Skip Bo Rules, Cards, and Instructions

The Skip-Bo card game is similar to UNO and is based on the card games Spite and Malice, which are derived from the Russian Bank. Mattel bought International Games in 1992 and now owns the game.

Skip Bo Rules

Skip Bo is a card game in which players attempt to create stacks of ascending numbered cards until they have no more cards to play. The game is for two to six people, who are seven years older or above. All players get 20 or 30 cards, depending on how many people are taking part. The cards are arranged face down to make sure no one can see them. 

Skip Bo Cards Rules

The Skip-Bo card game contains two types of cards: numbered cards and Skip-Bo cards. The game comes with 162 cards, including 144 numbered cards from 1 to 12 and 18 wild Skip-Bo cards that can be played as any number.

Numbered Cards

There are 144 numbered cards divided into three primary colors: blue, green, and red.

  • The blue cards range from 1 to 4.
  • The green cards range from 5 to 8.
  • The red cards range from 9 to 12.
  • The colors of the cards have no importance in the game, only the numbers matter.

Skip-Bo Cards

  • These cards are wild cards that can be used as any numbered card.
  • They can be played to start a Building Pile or to continue a sequence.
  • These cards are signified by a picture of a sun with the word “SKIP-BO” written on them.

How To Play Skip Bo Card Game

At the start of the game, each player takes the top card from their stockpile and puts it on the top of the pile. The remaining deck will be arranged face down on the table as a draw pile.

Skip Bo Instructions

There are four building piles, each with a number from 1 to 12, and players can place cards in them. When a building pile reaches 12, it is taken out and set aside, and a new pile with four discards is created in front of each player.

Taking Turns

The youngest participant starts the game, and then the action moves clockwise. When it’s their turn, each player draws cards from the deck until they have five cards in their hand. They can choose to play cards from the cards in the hand, discard piles, or top of the stockpile.

Play Proceeds

When a turn is over, players can’t play or decide not to play, so they add one card from their hand to the discard pile and the order of the discard is not important. If a player draws five cards, they are permitted to continue playing, except for discarding their last card into the discard pile, which will end their turn.


The first player who manages to play all their cards in the corresponding draw pile wins. In this game, players are awarded 25 points for winning and an extra 5 points for each card in every opponent’s pile. The first player in a game to finish with 500 points ends up winning.

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