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SKIP-BO Classic Family Card Game

Updated on May 21, 2011

Family Game Nights


We have family game nights often. It's always fun to come together with family and friends. Game nights bring laughter, smiles and sometimes tears from too much laughter. Some games that my family likes to play on game nights include the following: Monopoly, Monopoly Deal, LIFE, Extreme LIFE Reality, and SKIP-BO! SKIP-BO is a great family game. It is challenging and fun at the same time. SKIP-BO is card numbers game that is a lot of fun once you know the strategy of the game. This game is played with 2 to 6 players. You have 20 cards dealt to you as a personal pile and then 5 cards to hold in your hand. They object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of your personal pile. Once the game has started use your best strategy to clear your pile. To do this here are a few of my personal tips. I look for ways to number my cards in order as I go. You have discard piles you use to end your turn. They can be used again on another turn. This is a great way to keep cards in order until they are played. Watch out though, you have to use the top card of a discard pile. Be sure to put them in order as you would need them first. Another good strategy, is to hold SKIP-BO (wild card) cards in your hand until you really need them. You don't want to waste them on something simple. They come in handy when you use your personal pile. You can't see what comes next from that pile and so it's helpful to have a SKIP-BO card in hand. Always check your personal pile before making a play. It's easy to forget and overlook when you have such a good hand of cards. The cards in your hand are not as important as your personal pile. Keep a close eye on your opponents personal piles. You can control the way they play. Watch what cards you put into the center piles. It may be just what they need on their turns. This game is lots of fun and very competitive for my family. We all have different strategies to winning. Anyone can play this game, it is fun for all ages. If you can sequence a number. You can play SKIP-BO. There is no wrong way to play this. It is simple and fun for the Whole family. Consider adding SKIP-BO fun to your family game nights.

SKIP-BO Instructions

Game Setup

1. Shuffle your SKIP-BO cards really good.

2. Pick a dealer to deal 20 cards to each player.

  • The 20 cards are your personal pile.
  • They remain face down at all times.
  • They key is, to be the first player to discard all of your personal cards.

3. Then the Dealer, deals each player 5 cards.

  • These cards are held in your hand.
  • To be played on your turn.

4. The Dealer, then places the remaining cards in the center.

  • This is the draw-pile.

The game is set up and ready to be played!

1. Each player flips over the top card of their personal pile.

2. The player to the left of the Dealer, goes first.

  • He/she can lay down a 1 or a SKIP-BO (wild card) card in the center to start the game.
  • There can be up to 4 piles in the center.
  • If he/she has no card to start a pile, they must discard and the next player goes.
  • A player can have up to 4 discard piles.

2. After a 1 or SKIP-BO (wild card) card has been played, The player continues to lay down cards in numerical order. When the pile reaches the number 12, then that pile is removed.

  • The cards used to build these piles can be used from your personal pile, discard pile and the cards you hold in your hand.

3. You must have 5 cards in hand when you start your turn again.

  • Each player, on their turn picks up cards until you have 5 cards in hand again.


  • Player has 1 card in hand. Therefore he/she draws 4 cards.
  • Player has 2 cards in hand. Therefore he/she draws 3 cards.
  • Player has 3 cards in hand. Therefore he/she draws 2 cards.

4. Don't forget the object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of their personal pile.

  • Come up with your own strategies to pull this off.
  • Use the cards in your hand and discard pile as least as possible to clear the cards in your personal pile.

5. Last instruction needed in playing this game.

  • HAVE FUN!!!


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    • abril_texis profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for your comment. We enjoy it too much sometimes. We get realy competitive while playing. It's lots of fun to have game nights as a family. I always find time to play a game. I was raised playing board games and wouldn't have had it any other way. :)

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This brought back many memories, as it was our family's favorite game. It's nice to see other families are enjoying it as much as we did.


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