A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

How To Play: Skull


Skull is a fantastic game. And if you are here looking for an explanation of how to play then you are in for a treat. Working best in a casual environment (maybe with a cheeky tipple or two) this game is my most requested game to play out of my collection. And luckily for you, it is the easiest game to learn to play!

It has an easy-to-follow rulebook although it isn’t perfect. It refers to the game as ‘Skullsz’ in places and at one point telling you to refer to page 12 in an 8-page rule book. So hopefully this little guide helps you a little.

Set Up

Take out a set of tiles for each player. Every player should have 3 flower tiles, 1 skull tile and 1 square base tile. Everyone sets their base tile so that the skulls are in the corners and the flowers are underneath.

Every player then places one of their tiles on top of the base mat tile facedown. This can be either the skull tile or a flower tile.

Choose the start player. There is no official way of doing this in this edition of the game. Skull & Flower players don’t at me!

That’s all there is to the set up!

Playing A Round

You have 2 choices on your turn. You can either place another tile facedown on top of the one you placed during the set up; or you can make a bid. If you placed a tile then the turn passes to the player to your left. To make a bid you can call out a number that relates to the amount of tiles you think you can flip face up without revealing a skull tile.

Once a bid has been placed, each player (in order) then gets the option to make a higher bid or to pass. If a player is outbid, then you proceed in player order so that everyone gets the chance to outbid or pass. Once it gets back to the initial bid placer, they can further outbid or pass. This continues until there is only one player left who hasn’t passed. If you are playing this in a more boisterous environment (or a more drunken one) then the rule of everyone placing bids or passing in order is often overlooked as everyone shouts out if they want to outbid someone. My advice here is to just accept it and roll with it, it doesn't make any difference in the end.

If you are the last bidder then you will then proceed to flip over the amount of tiles you have bid – one at a time! You MUST flip your own tiles over first. You can then flip over anyone else’s tiles in any order you want. For example: if you have bid 6, and you have 3 tiles placed, then you must flip your 3 tiles over first. You can then flip 3 more from anyone, whether that is all from one player, one from three different players – it’s up to you. If you reveal a skull then you immediately stop flipping tiles and then it is time for punishment. If you revealed another player’s skull then all your tiles get shuffled face down and placed in the middle. The player who’s skull you revealed then gets to choose one of them and it gets removed from the game permanently. Only you will know if you have lost a skull or flower. If your bluff was called and you ended up revealing your own skull then you get to choose what tile you remove from the game without revealing it.

If a player reveals the amount of tiles that they bid without revealing a skull, then they win the round. That player then flips their base mat tile so that the flower corners are on the top side. If that player wins another round then they win. Skull is a game where the first to 2 wins.

Whoever is the one who made the highest bid and revealed tiles will be the first player in the following round.

If a player is eliminated then the first player in the next round will be the player who’s skull was revealed. If a player manages to eliminate themselves then they get to choose the first player of the next round.

Every player then repeats setup and selects a tile to begin the round face down on their mat tile.

Tips And Small Rules

It is important to stop revealing tiles after you reveal a skull so that you do not reveal other players’ strategies. The other players may choose to reveal their own placed tiles though to see the look on the bidder’s face if they could have won. Or even if they had no chance at all.

When choosing which tile to discard if you revealed your own skull, there are merits to either decision. If you discard a flower then you have a higher chance of having someone reveal your skull. If you discard a skull then you have a higher chance of winning a round by revealing your own stack of flowers. If you have 3 tiles placed and bid 3 then the chances are nobody will outbid you because they will never believe you willingly discarded a flower.

Skull is a bluffing game. You will find you are more likely to win when you start making comments to get into your opponents’ heads!

You will never win this game if you don’t attempt to make bluffs and higher bids!

If you only have 1 tile left then you must still place it down in the setup of a new round. When it is your turn, you MUST make a bid.

You cannot make a bid that is higher than the amount of tiles in play.

Skul...The Drinking Game?!

So here is the thing. Skull is a lot of people’s top choice to play with friends at parties or at the pub. So why not turn it into a drinking game? With its incredibly simple rules then it is really easy to mould into a game that you can drink to.

You could go simple and every time you lose a tile you must take a shot.

Or you could go more ring of fire and maybe every time someone reveals your skull you can add some of your drink to a glass in the middle of the table. Then if ever someone reveals their own skull they need to down the horrible mix everyone has created.

I don’t know, go crazy. I’m not your mother.

Have Fun!

That is all you need to know in order to enjoy a game or twelve of Skull. Happy gaming!

Eager to share your own thoughts on some of your favourite board games? Just fill out our quick and easy application here to become a zatu blogger!

If you liked this blog on Skull, you can click here to buy it today. Let us know your thoughts on our social media channels @/zatugames