Originally released in 2015 Skyjo is a card game designed by Alexander Bernhardt. The game is a simple straightforward card game meant for the entire family. The goal is to try and replace high value cards in front of you with lower value cards.
Year: 2015 | Publisher: Magilano | Designer: Alexander Bernhardt | Artist: Alexander Bernhardt
Genres: Card, Family
Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2-8 | Length of Game: 30-60 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate
Components: 150 cards, instructions
Objective of Skyjo
The objective of Skyjo is to try and minimize the number of points on your cards.
Setup for Skyjo
For each round that you play, you will complete the following setup steps.
- Shuffle all of the cards together.
- Deal twelve cards face down to each player.
- The rest of the cards form the draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is turned over to start the discard pile.
- Each player places the twelve cards they were dealt into a 4 x 3 grid. All of these cards will remain face down as players can not look at them.
- Each player chooses two of their face down cards and flips them over.
- To determine who starts the first round, all of the players total their two face up cards. Whoever has the highest total will start the round. In future rounds, the player who ended the previous round (turned over their last face down card first) gets to start the next round.
Playing the Game
You will begin your turn by drawing a card. You can choose to draw one of two cards.
First you can take the top card from the discard pile. If you choose this option, you must exchange this card for one of the cards in your grid. You can exchange it for one of your face up or face down cards. You may not look at a face down card before you choose it. Once you have chosen a card and turned it over, you must exchange it for the card that you took from the discard pile. The card that you replaced with the new card will be placed on the top of the discard pile.
Otherwise you will take the top card from the draw pile. When you choose this option you can look at the card. At this point you will choose one of two options.
If you would like to keep the card, you will exchange it for one of the cards in your grid. You can either choose a face up or face down card. The card you exchange it for will be placed on top of the discard pile.
If you don’t want the card after looking at it, you can choose to discard it. After discarding it, you will flip over one of the face down cards in your grid.
After taking one of these actions, your turn ends. Play will pass to the next player clockwise (to the left).
Skyjo has a special rule that you can choose to use. If at any time a player has three revealed cards of the same number in a vertical column, they will discard the entire column. These three cards will be placed on top of the single card the player discarded on their turn.
End of Round
A round will end once one of the players has turned all of their cards face up. The rest of the players will get to take one more turn.
All of the players will then flip over any cards that are still face down. Each player will total the points printed on all of their cards. This total is added to each player’s game total.
The player that ended the round (was the first to flip over all of their cards) must score the least points in the round. If another player scores the same number of points or less, the player that ended the round will double the amount of points they score in the round. This only applies to positive points. You will not double their score if their total was negative.
End of Game
At the end of each round, the players total how many points they have scored in all of the rounds. Once one player has scored 100 or more total points between all of the rounds, the game will end.
The player who scored the least amount of points in the game wins.