Mattel® produces the game Uno. A standard Uno deck, with 108 cards, can easily accommodate 2-10 players and is recommended for anyone over the age of six years old.
There are many variations on how the game can be played. The official rules that come with the game give the object as scoring 500 points before anyone else. Points are scored by adding the values of your opponent’s hands once you have rid yourself of all of your cards.
The 108 deck of cards includes the following:
- 19 blue cards numbered 0-9
- 19 green cards numbered 0-9
- 19 red cards numbered 0-9
- 19 yellow cards numbered 0-9
- 2 blue, 2 green, 2 red, and 2 yellow Draw Two cards
- 2 blue, 2 green, 2 red, and 2 yellow Reverse crads
- 2 blue, 2 green, 2 red, and 2 yellow Skip cards
- 4 Wild cards
- 4 Wild Draw Four cards
In a standard game each player is dealt seven cards. For shorter games or to accommodate more players, I have seen 5 cards played instead of seven. The remaining cards are placed face down in the center of the table as a Draw pile. The top card in this pile is flipped over to begin the Discard pile. If the first card is a word card certain rules apply. If it is a Wild Draw Four the card is placed back into the draw pile and a new card is drawn. If it is a Wild Card the player to the left of the dealer names a color and then plays that color. Draw Two Card requires the first player to pick two cards up and not discard. Reverse card as a first card makes the dealer go first, and play continues to the right instead of the traditional left. If the first card is a Skip the player to the left of the dealer misses this turn and the next player to the left begins.
According to the official rules that come with this game, dealer is chosen by having all players draw a card. Word cards (Wild, Skip, Reverse, and Draw Two) do not count. The player with the highest number deals. Player to the left of dealer starts play. This rule is sometimes altered to oldest player deals or youngest player starts. Whoever does go first has to discard one card that matches the color, the number or the word that is on the discard pile. For example, if the top card in a discard pile is a green two the player may discard a two of any color, any green card, or a wild card. When the player has no cards that could be discarded they must pick up a card from the Draw pile. If they can play this card, they are to do so. The rules of what happens if a person can not play this card vary. Mattel’s official rules say that play goes to the next player after one card is drawn. I have seen some people play this game requiring two attempts at drawing, and others require a person to continue to draw cards until they are able to discard, even if this means having to reshuffle the discard pile into a new draw pile in order to continue.
In order to play this game one must know what all the cards mean. The number cards are discarded with no other action associated with them. The word cards are a bit more complicated. Draw two cards require the player who’s turn it is after the person who discarded the card to draw two cards and not discard on that round. Reverse cards reverse the direction of play from clockwise to counterclockwise and vice versa with each discarded Reverse. In two player games Reverse cards are the same as Skip cards. Skip cards make the next player lose a turn. Wild Card’s can be played on any card of any color or any denomination. The person who plays the wild card names a color as they discard it and play continues with the next player having to play any card of the color named or a wild or wild draw four card. The rules for the Wild Draw Four card vary slightly but what happens once it’s played do not generally change. It, like the wild, can be played on ANY card, and the person playing names the new color. The next player however has to draw four cards and loses their turn. The variation comes in that Wild Draw Four cards can only be used, according to the official rules, when you do not have a card in your hand that matches the COLOR of the previous card in the discard pile. These rules do allow you to use the Wild Draw Four if you have the same number/word as long as it is a different color. Some people play this game with the rule that you must have NO card that can be played in your hand to use the Wild Draw Four. Others allow use of the Wild Draw Four at any time.
The name of the game comes from the rule which requires a person to yell “Uno” when they have only one card left in their hand. This must be done as soon as the second to last card hits the discard pile. If not said immediately another player can say it, requiring you to pick up two additional cards from the draw pile. This rule is known to cause many heated arguments over who said “Uno” first. It has even, on rare occasions, led to blood being spilt. Officially, once the next player begins their turn the player with one card can no longer receive penalty if they were not already caught for not saying “Uno”
When one player discards their final card the hand is over. Points are then scored and cards are dealt again. If the last card played is a Draw Two, or a Wild Draw Four the next player must still draw those cards for the purpose of scoring.
One form of scoring is the winning player gets points for each card in their opponents hands. Another way of scoring is by keeping a tally of the points in your own hand at the end of each hand. In the first variation of scoring the first player to reach the set amount (usually set at 500 points) wins. In the second variation the player with the lowest score when a player reaches the set amount wins, or having players eliminated as they reach the amount, and the last person who has not reached the set points win.