If you like Uno, then you’ll probably love Skip BO! The game was created by the same team, after all. This fun sequence card game is based on Spite and Malice, which is based on another classic playing card game called Russian Bank.
It’s interesting to see how older games can inspire new ones. But we aren’t here to share the history of Skip BO; we are here to tell you how to play. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at how the game works.
What is Skip BO?
Skip BO was first published in 1980 and now, like many games, is owned by Mattel. Skip BO is designed similarly to Mattel’s Uno sets. Skip BO’s aim is simple; you need to play your cards sequentially to get rid of them.
If you’re the first player or team to play your cards, you win! Now Skip BO is a very casual game ideal for family game nights, and there are several different ways to set it up. The rules also change slightly depending on the number of players.
You can also alter the number of cards given out if you want a faster game as well. While fans of Uno and other spin-offs like Dos will certainly enjoy Skip Bo, it’s simple and easy to learn for beginners as well.
What You’ll Need To Play?
While Skip BO isn’t quite as popular as Uno, it’s still got a loyal fanbase, and you’ll find a few different card sets available. There is even a special tin version of Skip BO available, and you can even get it in a double-pack with Uno.
While very young children may prefer this version, most children aged 6 and above should be fine with standard Skip BO, especially if you follow the rest of our guide to learn all about the rules!
Skip BO Cards
Skip BO cards are numbered 1 to 12 and come in three colors: red, green, and blue. There are also special Skip BO cards that act as wild cards. This means you can use them in place of any number.
Skip Bo Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
Skip BO’s aim is the same as many sequence games; you want to be the first player/ team to play all your cards. In Skip BO, you’ll start the game with a stockpile of cards. During the game, you’ll effectively be racing against other players to be the first to get rid of all your cards.
Setting up a game of Skip BO is relatively simple once you know the rules. The first thing to do is pick a dealer; to do this, every player should choose a shuffled deck card. The player with the highest numbered card will be the dealer. Now to understand how many cards should be dealt, follow the table below.
- 2 – 4 Players – 30 Cards Each
- 5 – 6 Players – 20 Cards Each
- 2 Teams – 30 Cards Each
- 3 Teams – 20 Cards Each
You can reduce the number of cards by 50% if you want a faster game. If you are playing Skip BO in teams, then each team member will have their cards. We have a dedicated section for team play at the end of the guide. So, be sure to check it out if you’re thinking of having a team game.
Once the cards are dealt, they should be placed face down in front of each player. This pile of cards becomes your stockpile. Every player should then turn their first card face up. The remaining cards in the deck are then placed in the center. These cards are the draw pile, and now you are ready to play!
Playing Skip BO
In the center of the playing area, you’ll need space for 4 building piles. Building piles can only be started with a number 1 card or a Skip BO card. All players can use the building piles, but cards need to be placed in sequential order 1 to 12.
When a pile has a completed sequence, it is removed, and the cards are added back to the draw pile. A new building pile can then be started. However, each player will be building their discard piles as well.
At the end of your turn, you can discard any card to one of your discard piles. When discarding a card onto a discard pile, the sequential order doesn’t matter. Under traditional Skip BO rules, the youngest player should go first.
When you begin to play, you must always take 5 cards from your stockpile. If you can play all 5 cards then you can immediately draw another 5 from your stockpile. Remember, at the end of your turn; you can only discard a single card to your discard pile/s.
This can be a great way of getting rid of difficult number cards. But your focus should be on building a successful sequence. Once you have played all the cards in your stockpile, you win!
Playing Team Skip BO
The basic rules and gameplay for team-based Skip BO are very similar. The game’s aim is the same, but teammates can use cards from each other’s stockpiles. They can also add cards to each other’s discard piles.
However, teammates can’t communicate with each other during gameplay. This can make strategizing difficult. If teammates do communicate with each other, then they will be penalized as well.
This means you’ll need to take 2 cards from the draw pile and add them to your stockpiles. If you’re in a team with 3 members this means 6 additional cards to get rid of. So, make sure you don’t accidentally blurt something out.
Skip Bo – A Fun Game You Won’t Want To Skip!
Skip Bo is sure to be a fun time with its simple gameplay loop and room for clever, strategic play. You’ll need plenty of room to set up, but once you get going, everyone is sure to have fun racing against each other to clear their stockpile first.