Back to Central Connector - Back to Game Cabinet index

        Disclaimer: This is copied verbatim from the instructions and posted here because I know people lose the rules and  five years later they find the game in their game cabinet and say, "Hey, let's play Skip-Bo!" Well, the cards are in there but the rules seem to have disappeared. I just bought a new deck myself and have posted the rules so you can get that game in NOW since it is so late and the store isn't open anyways to buy a new deck right now. Again, please note I did not create the following copy. I only am doing my HTML thing here for you. -Download a Win95 verison of the game here (Skip-Bo type card game with strong AI and Internet Play)

- Enjoy your family time together! -

Great Company! Mattell Skip-Bo (R)

How To Play SKIP-BO (R) 

Ages: 7 and Up 

Players: 2 to 6, individually or partnered. 

Object: Be the first player to play all the cards in your STOCK pile (bet you're wondering what that is). 

YOU SHOULD HAVE: A deck with 144 cards numbered 1 through 12 plus 18 SKIP-BO cards for a total of 162. Please remove all components from package and compare them to the components list. If any items are missing, please call 1-800-524-TOYS. 

How to set up play 

In the center area of play, put the DRAW pile (where you'll be able to draw additional cards). Right near the DRAW pile, up to four BUILDING piles are placed during play. In addition, each player will have in front of him a STOCK pile and up to 4 DISCARD piles. 

Note: BUILDING piles and DISCARD piles are developed through play. No cards are in this area at the beginning of the game. Also, SKIP-BO cards are wild. This is important.

Card layout

It really is a small file!

Further Explanation of Card Piles 

1. 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. 

2. Draw Pile: After the deal, the remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table to form the DRAW pile. 

3. Building Piles: During the 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 through the number 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. 

4. 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. 

Okay, with us so far? Good. 


The first player to use up all the cards in his STOCK pile wins. Good luck. It's not as easy as you think. 


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 STOCK pile face up without looking at any of the other cards in the STOCK pile. The dealer then places the remainder of the deck face down to form the previously mentioned DRAW pile. 


This is the best part. The person to the left of the dealer starts. He draws 5 cards from the DRAW pile. If the player has a SKIP-BO card or a number 1 card on top of his STOCK pile or in his hand, he may use it to start a BUILDING pile. He may then continue by playing another card from his STOCK pile onto the BUILDING pile. If the player plays all 5 cards, he then draws 5 more and continues playing. If the player can't make a play or just doesn't want to, he ends his turn by discarding one of the cards from his hand onto one of his four DISCARD piles. On a player's second and succeeding turns, the player first draws enough cards to bring his hand back up to 5. He then may add to the BUILDING piles (always in sequential order) by playing the top card from his STOCK pile, DISCARD pile or from his hand. But, remember, the winner is the one who plays all the cards in his 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. 


You may wish to play several games and keep score. So here goes: 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 his turn, a player can play from both his STOCK and DISCARD piles and his partner's. However, during the player's turn, his partner must keep quiet. Only the player taking his turn can ask his partner to make a play for him, 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 STOCK pile without looking at them. The game is over when both STOCK piles of one of the partnerships are finished. 

Well, that's it. Oh, I almost forgot. Be sure and have ample munchies and beverages around. You'll need them. I did while writing this. 


1. If the player inadvertently draws too many cards, he must shuffle the extra cards drawn into his own STOCK pile. 

2. 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. 

3. 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. 


1. A player's four DISCARD piles are imaginary until he starts them during play. 

2. The BUILDING piles are imaginary until started by players during the game. 

3. Remember: The object of the game is to get rid of the cards from your (and your partner's, if playing partnerships) STOCK piles. 


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.

 Back to Central Connector - Back to Game Cabinet index