Skip-Bo Card Game Rules

By Alan Kirk

Skip-Bo is a card game in which players compete to play all of the cards from a personal stock of five cards before anyone else plays their stock pile cards. To do this, players use a combination of personal build piles along with shared discard piles to manipulate their hand to reveal and play the stock pile cards.

Number of Players

Skip-Bo can be played by three players individually. Skip-Bo can also be played by four or six players if you play with partnerships of two instead of individually.

Original Deal

To start the game, shuffle all 144 cards. All cards are placed in a draw pile in the middle of the table after dealing five to each player face down to form the stock pile, with the top card turned face up.

The Playing Area

During the game, up to four discard piles can be started face up next to the draw pile, with cards placed on top of each pile in numerical order. These piles must be started with a one or a Skip-Bo card, which is wild. When a pile has the 12 placed on it, it is removed from play.

Players' Turns

On a player's first turn, he receives five cards. Each subsequent turn starts with him drawing enough cards to bring the total in his hand to five cards. He then plays cards numerically on the four discard piles in the center of the table from the hand, build piles or stock pile. He continues until he can play no additional cards. To end his turn, he plays one card to any of his own build piles.

The Piles

Players have a hand, a stock pile, four build piles and share four discard piles. Players must play cards in numeric order to the discard piles. Numeric order does not have to be followed when playing to a player's build pile.

Winning The Game

A player wins the game when he is able to play all of the cards from his stock pile. He might have cards remaining in his hand, or build pile, but he would still be declared the winner.


About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.