Uno is a card game played with at least two players with an objective of being the first player with no cards. Merle Robbins in Ohio invented the game in 1971. He got the idea from an argument about another card game, crazy eights with his son. The family loved the game so much they pulled eight grand together and had it printed. In 1972, Robbins sold rights to his invention for $50,000 US and .10 US royalties per game. Today Uno is loved worldwide and produced by popular toy and game manufacture Mattel.
The game of Uno can be fun for both adults and children but also educational. As you’ll learn later in this guide, Uno game play requires matching colors, numbers, and words. This means simply by enjoying a family game night your child could learn to recognize colors and numbers, practice reading and counting skills as well as form a closer relationship with everyone involved.
This simple guide on how to play Uno will explain the rules and game play as well as offer tips and advice on how to play. There are several spin-offs of Uno today as well that will be explained here.
Uno is played with a special 108 card deck. Each player is dealt seven Uno cards face down. The player may look at his/her own cards only. The remaining cards are placed in a pile between the players and the top card is flipped face up to begin game play. The remaining pile is the “draw” pile and the face up card is the “discard” pile.
If the discard pile card flipped is a word card instructions for said card below are followed even though game play has not begun unless the card is a wild-card draw four. In that case the card is returned to the deck which is shuffled and a new card is drawn.
The person left of the dealer goes first and then each player after them in a counter clockwise pattern. Each Uno card has a color, and number or word printed in it. Uno cards are blue, green, yellow, and red. The player must place a card of the same color, number, or word as the starting card or play a wild card.
For example, if the card placed face up was a red seven, the first player could lay down any card that was red or had a seven on it.
Word cards in Uno are action cards; each card causes something to happen.
These are the word cards of Uno:
Draw Two Cards: This means the player following the player that played the card must draw two cards rather than playing their turn.
Reverse: These cards cause game play to reverse. Meaning the player to the right of the player who plays this card goes next rather than the player on the left.
Skip: These cards skip the next player in rotation, taking away their turn.
Wild Card: This card can be played on any card. The player chooses the new color for the discard pile. This card can be played regardless of other cards in the players hand.
Wild Card- Draw Four: This acts like a wild card but also causes the player following the player that plays the card to draw four cards. This card may not be played if the player has another card that could be played by color. It may be played if the player only has cards that match by number or word.
If the player is unable to play a card to the discard pile, he/she must draw one card. He/she may play this card if they can; if they cannot game play continues with the next player. (Note: In some variants, the player must continue to draw until they obtain a playable card.)
Game play continues until a player discards all of his/her cards. Once a player has one card remaining he/she must announce this to the other players by saying “UNO!”. If the player fails to do so and is caught before the next person takes their turn, he/she must draw two cards.
The actually winner of Uno is determined by points. The person who has called Uno gets points for each card left in the other player’s hands as follows:
0-9: Numeric value of the card.
Draw Two, Reverse, Skip: 20 points
Wild of either kind: 50 points
If the player reaches 500 points, the game is over. If he/she does not another hand is dealt and game play continues until a player reaches 500.
Tips to winning Uno:
Uno is by large a game of chance. There really isn’t much skill or strategy involved. You can improve your winning chances by first reading step one of this guide carefully and then looking at your Uno deck so you know your cards and how to play.
Second, some players swear by paying attention to the other players much like one would in Poker to watch for tells. Uno is a competitive game that allows players to “get” other players by making them draw, skipping them, or reversing game play to prevent them from winning. Having an idea then what your opponents have in their hand is a good strategy.
Using Uno Educationally:
As mentioned earlier Uno can also be used educationally for younger children who are learning their colors, numbers, and letters. The strategy behind this would be to have your child name the colors and numbers not just match them. You could also consider having them count up to the number being played if the card is a number. When word cards are played have them say each letter in the word, or if they’ve learned their letters, read the words.
Like many popular games Uno has birthed a few spin-offs which can be as fun as the original.
This version is just like normal UNO but includes three different rules versions made up by actual customers who played and enjoyed the game. You can always alter UNO to suit your own playing pleasures.
This version has a tower in which two discard piles are balanced. Players must discard a card each turn without tipping the pile.
This Uno has an extra word card, “Flip” and a device with a tiny Uno man. Anytime a player plays the flip card he/she shots his man at a opponents “crash pad”. If he/she lands it that player must draw two cards.
Uno cards are transformed into toddler friendly barn animals. Game play is the same.
Uno Master and Uno Flash:
Uno Master has a game timer which players must beat to win. Uno flash takes this idea to the next step with times for each player and lights to signal starting and stopping. The lights also signal random players its their turn rather than having a set order.
Uno Attack or Uno Extreme:
The game is played with a card dispenser which randomly shoots cards at players who must draw.
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