The 1988 Calder Cup Playoffs of the American Hockey League began on April 6, 1988. The eight teams that qualified, four from each division, played best-of-7 series for Division Semifinals and Division Finals. The division champions played a best-of-7 series for the Calder Cup. The Calder Cup Final ended on May 12, 1988 with the Hershey Bears defeating the Fredericton Express four games to zero to win the Calder Cup for the seventh time in team history. Hershey went an unprecedented 12-0 during their Calder Cup run, which also set an AHL record for most consecutive games won in one playoff. Hershey's Wendell Young won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as AHL playoff MVP.
In each round, the team that earned more points during the regular season receives home ice advantage, meaning they receive the "extra" game on home-ice if the series reaches the maximum number of games. There is no set series format due to arena scheduling conflicts and travel considerations.