The Original Skip-Bo Instructions

By Riccardo Giovanniello

Skip-Bo, designed by Mattel, is a card game for two to six players and is intended for children 6 years old or older. The game does not use a standard deck of cards, but rather a deck similar to those used in Uno but is unique to Skip-Bo. The deck consists of 144 cards numbered one through 12 along with 18 Skip-Bo cards. The object of the game is to be the first player to discard all of his Stock Pile cards.

Setting Up

Deal 30 cards to each player if less than five people are playing and 20 cards each if five or six people are playing. These cards are dealt face down and represent each player's Stock Pile.

Turn the top card of the Stock Pile to face up and place it directly on top of the pile. Place the Stock Pile on your right hand side.

Place the rest of the cards face down in the center of the playing area. This is the Draw Pile. Four Discard Piles can be built in front of each player; however, no cards are placed here until it is needed in the game.

Take five cards from the Draw Pile. If you have a number one card or a Skip-Bo card (wild card), place it beside the Draw Pile. This pile is known as the Building Pile; up to four new Building Piles can be created.

How to Play

Play a card into the Building Pile incrementally from one, the lowest, to 12, the highest. If not, you can create a new Building Pile with another one card or Skip-Bo card. Priority should be given to the face-up card in your Stock Pile. When you play this card, flip over the next Stock Pile card. Play as many cards as you can from either the Stock Pile, Discard Pile or the cards in your hand. Your turn continues until you are no longer able to play a card on the Building Piles.

Play a card into one of the Discard Piles to complete your turn. Strategically, use the Discard Pile for cards that you have multiples of. You cannot add to a Discard Pile until all four Piles have been created.

Take cards from the Draw Pile so that you once again have five cards in your hand. If you cannot play, place a card in the Discard Pile. Only the cards at the top of the Discard Piles can be played.

Play all of your Stock Pile cards first to win.

About the Author

Based in Grumo Appula in southern Italy, Riccardo Giovanniello has been writing news and restaurant reviews since 2008. His articles have appeared in “Daegu Pockets” and "All About Golf Resorts" magazines. Giovanniello holds a Bachelor of Arts in film theory and English literature from the University of Western Ontario.