It is a perpetual challenge to find a game that can be played with a small or large player count. Skyjo fits the niche of being played with up to eight players without being a party game. It is the first game from Magilano. I happened upon this game listening to a podcast about board games. Most of the games the discussed were heavier weight game, and then one mentioned Skyjo. It sounded perfect for my family, so I found it online. It was an instant hit!

Skyjo is a set collection card game for two to eight players were your goal is to get the least amount of points per around.   The recommended age is for eight and up. The game does scale down especially once children can understand the negative cards by relating them to take away. Unknown cards in front of each player and fifteen different cards that can be revealed, gives Skyjo just enough suspense to provide just a bit of tension in the game.

Game Components

  • 150 Playing Cards
  • Score pad


Players receive twelve cards face down at the beginning of the round they reveal two cards. On their turn a player can either draw a revealed card from the discard pile, or they can take a card from the draw pile. If a player selects a revealed card from the discard pile, they must use it either for one of their face up cards or flip over a card and use it there. Should they choose an unknown card from the draw pile, then players can either substituted for a visible card or flip a card as well.

The round ends when one player has revealed all twelve of their cards. One final turn occurs for the remaining players. Finally, players reveal their remaining cards and calculate points. There is a risk to ending the round, because that player must have the lowest score or their points are doubled.

Additional rounds are played until one player meets or exceeds 100 points. The player with the lowest score wins the game. There is one special condition in the game. If a player has three cards in a row a vertical row that are the same number they may remove the entire column.

Family Game Assessment

Skyjo is a great addition to any game collection. It supports of wide range of players and scales well at all player counts. Being able to support up to eight players is a huge asset. It is challenging to find a game, which is not a party game, that supports such a high player count. Skyjo’s rules are simple and easy to learn. It fits a casual gaming and multi generational gaming setting.
  Once they are familiar with the gameplay, young gamers could play independently.  Skyjo comes in a small box that is easily packable and portable, and can be brought pretty much anywhere. Players need a larger play space because each player has a three by four grid of cards in front of them. So it doesn’t make a good restaurant game or small space game.

Final Thoughts

Skyjo is a must for a family game collection. It is small, inexpensive, simple and easy.  As a bonus it also supports a wide range of player counts, making  perfect for family gatherings.

Buy Skyjo here on Amazon!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By Linda Wrobel

Managing Editor: Board Games Mother, Educator, and Board Game Editor.

6 thoughts on “Family Board Game Review: Skyjo”
      1. Do you start with 16 or 12? The pictures you show are only showing 3 rows of 4 cards.

        Also how many cards are there suppose to be total in the game?

        1. Total cards in the box 150, each player has 12 cards and you are drawing from the deck or discard pile.

          Linda (the author) is going to update the images in the article to make it more clear.

          Thank you!

        2. Traci, thank you for letting us know the pictures were confusing. The article has been updated to show the layout of the 12 cards each player has. Please reach out if you have any other questions, or if I can clarify anything further!

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