The Skyjo Game Rules And Cards

Skyjo is a fun and exciting card game that challenges your counting, predicting, and collecting skills. The Skyjo game is perfect for game nights with friends and family. Skyjo card game is easy to learn and can be played by 2 to 8 players. It is an excellent choice for gatherings of all sizes. In this article, we will see the rules of Skyjo and how to play the Skyjo game.

What is Skyjo?

Skyjo game involves drawing and discarding cards with different values. This game uses a standard deck of 52 cards, each with a value from -2 to 12. The game’s goal is to have the lowest score at the end of the match. The game ends when one player reaches 100 points or more. You can buy it from

Skyjo card game
card game Skyjo

What You Need to Play Skyjo

To play Skyjo, you will need:

  • A deck of 150 cards
  • A scorepad or paper to keep track of points
  • Pencils or pens for each player

The Deck Of Skyjo Cards

The deck consists of 150 cards, with numbers ranging from 1 to 12. Each number has 12 cards, except for 1, which has 18 cards. The cards are divided into 12 categories, each with a unique symbol. These symbols are important for scoring in the game.

Skyjo Cards
Skyjo Cards

The Score Pad

The scorepad is used to keep track of points earned by each player. If you do not have a scorepad, you can use a piece of paper to keep track of points.

How to Start the Game

You must shuffle the cards and deal them to the players to start the game. Each player gets 12 cards arranged in three rows of four cards. The cards are placed face-down in front of the players, and they can only look at two of them.

The remaining cards are placed in a face-down pile in the center of the table. The pile’s top card is turned over and placed next to the stack. This is the discard pile. It would be best if you also prepared a scorecard and a pen to keep track of the points.



At the end of each round, players reveal their cards and add their points. The points are calculated as follows:

  • Number cards: The number on the card is the number of points it is worth.
  • Special cards: Special cards have different point values and effects. These are explained in the next section.

The round ends when one player has all their cards face up in their grid. This player announces, “Skyjo!” and the round is over. All other players get one more turn before the round ends.

Special Cards

There are four special cards in Skyjo, each with a unique symbol. These cards have different point values and effects.

  • Joker: The Joker is worth 0 points and can be used as a wild card to replace any other card in your grid.
  • Swap: The Swap card allows you to switch one of your cards with another player’s card. The player with the lowest score chooses which card to swap.
  • Peek: The Peek card lets you look at one of your opponent’s cards. You can then choose to swap that card with one of your own.
  • Discard: The Discard card allows you to discard one of your opponent’s cards from their grid.

How to Play Skyjo Card Game

The game is played in turns, from the player to the dealer’s left. On their turn, a player can follow one of the following Skyjo card game rules:

  • Draw a card from the face-down draw pile. The player can either keep the card or discard it. If they keep the card, they must replace one of their face-down cards with it and toss the replaced card face-up on the discard pile. If they discard the card, they must reveal one of their face-down cards and leave it face-up in its place.
  • Take the top card from the discard pile. The player must keep the card and replace one of their face-down cards with it. They must discard the replaced card face up on the discard pile.

The player’s turn ends after they perform one of these actions. The next player to the left then takes their turn, and so on.

The game continues until one player reveals all of their cards. This ends the round, and the players count their points. The points are equal to the sum of the values of their cards. For example, if a player has cards with values 2, 3, 5, -2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 0, their score is 59.

The player with the lowest score wins the round and gets a bonus of -10 points. The player who revealed all their cards receives a penalty of +10 points. The scores are recorded on the scorecard.

The game starts a new round, with the cards shuffled and dealt again. The match ends when one player reaches 100 points or more. The player with the lowest score at that point wins the card game sky.

Skyjo Game Rules

Here are some additional Skyjo rules and tips for playing Skyjo:

Skyjo Game Rules
Skyjo Rules
  • The cards with values -2 and 0 are unique. The -2 card reduces your score by 2 points, while the 0 card does not affect your score. You can reveal these cards anytime during the game without drawing or taking a card.
  • If the face-down pile runs out of cards, the discard pile is shuffled and turned over to form a new face-down pile. The top card of the new pile is turned over and placed next to the stack to create a new discard pile.
  • If you have two or more cards with the same value in your grid, you can reveal them all at once without drawing or taking a card. This can help you end the round faster and surprise your opponents.
  • You can use some strategy and bluffing to play Skyjo. For example, you can pretend to have a low score by revealing low-value cards while hiding high-value cards. You can also try to guess your opponents’ cards by observing their actions and reactions.
  • You can also play Skyjo with variations to make the game more interesting. For example, you can play with a different number of cards, a different target score, or a different scoring system. You can also add special rules or challenges to spice up the game.

Variations of Skyjo

Here are a few variations of Skyjo that you can try:

Team Skyjo

In Team Skyjo, players are divided into two teams. Each team has a shared grid of 12 cards, and players take turns drawing and discarding cards. The group with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.

Skyjo with More Players

  • If you have more than 8 players, you can combine two decks of Skyjo to accommodate more players. The rules and gameplay remain the same.


Skyjo is a fun and exciting card game you can play with friends or family. The game is easy to learn and play but requires some strategy and luck to win. The game is suitable for players of all ages and can be played with 2 to 8 players.

The game resembles other card games like Phase 10, GoLow, and 3UP 3DOWN. If you like card games that involve counting, predicting, and collecting points, you will love Skyjo. Try it out and see if you can win the game with the lowest score.

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