Card Games

How to Play Skyjo: A Fun Light Card Game

If you enjoy games that are fast to learn, involve a little luck and a bit of strategy you will have a lot of fun with Skyjo. One of the great things about Skyjo is it plays well with 2 to 8 players, so it’s great for most game nights! Skyjo was created by Magilano, a company that has been around since 2016. The game is well-balanced and quick-moving. We have taught people how to play Skyjo in less than 5 minutes.

How to play Skyjo?

The object of the game is to have the lowest points at the end of the game. The game plays in rounds until a player reaches 100 points triggering the end of the game.

  • Shuffle the cards and deal each player 12 cards.
  • Players keep cards face down without looking at them.
  • Each player sets up their board by placing 3 cards face down in a vertical line and 4 cards face down in a horizontal row.
  • Each player turns two cards of their choice face up.
  • The deck is placed face down in the center of gameplay with one card turned up for the discard pile.
  • The first person is decided by adding up the two face-up cards from each player. Highest score goes first.
  • The first player either picks up the face-up card from the discard pile or draws the top card from the deck.
    • Pickup face-up card the player must exchange this card for one on their board. They can remove an existing face-up card or a face-down card. If the player removes a face-down card they cannot look at the face-down card before choosing to remove the card. The player discards the card they have chosen to replace and places the new card face up.
    • Draw a card the player can choose whether they want to keep the card or discard the card. If the player keeps the card they must replace it with a card on their board. They can exchange it with a face-up card or a face-down card. The player cannot look at face down card before replacing the card. The drawn card must be placed face-up on the board and the other card is discarded.
  • Play continues with the next player clockwise.
  • Special Rules: If a player lines up all the numbers in a vertical row those cards are removed. For example, in the picture below all the 12’s are in a vertical row. These cards are immediately discarded. Leaving the player with one less row.
  • Next player goes and the game continues until a player has all the cards on their board face up.
  • Each other player will get one more turn.
  • Once the round has ended each player reveals the remaining cards on their board and adds them up.
  • Caution the player who finishes the round must have the least amount of points scored for the round. If they don’t the player must double the points of this round. If their score is negative then they do not double the points.
  • Each score is recorded on the score sheet.
  • First player to reach 100 or more points triggers the end of the game. Player with the lowest score wins!

How Skyjo Card Game is Scored?

At the end of the round players score points by turning all their cards face up. Remove any cards in a vertical line if all the numbers match (such as the three 12″s shown in the photo above). Next, add the remaining numbers subtracting, the negative numbers.

Place the final score on the score sheet. Reminder for the player that went out, you must have the lowest score of the round or you double your score for the round. The only exception to this rule is if the player who went out had a negative score. In that case, you don’t double the score.

Example Scoring

  • Add all the cards
  • The total score for this player is 5.
  • If this player was the first player and they were not the lowest score then their score would be 10. Otherwise, it stays at 5.
1 + 2 + 0 + -1 + 0 + 3 + -1 + -2 + 3
  • Add all the cards
  • The total score for this player is 23.
  • If this player was the first player and they were not the lowest score then their score would be 46. Otherwise, it stays at 23.

Think about being a little strategic by not turning your last card over until you have a very low score. Try to not give the next person a card they might need to fulfill their vertical matches. Also, try not to give the next player low cards. Remember first to 100 triggers the end of the game and everyone else gets one last turn to make the best of their board. Have fun!

How do I know if I’ll like Skyjo?

If you like games that are easy to learn, have a bit of chance, and have some strategic gameplay this is a must-try. Skyjo is appealing because you can play and socialize very easily. It takes very little concentration. I like to play games like this when I haven’t seen people in a while and we are talking more than we are playing. This game can move as fast or as slow as you want it to.

Can you play Skyjo with two players?

Yes, you can play Skyjo with two players and won’t lose any of the fun when adding more players. I like to take games like this with us we travel because we can play with as few as two but up to 8 easily.

Can you play Skyjo online?

No, I am not aware of any place you can currently play Skyjo online.

Is the game Skyjo worth the money?

Yes, the game is pretty inexpensive, you should be able to find it for less than $20. Like any card game that is played frequently, the cards will eventually wear out, but they are inexpensive to replace. If this becomes a family favorite you can buy card sleeves if you want the cards to last longer.

Other Games You May Like if You Like Skyjo

If you have a lot of fun with Skyjo we recommend the games below based on the gameplay of Skyjo. Of the games listed below we highly recommend Silver Bullet because it is a little more competitive and adds a memory challenge.

Play Nine Card Game

Play Nine is a 2 – 6 player recommended minimum age is 8. The object of Play Nine is to have the lowest score. You start the game with 8 cards face down placed in front of you and turn over two. Just as in Skyjo on your turn draw a card from the draw pile or pick up a card from the discard. Players replace or turn over a card on every turn. The difference between Play Nine and Skyjo is the scoring and the card variations.

Silver Bullet

Silver Bullet is a great game for 2 – 4 players. The object of the game is to have the lowest total. Five cards are dealt face down to each player. You get to look at two cards but cannot turn them face up. Players can either take the top card of the deck or the top card of the discard pile. This game is different than Skyjo because each card will have an ability that the player can choose to complete or discard, the bullet mechanic and you can sabotage other player boards. This is a great game that will challenge your memory, has a great werewolf theme and nice art.

No Thanks

No Thanks is a card game that plays 2 – 7 players. Each player is trying to acquire the least points possible. This game adds a fun element of chips that entices other players to take higher-numbered cards. Sometimes there is a strategic advantage to taking a high card and other times it is better to pass with a chip. If you collect cards in sequence, only the lowest one counts against your score. No thanks is a lot of fun and we hope you give it a try!

Final Thoughts

If you have friends who like very easy card games or like to be able to converse while playing, Skyjo is a great addition to those game nights. I like to play the Skyjo card game towards the end of a long night of gaming because it has an easy flow and doesn’t require a lot of concentration. We really like that it plays up to 8 people, it travels well and is easy to store. If you have family holiday parties I highly recommend taking this game. You can socialize with family, and friends, while enjoying the easy flow of Skyjo.