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Home > Popular Commercial Games > Card Games > Uno Card Game: Uno Rules & Strategy

How to Play
Uno Card Game

Rules & Strategy

Uno is a branded card game produced by Mattel. It uses a special Uno game deck composed of 108 cards. It is a shedding card game where the winner is the first to discard all his cards and belongs to the Crazy Eights family of card games.

The game is easy to learn so that kids can start enjoying the game within minutes. 2-10 players can join each game when using a standard deck of 108 cards.

Learn How to Play Uno Card Game as a Drinking Game. Optional Strip Game Rules. At www.fun-free-party-games.com

Over the years, the Uno brand has been applied to myriad other games. Find out more below.

For games that involve even more players, you can shuffle two Uno decks together and play with 216 cards.


The Uno Card Game Package:

* A deck of 108 Uno playing cards


What's Needed to Play Uno Card Game:

* A deck of Uno Game Cards

* From 2 up to 10 Players for 1 Deck of Uno Cards

* From 12 up to 20 Players for 2 Decks of Uno Cards

* A Flat surface big enough to accommodate the Stock Pile and Discard Pile of cards

* A Notepad and Pen for keeping score

About the Uno Card Deck:

The Uno Card Deck is composed of 108 color-coded playing cards

There are 25 cards for each of the 4 colors: Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. These total 100 cards.

And then there are 8 Black cards that are Wild Cards.

Below and to the Right, you will find an accounting of the 108 cards in an Uno Deck.

Value of Black Cards No of Cards
Wild 4
Wild Draw 4 4
Total Number of Black Cards ..... 8
Face Value of Colored Cards

No of Cards per color

Total No of Cards
1,2,3,..8,9 2 18
0 1 1
Action Card: Skip 2 2
Action Card: Draw 2 2 2
Action Card: Reverse 2 2
..Number of Cards.. 25
Number of Colors:
(Blue, Red, Yellow, Green)
Total Number of Colored Cards ..... 100

Objective of the Uno Game:

* The first player to shed or discard all his cards wins the Hand.
* The winner in each hand earns points: the value of the cards remaining in play are added up.
* More hands are played until 1 player earns the target score: usually 500points.


How to Set Up a Game of Uno:

* Determine a Dealer: All players draw a card. The player who draws the highest value is the dealer. Only number cards are used for this purpose.
* The dealer deals out 7 cards to each player
* The dealer places the remaining cards face down to form the “Stock Pile” and flips the topmost card into the “Discard Pile”
* The game is now set up and ready to play

Playing a Game of Uno:

Players are supposed to play the Color or the Value of the card that was discarded by the player before him.

However, even when the player has a valid card that he can play, he may choose to draw from the discard pile instead.

In case the player does not have a valid move from his hand, he has the following options open to him:

* he can play a black “Wild” card if he has one in his hand. In playing this card, he plays a color card that has no value. If he wants to, a Wild card allows the player to change the color that is in play.

* he can play a black “Wild Draw 4” card but ONLY IF he has no other valid card in terms of Color or Value

* he can draw a card from the stock pile. He is allowed to immediately discard this newly drawn card if it is a valid card for this purpose

The First Move:

The default play order is Clockwise (turn passes to the player to your left).

Once the dealer flips the first card into the discard pile, the player to the dealer’s left must respond by discarding, playing wild cards, or drawing from the stock. However, there is 1 exception to this rule: IF the dealer flips a “Wild Draw 4” card at the very start of the game, this card is returned to the deck and another is drawn in its place.

Response to Action Cards:

Card Value Response
Draw 2 The next player is forced to draw 2 cards from the stock pile then end his turn regardless of the value of the cards drawn
Skip The next player is skipped (i.e., he loses his turn)
Reverse The play order is reversed. By default this should be clockwise.

Response to Wild Cards:

Wild Card Value Response
Wild If you play a Wild card, you can impose a change in the color that is in play.
For example, the color in play is Red. You play a Wild card. Considering that you hold a lot of Yellow cards in hand, you decide to impose a change in color from Red to Yellow. Therefore the next player in turn has to play a Yellow card or follow.
Wild Draw 4 Similar to the Wild Card, but the next player must Draw 4 cards then end his turn without discarding.

Challenging a "Wild Draw 4" Card:

Whenever a “Wild Draw 4” card is played, the next player in turn (note: the one who has to draw 4 cards) has the option of Challenging. This is in line with the rule that a “Wild Draw 4” card may only be played when there are no valid moves aside from drawing from the stock pile.

A Successful Challenge means that the “Wild Draw 4” card was played illegally. The offending player has to take back the “Wild Draw 4” card and draw 4 extra cards from the stock pile. He then ends his turn without making any discards.

