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Skull box image


Skull is a bluffing game where players take turns placing cards face down and bidding on how many cards they can flip without revealing a skull. The first player to win two rounds wins the game.

7.19 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
3 - 6
player count
3 - 6
Recommended player count
15 - 45 mins
play time

How Complex is Skull?

1.12 / 5

Skull is easy to understand but requires skillful bluffing and reading opponents. The game can be played by anyone, but mastery takes practice.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of Skull?

3 / 5

Luck plays a significant role in Skull as players must rely on chance when placing their cards and guessing their opponents' intentions. However, skilled bluffing and reading opponents can mitigate luck to some extent.

How much Player Interaction does Skull offer?

5 / 5

Skull has high player interaction as players must constantly read and bluff their opponents. The bidding system also encourages players to interact and challenge each other's bids.

How much Replayability does Skull offer?

4 / 5

Skull has high replayability due to the game's simple rules and the ever-changing dynamics of bluffing and reading opponents. The game can be played with different groups and still be enjoyable.

Why you should play Skull

Easy to Learn

Skull is a simple game that can be learned in just a few minutes. This makes it a great option for both casual and serious gamers.

Strategic Gameplay

Despite its simplicity, Skull requires strategic thinking and careful planning. Players must decide when to bid, when to bluff, and when to fold, making every game a unique challenge.

Quick Rounds

Each round of Skull is fast-paced and typically lasts only a few minutes. This makes it a great option for players who want to fit in a quick game during a lunch break or between other activities.

Social Game

Skull is a highly social game that encourages players to interact and engage with each other. It's a great way to break the ice at a party or get to know new people.


The game is small and compact, making it easy to take with you on the go. It's perfect for camping trips, road trips, or any other situation where you want to play a game but don't have a lot of space.

Why you should avoid Skull

Limited Replayability

While Skull is a fun game, it can become repetitive after several plays. The game has a limited number of cards and strategies, which can make it less exciting over time.

Player elimination

Players can get eliminated during the game which may not be preferred by everyone.

Lack of depth

Skull is a light game with little depth. Players who want to play a competitive strategic game may find it boring.

High Luck Factor

Despite the strategic elements of the game, luck plays a significant role in Skull. If you're not a fan of games where chance can determine the outcome, Skull may not be for you.

Where to play Skull online?

Where to find the Rules of Skull

Check the rules of Skull in a PDF file.

You can also find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the Skull files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for Skull

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of Skull.

Read the players

When you are playing the game for the first time with some people, try to get as much information as possible about how others behave before initiating a challenge yourself by playing it safe. Let others bid and pay attention to the players. Try to find a pattern in their reaction like what they do when they bluff.

Remain calm

In bluffing games, it is beneficial to not react to anything. You can either stay calm or react the same way to everything. Your reaction can give away your intention. Don't let others read you.

Pretend to flip and read the person

Usually, people's reactions will give away if they have played a skull when you try to flip their top disc. How? They won't bother. If they have a rose on top, often, you can read their uneasiness. You can learn from this and be calm when your disc is about to be flipped.

With aggressive players, play skull often

With an aggressive group, it's better to play a skull first. Because you can usually expect a challenge after everyone places their discs.

Bluff wisely

Skull is a bluffing game, but it's important to bluff wisely. Don't bluff too often too early in the game, as this can make you predictable.

Advanced Strategies for Skull

Try to eliminate others

You can also win by eliminating others. Although it'll take the fun out of the game, you can play it safe till someone wins their first challenge.

A quick pass to a low bid is usually a skull

When challenging, if a person passes quickly without a second thought to a low bid, they likely have a skull on top. Because they don't want to bluff by making a bid.

After winning a challenge, bait

Once you win your first challenge, you need to win one more challenge to win the game. You can bait other players into bidding. You can play a rose/skull and bid 1. Others will be forced to increase the bid to prevent you from winning.

Challenge or increase bids with a plan

If you flip the skull of other players, you may lose your skull when they discard one of your discs randomly. This can put you at a great disadvantage. Hence, think twice before challenging or increasing a bid with all rose discs in your mat.

It's okay to lose a disc to prevent others from winning

If a player goes for the second win, even if you have a skull in your discs increase the bid to prevent an easy win for your opponent when others are playing safe. Worst case you'll lose a disc selected by you.


Hand Management
Player Elimination
Bids As Wagers


Card Game
Party Game

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