Skip-Bo: Spite and Malice: Variations
Variations in game play are inevitable. People like to play in ways that suit their own styles. This is why there are house rules for games like "Risk!", as well as Monopoly variations. These minor (and sometimes major) changes in the rules can change the complexity of play and may lengthen or shorten the game.
Probably the most popular variation on Skip-Bo is that the Ace or "1" card must be played if possible. This gives an advantage to players having a low card on top of the stock pile. It also speeds play somewhat.
Another variation is to have unlimited building stacks. This has a tendency to clutter the table. There are already many stacks on the table. This, too, favors low cards on the stock pile.
To vary the length of games, decrease the number of cards in the stock pile (sometimes called the pay-off pile). This way you can also handicap players based on their skill level. Every time a player wins a game, a card can be added to their stack in the next game. If they lose, one card less might be dealt to them.
In "Spite and Malice" the kings can be required for play to finish a build pile. In this case only Jokers are wild. This makes it more difficult to build stacks and to play from the stock pile.
Partner play is possible. In this variation partners are allowed to play from each other's discard and stock piles. The partner cannot speak or direct the playing person in any way. A variation on partner play is to have both players share one huge stock pile.
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