An Unsuccessful Challenge means that the “Wild Draw 4” card was played legally. The challenger now has to respond to the “Wild Draw 4” by drawing 4 cards from the stock pile. Additionally, he also has to draw 2 extra cards for making an unsuccessful challenge. He may then discard as usual.

Replenishing the Stock Pile:

If the stock pile is exhausted, the discard pile is simply collected, shuffled and placed in the stock pile.

Declaring Uno:

A player who discards all but one of his Uno Cards is supposed to declare “Uno”. In this manner, he announces to all other players that he will win in the next round should the one card that he holds be playable.
Failing to declare Uno deserves a penalty when caught. The penalty is that the offending player must draw 2 more cards from the stock pile. Of important note: A player cannot win if he forgets to declare Uno because he is not allowed to discard his last card until he does so.

Penalties in Uno Card Game:

These penalties apply to players who are caught. This introduces an element of sneakiness into the game: you can try to slip one pass your opponents, but if they catch you, you have to pay.



You forget to announce "Uno" You are supposed to announce “Uno” the moment you are down to your last card. You must draw 2 cards from the Stock
You play the wrong card You are supposed to play a card of the same Color or the same Value as the previous player. You must reclaim your misplayed card and draw 2 more cards from the Stock
You play a card then take it back You are basically required to play correctly and decisively. If you play indecisively by laying down a card then taking it back, your opponents can force you to accept a penalty. You must draw 2 cards from the Stock after playing your turn
Successful Challenge on a "Wild Draw Four" Card You can only play a “Wild Draw 4” card if you have no valid move. The next player can challenge you, and you have to show him your hand. IF it turns out that you had a valid move yet chose to play the “Wild Draw 4” card, then this means that you played it illegally and deserve a penalty. You must draw 4 cards from the stock and leave your “Wild Draw 4” card on the discard pile. The next player does not have to “Draw 4”.
Unsuccessful Challenge on a "Wild Draw Four" Card The challenge reveals that the “Wild Draw 4” card was played legally The challenger has to draw 4 cards from the Stock (just as he should have), and draw another 2 cards from the Stock as the penalty

Winning the Hand:

A game Hand ends when a player discards his last. All other players lay down their cards face-up to show the values. The Card Values are added up and the winner earns that many points.

The cards are then shuffled and another hand can be played.

Winning the Game:

Usually, the players keep playing until somebody accumulates a target score such as 500 points.

Card Values when Counting Points:

Card Value Number of Points
0-9 According to Face Value
Action Cards
(Skip, Reverse, Draw2)
20 Points
Wild Cards 50 Points

Uno Card Game Strategy:

Keep a Close Watch on your opponents: There’s penalties that apply when you catch your opponents at something, so be sure to keep a close watch on the other players. The more cards your opponents hold in hand, the lower their chances of winning the game.

Minimize the value of cards in your hands: It is a good idea to minimize the value of the cards you hold. So then, early in the game, you ought to discard high value number cards as soon as you can. This also makes it harder for other players to discard their high-value cards later on so that if you win, you score more points.

Keep a Wild Card as your last card? Even if the value of the cards left in your hand is Zero, you won’t be declared the winner for the simple reason.. that you still hold cards in your hand! The only way to win is to discard ALL of your cards. And as you approach the final card in your hand, you want to be sure you can discard it when your turn comes up.
So then, leave a Wild Card as your last card. This basically ensures you a victory.

Keep the number of cards in your hand a secret: If the other players don’t know how close you are to finishing, you can guile them into taking it easy. What’s more, you can possibly get away with not announcing “Uno” even when you are down to your last card. The way to do this is to hold your cards stacked 1 atop another. Memorize your cards, if you can. If you do this right, you’ll keep your opponents guessing as to how many cards you have left.

Count Cards: Counting Cards in any Card Game is always tough to do. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify and make the task manageable. For instance:
[1] count by colors: you know there are only 4 colors, and 25 of each. So keep a mental tally of this
[2] count action cards: you know there are 24 action cards, 6 in each color. Each are worth 20 points when scoring the winner. In a game where all these cards have yet to come out, the winner’s potential score will be quite high.
[3] count wild cards: you know there are only 8 wild cards. Each are worth 50 points to the winner. Failing to declare Uno deserves a penalty when caught. The penalty is that the offending player must draw 2 more cards from the stock pile. Of important note: A player cannot win if he forgets to declare Uno because he is not allowed to discard his last card until he does so.

How to Play Uno as an Adult Party Game:

Now that you know how to play Uno, follow this link to find out how you can Play Uno as a Drinking Game. Optional Strip Game Rules are included. For a truly Adult Uno experience, you can combine elements of both to arrive at a Drink and Strip Uno Game. Have Fun!

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