When it comes to classic card games, it’s hard to beat Uno! It’s been a staple of card game night parties since the 1970s and how it came about is a bit of a funny story. So, put down that gaming device, pick up a deck of Uno cards, and get ready to find out why this classic card game should be on your board games shelf.
It Started with an Argument
In 1971, Merle Robbins argued with his son about the rules of Crazy Eights. Normally, such a family dispute would be brushed off as a difference of opinion. But not this time! Robbins was out to prove a point!
An avid card game lover, Robbins decided to make his own game. Along with some family members, he raised about $8,000 and manufactured 5,000 copies of his new game. His barbershop was the perfect place to sell the decks.
It was a hit! Uno took off and eventually Robbins was able to sell the rights for a pretty penny and royalties to a game maker in Illinois. In the 1990s, Uno was purchased by Mattel.
Guess who won that argument? Looks like “father knows best” after all!
The Uno Card Game Goes Global
Uno is more than a way to pass time on a slow night. It’s a global sensation! Not only is Uno now available worldwide, you can play it online, enjoy one of the many – many! – themed or spin off packs, or even join the Wildcard Series Duos Invitational and play to win thousands of dollars.
How to Play Uno
Uno can be a two player game or have up to 10 players. Here’s how to play:
- Shuffle the deck of Uno cards. A player draws seven cards for each player. The remaining cards form the draw pile, with the top card placed face up next to the pile.
- The first player must match the card on the top of the discard pile either by number, color, or symbol. For example, if the top card is a red 7, the player can play any red card or any 7 card from their hand.
- If a player does not have a playable card, they must draw a card from the draw pile. If the drawn card is playable, they can play it immediately. Otherwise, their turn ends.
- Special cards such as skip, reverse, draw two, and wild cards can change the course of the game. A skip card skips the next player’s turn, a reverse card reverses the order of play, a draw two card forces the next player to draw two cards, and a wild card allows the player to choose the color to continue play.
- The first player to get rid of all their cards wins the game. If the draw pile runs out, shuffle the discard pile (except for the top card) and continue playing.
- To avoid penalty before the game ends in Uno, players must remember to say “Uno” before playing their second-to-last card. If caught by another player with only one card, the player must draw four additional cards from the draw pile.
- The winner of a round is awarded points depending on the number of cards left in their opponents’ hands. Here is how to total points: all number cards (0-9) are worth their face value in points. Special action cards, including draw two, reverse, and skip, are worth 20 points each. Wild cards and wild draw four cards are worth 50 points each. The first player to score 500 points or more wins the game.
Additional Things to Know about Playing Uno
Catching a player for not saying “Uno” is only allowed after the next player begins their turn. The last card played determines how many cards the next player must draw. If the draw pile is depleted and no one has emptied their hand, the discard pile is reshuffled and play continues.
Game players are only allowed to put down one card at a time and cannot stack two or more cards together on the same turn. This means that players cannot play a draw two on top of another draw two or wild draw four during the same turn. Additionally, players cannot put down two wild draw four cards together.
House rules are a part of Uno among friends. You can use some popular house rules found online, or you can make up your own. Just make sure everyone agrees to the house rules before you jump in!
Have Fun Playing Uno!
If you like playing cards, you will love playing Uno. It’s the game that started as a way for a man to prove his point to his son and now it’s a global sensation. Play classic Uno, play one of the variations of this card game, or play on your mobile. However you play Uno and whomever you play it with, you are sure to have a wonderful time as you draw cards, do the Uno flip, shout Uno, and tally up the points with the other players.