngest player goes first.

At the start of each of your turns draw until you have five cards in your hand. You may play cards from your hand stock or personal discard piles each turn. Any time you play all five cards in your hand immediately draw five more.

At the end of your turn when you can’t or choose not to play you discard one card from your hand to any one of your discard piles. If this results in you now having zero cards in your hand you do not draw five more but end your turn.

The first player to play all the cards in their stockpile wins, or you may wish to play several games and keep score. The winner of each round receives 25 points for winning +5 additional points for every card in every opponent’s stockpile. The first player to reach 500 points wins.

Alternatively, you can play with partners. Partners are allowed to play cards from both player’s stock and discard piles. However, they may not discuss moves. When you are playing, your partner must keep quiet. The first team to play all the cards in both partners stockpiles wins.

Skip-Bo Game on the Market

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The card game Skip-Bo is on the market in many versions. The one that I refer to in this article I link to here:

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