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How to Play Skyjo Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

Skyjo is a fun family card game that people of almost all ages can enjoy. I would recommend that it be kept to players over eight, but it all depends on personal ability.

Established in 2015, Skyjo has become a popular game in family homes across the globe, especially in the US.

Suppose you’ve never played this colorful card game before, then throughout this guide. In that case, I will tell you everything you need to know about playing, winning, and teaching others.

The goal of the game is to replace high-value cards with low ones with the aim of getting the lowest number of points by the end, but I will go into more detail about that later on.

It all comes down to Skyjo, an excellent card game that will bring lots of twists and turns to your game night and encourage players to use their initiative.

Let’s take an in-depth look at how to play Skyjo, and when you’re done here, you might consider finding out how to play other colorful card games like Uno.

Where To Buy Skyjo Card

On Sale Skyjo Card Game

To play this game, you must invest in the Sky set, which you can purchase online at sites like Amazon. There are a couple of variations, so once you’ve finished playing the original, you can move on to Sky Action.

No products found.

In the original game set, you will find the following:

  • 1 x instruction manual
  • 1 x Scoring card
  • 150 x Playing cards

Now you’ve got your set; you’re ready to play. You’ll need your players (two to eight people is recommended) and a flat playing space, preferably a large table, to spread the cards around.


Getting yourself ready to play is relatively simple. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be good to go:

  • Shuffle the cards.
  • Select a player to be the dealer, and have them give each player twelve cards.
  • Place the rest of the cards face down in the center of the table.
  • Remove the top card from the deck, and place it face up for everyone to see.
  • Place your twelve cards in front of you, face down, and spread out.
  • Have your scorecard and pen ready.

Deciding who is going to take the first turn depends on you. However, the recommended way is to have all players pick two of their cards, and whichever player has the highest total card value goes first.

There you have it, now let’s play.

Sky Card Game Rules and Gameplay

Rules And Gameplay

Many people I have spoken to claim they have never played Skyjo as they initially thought the rules were a little too complicated. Lucky for them, I am a dab hand at breaking down instructions and putting them across in a way that is easy to understand, and lucky for you too!

How to Play?

So, here we go!

To begin with, the first player takes a card from the top of the pile, or they can choose to take the card facing up. If you pick the facing-up card, you have to play that card. Of course, you want to select the lowest card possible, so if the face-up card looks pretty high, go for the deck.

Once you’ve selected your card, you decide whether to keep it or discard it. You must place it onto the discard pile if you choose to discard it. Then turn over one of your cards, so it is face up, and leave it there.

(The cards facing up in the center of the table).

If you choose to keep the card, you must pick a card from your selection to replace it and place it in the discard pile. You need to leave your new card face up.

Now it’s the next player’s turn, and you should continue in this form until the first person has turned over all of their cards. When this happens, the rest of the players should take one last turn and score.

The Special Rule

There is one unique rule in Skyjo that you can choose to include in your game or leave out. It means that during gameplay, if anyone had three cards revealed of the same value in a column, they were allowed to discard the entire column, making their chances of winning easier.

To End The Game

As I mentioned, the game ends when someone upturned all of their cards, but after this, you need to do the scoring.

After all the players have flipped over their cards, you all need to add the total number of points on the cards. This will be your final score.

The cards are scored from -2 to 12. The positive numbers are added, and the negative ones are removed from your final score.

Of course, the player who turned over all their cards first should have the lowest score; however, if another player has less or the same amount of points, the player who flipped all their cards first gets their points doubled.

The gameplay should continue until one player reaches 100, and this is when the final score is taken, and the player with the least amount of points wins the entire game.

To Round Things Up

So, if you were put off playing the Skyjo card game because you thought it would be too complicated, then I hope that by reading this guide, you’ve come to realize that there is nothing to be afraid of.

The game is quite simple; you need to get the lowest score possible, it is more a fact of the scoring that is slightly more complex, but even that isn’t as bad as you probably first thought.

If you have enjoyed learning how to play the Skyjo card game, you might also enjoy learning all about the Chinchon card game.

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