Mattel Games Skip-Bo

by Claire Minnaar
If you have kids over 5, you most likely have heard of Uno – the game with the multicoloured cards that gets many kids hooked on playing. Now, there’s a new game out called Skip-Bo which has been described as follows:
Skip-Bo is the ultimate sequencing card game from the makers of UNO! Players use skill and strategy to create stacks of sequentially numbered, ascending cards (2,3,4…) until they have no more left to play. Once everyone is dealt their own personal stockpile of cards, play begins by drawing from a central pile and building up to four “build” piles. The Skip-Bo “wild” cards break up static situations and may be played as any number. Use these cards wisely, for they can really help you beat your opponents! The first player to deplete all of his or her Skip-Bo stockpile cards is the winner! Includes 162 cards and instructions. Colors and decorations may vary.

Game Details

Number of Players

2 – 6 players (7+ years and up)

Aim / Objective of the Game

Be the first player to play every card in your pile by playing all of your cards in numerical order, 1 to 12. 


The Playing Area

Each player is going to need space for 4 Discard piles near their stockpile. You will also need room for four Building piles in the center of the table near the draw pile. These piles are formed as the game progresses—so make sure you leave space for them.

The StockPile

The top card is always face up. Each player has a Stockpile.

The Draw Pile

This is the pile in the center of the playing area created with all the cards remaining after Stockpiles are dealt to the players.

The Building Piles

Building piles are where players build the 1-12 sequences and can only be started with a 1 or a SKIP-BO (SKIP-BO cards are wild cards, so the card would represent a 1 if used to start a sequence). Once a pile has the complete 1-12 sequence, remove it from the
playing area and start a new building pile.

The Discard Pile

Each player may form sequences in any of their four discard piles. There is
no limit to the number of cards in the pile, nor is there a restriction on the order. The top card of your discard piles is available for forming sequences (can be played).

How to play

Getting Started

  • As with most card games, start with shuffling the deck. 
  • Each player draws a card.
  • The person with the highest card is the dealer. 
  • The dealer then deals 30 cards, face down, to each player if there are 2 – 4 players. If there are 5 – 6 players, each player will receive 20 cards each.
  • Once everyone has their cards, each player flips the top card in their pile right side up and places it on top of the pile
  • Left over / remaining cards which have not been dealt to a player are placed face down on the table to be the pile players can draw from.

Playing Skip-Bo

Play begins to the left of the dealer. Draw five cards at the beginning
of your first turn (and back up to five on subsequent turns). You can use a Skip-Bo (wild card) or a 1 to begin one of the four building piles in the center of the playing area. You may continue to play cards from your hand onto the building area (1-12 in sequence only). If you play all five cards in this manner, draw back up to five (this process can repeat if needed). You may also play the top card from your Stockpile onto a building piles, and can continue to play from the Stockpile as long as the play is legal. 
A player wins by running out of their Stockpile, so play from there when you can. Your turn ends when you can’t or refuse to make a play. 
Discard one card from your hand onto one of your four discard piles. You may play the top card of any of your discard piles on any turn after the first. Play continues clockwise.

Winning the Game

Choose your total points you want to play to (500 is recommended). The winner of each round played scores 25 points for winning the round + 5 additional points per card that remains in each other player’s Stockpile.

Team Skip-Bo

You can play with partners. In team situations, you can legally play from
your Stock and Discard piles as well as your partners. One catch—your partner can’t talk during your turn, and you can’t talk during theirs. Instead, you have to give verbal commands for any necessary actions involving their cards. If the other players catch you breaking this rule, you must take two cards from the draw pile (without looking at them)
and place them on your Stockpile. 
The round ends when all of the players on a team reach the end of their Stockpile.

Special Rules

  • If you draw too many cards, shuffle the extra cards into your Stockpile.
  • If a player draws and plays out of turn and they are caught, undo any action and play
  • continues as normal until it reaches that player’s turn. On their actual turn, a penalty is
  • enforced—they must make their play without drawing from the draw pile. If no one
  • notices that the player played out of turn, the play is legal and no penalty is enforced.
  • In team play, anyone on the team can continue to play from the remaining Discard and
  • Building piles, even if a Stock pile has been depleted.

Instructions a bit tricky? No problem – check out the video below.

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