- 144 cards numbered 1 through 12 plus
- 18 SKIP-BO cards
Object of the Game
Be the first player to play all the cards in your STOCK pile by playing cards in numerical order, 1 through 12.
The first player to use up all the cards in his/her STOCK pile wins.
After the deck is shuffled, each player draws a card. The person with the highest card deals. (SKIP-BO cards don't count). The deal moves to the left after each game.
When there are 2 to 4 players, the dealer deals 30 cards to each player. With 5 or more players, 20 cards are dealt. The cards are dealt face down and they become your STOCK pile.
Each player turns the top card of his/her STOCK pile face up on top of the pile, without looking at any of the other cards in the pile.
The dealer then places the remainder of the deck face down in the center of the play area to form the DRAW pile (where you'll be able to draw additional cards).
In the center area of play, right near the DRAW pile, up to four building piles will be created for all players to use during play. In addition, each player will have in front of him/her a STOCK pile and up to 4 discard piles. (See illustration, below).
Important Note: building piles and DISCARD piles are developed through play (indicated by dotted lines, below).
No cards are in this area at the beginning of the game. Also, SKIP-BO cards are wild. This is important.
A player's four DISCARD piles are imaginary until he/she starts them during play.
The building piles are imaginary until started by players during the game.
Remember: The object of the game is to get rid of the cards from your (and your partner's, if playing partnerships) STOCK piles.
Further Explanation of Card Piles
Stock Pile: Each player has one STOCK pile, placed face down on his right, with the top card of the pile always turned face-up on top.
Draw Pile: After the deal, the remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table to form the DRAW pile.
Building Piles: During play up to four BUILDING piles can be started. Only a 1 or a SKIP-BO card can start a BUILDING pile. Each pile is then built up numerically in sequence, 1 through 12.
Since SKIP-BO cards are wild, they can start a BUILDING pile, and can be played as any other number, too. Once a pile of 12 cards has been completed, it is removed, and a new pile is started in its place.
Discard Pile: During play, each player may build up to four DISCARD piles to the left of his STOCK pile. They can build up any number of cards in any order in the DISCARD piles, but may only play the top card.
The person to the left of the dealer starts.
Draw 5 cards from the DRAW pile. If you have a SKIP-BO card or a number 1 card on top of your STOCK pile or in your hand, you may use it to start a BUILDING pile in the center of the play area.
You may then continue by playing another card from your STOCK pile onto a BUILDING pile. If you play all 5 cards, draw 5 more and continue playing. If you can't make a play or just don't want to, end your turn by discarding one of the cards from your hand onto one of your four DISCARD piles.
On your second and succeeding turns, first draw enough cards to bring your hand back up to 5. You may then add to the BUILDING piles (always in sequential order) by playing the top card from your STOCK pile, DISCARD pile or from your hand.
But remember, the winner is the one who plays all the cards in his/her STOCK pile, so it's best to always use the playable cards from that pile first. If the DRAW pile is used up, the cards from the completed BUILDING piles are shuffled and become the new DRAW pile.
End of the Game
You may wish to play several games and keep score: The winner of each game scores 5 points for each card remaining in his opponents' STOCK piles, plus 25 points for winning the game.
The first person to collect 500 points wins.
All the rules stay the same except the following: During your turn, you can play from both your STOCK and DISCARD piles and your partner's. However, during your turn, your partner must keep quiet.
Only the player taking his/her turn can ask his/her partner to make a play, i.e., "Partner, play your SKIP-BO as a 4" or "Partner, play your 7".
Any player guilty of cheating must take 2 cards from the DRAW pile and place them in his/her STOCK pile without looking at them. The game is over when both STOCK piles of one of the partnerships are finished.
If you inadvertently draw too many cards, you must shuffle the extra cards drawn into your own STOCK pile.
If a player draws and plays out of turn and the error is noticed by another player before this illegal turn is finished, then the illegal turn stops immediately and play reverts to the proper order.
However, when it becomes the play of the player who went out of turn, then that player suffers the penalty of having to play without first drawing from the DRAW pile.
But if a player plays out of turn and completes his turn without being noticed, the play is considered legal. Play resumes as normal, starting with the player to the left of the out-of-turn player.
In partnership play, both partners can continue to play from their remaining DISCARD or BUILDING piles even if one of the STOCK piles is finished.
For players wishing to play a short version of SKIP-BO, the dealer deals a STOCK pile of 10 cards to each player. All other rules remain the same.