Skip-Bo Rules: How to Play Skip Bo? (2023)

Basana Saha


Do you want to know the rules of Skip-BO from Mattel? This article will explain the rules, and how to play the Skip-Bo game and give you tips on how to become a master at this fun family game.

So grab your cards and get ready for an action-packed night filled with laughter, strategy, and lots of surprises!

Skip Bo Rules
Mattel’s Skip-Bo Rules

Let’s get started!

What is Skip-Bo?

Skip-Bo is a card game it resembles Solitaire and UNO. There are two primary targets in the game. The first target is to get rid of your cards as soon as possible. It is a game from the House of Mattel.

The second target is to block other players from getting rid of their cards. Skip-Bo is a fantastic family game. It can be played by 2 – 6 players and is fun and fabulous. 

Skip-Bo Basics

Skip-Bo starts by allotting 10 – 30 cards to each player. There are a total of 144 cards. 12 cards are the usual Skip-Bo cards, and the 16 other cards are wild cards. The cards that each player owns are known as the stockpile.

The game’s goal is to play all the stockpile cards in numerical sequence. The player who can complete this mission at the earliest is the winner. Unlike Uno or Solitaire, the matching of card colors is irrelevant in Skip-Bo. The game has 4 piles: Discard Pile, Draw pile, Stockpile, and Build pile. 


The game’s objective is to finish the first stockpile of the card before any other player does it. To be the winner, the player must numerically play all the cards in their stockpile: 1 – 12. 

Things to Know Before Playing the Game

What age is Skip-Bo for?

Any player above the age of 7 can play the Skip-Bo game. It is easy, and almost everyone can participate in the game. Skip-Bo is perha[ps one of the most fantastic family games. 

Number of Players Needed

2 – 6 players can play Skip-Bo. 

What do You need To play?

All you need to play the game is the Skip-Bo pack and 2 – 6 players above the age of 7. If you are playing the online Skip Bo version, you can also play the game solo because the AI will be your competitor in this case. 

How old is the Skip-Bo game?

The Skip-Bo game was invented back in 1967. 

Why is it called Skip-Bo?

The game is named after the inventor, whose real name was Brownfield, but her nickname was Skip. 

How long is a game of Skip-Bo?

A game of skip bo is 15 – 20 minutes, but it can take as long as 45 to 60 minutes if the players are pretty pro and experienced at it.

Is Skip-Bo a skill game?

Yes. Skip-Bo is a skill game. Since the colors don’t matter in this game, unlike Uno, skill is the only asset that can fetch you a win. This game is quite similar to solitaire, so if you know the solitaire game, you can know how tricky it can get. 

Skip-Bo Card Piles

Stock Pile

Each player has a pile of cards that they have to deal with. This is known as the stockpile. It is unique for each game individual. 

Draw Pile

As mentioned, the game starts by assigning 10 – 30 cards to each player. Each player starts the game with these 10-30 cards as their stockpile. The remaining cards of the deck accumulate on another pile known as the Draw Pile. Just like most other card games, each player will draw cards from this pile as they start the game and create piles that will fetch them success in the game

Discard Pile

After every player’s turn ends, the player has to get rid of a card. These cards will be placed in the discard pile in the face-up position. Each player can create up to 4 discard piles. 

Building Piles

All players create this card pile by getting rid of their cards. It starts right from the game’s beginning. Players keep adding them to this pile every time they get rid of their cards. Usually, there are four building piles. All the piles must start with a Skip-Bo card or card number 1. 

Skip-Bo Types of Cards

Numbered Cards

These are the standard cards for playing Skip-Bo. The numbered cards range from 1 – 12. You can treat them as something similar to the regular Uno cards. The colors don’t matter in this case. They are three colors – Blue, Green, and Red

Wild Cards

They are also called Skip-Bo cards. They are used for performing all the unconventional actions in the game, like the wild cards in the game of Uno.

To know more about official UNO rules, you can check this article written by me.

How to Play Skip Bo Game?

Setting Up the Game

To set up a game of Skip-Bo, you need a deck of 144 cards numbered 1 – 12 and 18 Skip-Bo cards. The deck will be shuffled, and each player will draw a card to start the game. In the central game area, there will be the draw pile.

Just beside the draw pile, 4 building piles will exist that all the players can use during the game. In front of each player, the players will have a stockpile and up to 4 discard piles. With the piles, cards, and players, the Skip-Bo game setup is all ready. 

Playing the Game

The game will start with the player sitting just next to the dealer. Each player will draw 5 cards from the draw pile and start getting rid of the stockpile.

The players must start creating the building piles to get rid of cards from the stockpile. The players can create up to 4 building piles at a time.

If the player can play at once with all the 5 cards they draw from the draw pile, they can start with another 5 cards.

Suppose a player plays 2 cards at one turn and is left with three cards at hand after a turn; they can start their new turn by drawing three cards from the draw pile. 

Scoring & Winning

The stock cards in the Skip-Bo game can fetch you 5 points per card. The player who can score 500 points the fastest will be the winner.

You may have to play multiple rounds to reach this score.

Here is a Skip-Bo Gameplay Video by WordOfAdviceTV

Also Read: How to Play Phase 10?

Tips and Strategies for Winning Skip-Bo

  • Always keep track of the cards in the discard pile. Keeping the cards in order in the discard pile always gives an upper hand at winning the game
  • Use the cards at hand at the earliest to win the game, If you can play all the cards at hand to place them for building piles, it will be better and will give the player more chances to clear the stockpile at the earliest. 
  • Use Skip-Bo cards rationally if you get hold of them because they are like the jackpot. 

How is Skip-Bo different from Uno?

The significant difference between Skip-Bo and Uno lies in its objective. For the game of Uno, you have to reach 500 points and win the game otherwise, the first player to get rid of all their cards will automatically win the game.

For Skip-Bo, players use their strategy and skills to create a stack of sequenced cards. Creating this pile is the goal of the game. The first player to clear their stockpile will win the game.

There are several other differences however this is the most prominent one. Another secondary difference is – card colors do not matter for Skip-Bo, whereas it makes a difference in Uno. 

Skip-Bo Rules FAQs

How many cards do you deal with for Skip-Bo?

Each player deals with 30 cards in the game of Skip-Bo. The game has a total of 162 cards.

What happens if the draw pile runs out in Skip-Bo?

When the building pile reaches 12 cards, the pile becomes saturated and is removed. The next pile starts with a numbered card 1 or a Skip-Bo card. 

Do card colors matter in Skip-Bo?

No. Card colors do not matter in Skip-Bo. This is one of the significant differences between Uno and Skip-Bo. 

Why are there blank cards in Skip-Bo?

Blank cards in Skip-Bo are specially designed for players to write creative encounters and create creative rules to make the game more exciting. 

Can you play 2 Skip-Bo cards in a row?

If you play a two-person game in Skip-Bo, you can play 2 cards in a row, but not under any other circumstance. 


Let’s conclude the post on Skip-Bo!

I hope you enjoyed reading the post and found it useful.



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Basana Saha