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Official SKYJO Rules

Skyjo is a fast-paced and fun card game where players try to keep their displayed cards at a low point value to avoid going over 100 points. Here's a breakdown of the rules:


Be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. A score is calculated by adding the point values of all your face-up cards.

  • Number of Players 2-8


1. Shuffle the deck and deal 12 cards face down to each player in a 3x4 grid pattern in front of them. These are your tableau (cards you display).

2. Leave the remaining deck face down in the center of the table. This is the draw pile.

3. Place a discard pile face down next to the draw pile.


The game is played in turns, and each turn consists of two parts:

  • Draw or Discard: You can choose to do one of the following:

    • Draw a card: Take the top card from the draw pile and add it face down to your tableau, filling any empty space.

    • Discard a card: Choose one card from your face-down tableau and flip it face up to the discard pile.

  • Flipping Cards: After drawing or discarding a card, you can choose to flip over two of your face-down tableau cards to reveal their point values.

    • Play immediately: If you reveal a triplet (three cards of the same number), you must immediately discard that entire row (all three cards) face up to the discard pile. You cannot hold onto a revealed triplet.

Special Cards (Optional, depending on the version of Skyjo):

  • Skip Cards: Allow you to skip your turn and pass it to the next player.

  • Swap Cards: Allow you to swap one of your face-down tableau cards with the top card of the discard pile.

Winning the Game

  • Round End: The round ends when one player reveals all 12 cards in their tableau (all face up). All other players then get one final turn to potentially reveal more cards and discard triplets.

  • Scoring: After the round ends, all players reveal any remaining face-down cards in their tableau. Each player calculates their score by adding the point values of all their face-up cards.Negative points (-2 to -1) help lower your score.

  • New Round: A new round begins by shuffling the discard pile (excluding the top card) to form a new draw pile. The top discarded card remains face up to start the new discard pile. Deal new cards back to each player to refill their tableau to 12 cards.

  • Game End: The game typically continues for a predetermined number of rounds (often 5 or 10 rounds). The player with the lowest total score after all rounds is declared the winner!


The player who reveals the highest point value when initially flipping two cards starts the game. In case of a tie, the younger player starts.

  • You can't strategically place cards in your tableau while they are face down.

  • The game is fast-paced and involves a bit of luck with the cards you draw. However, some strategy comes into play when deciding whether to draw a new card or discard and flip existing cards.

Skyjo is easy to learn and provides plenty of opportunities for strategic decision-making, especially when deciding which cards to replace and when to announce "Skyjo." Enjoy playing!

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