Rules of UNO Dice

By Zeus Tyrone Mendoza
UNO Dice is played with rules similar to the original UNO card game.

Some people have arguments over the interpretation of Mattel's "Uno Dice" rules because of its multiple dice variations and usage. However, the official rules listed in the game's manual give clarity to the game play. Once players grasp the general concept of "Uno Dice," it can become a fluid game of strategy and chance.

Setup

One person takes a single die from the pouch and rolls it to the middle play area until a number is shown; this die is known as the "center die." Then each participant pulls out five dice, also known as the player's "hand," from the pouch and leaves the rest inside. Players roll their "hands" and play only the face-up die's value, which is not hidden from others. The person who rolled the "center die" moves first, followed by the person to her left.

Game Play

On a turn, a player selects a die from his "hand" that matches either the number, color or command of the "center die." Then the die in the player's "hand" replaces the "center die," which is placed back into the pouch. If the player opts not to or cannot use any die, the entire "hand" is rerolled. If any dice cannot be played, a new die is pulled from the pouch, rolled and placed into his "hand." This can be circumvented if the new die rolled matches the "center die"; then it can be played.

"Command" Dice

"Uno Dice" also features dice with commands on their faces—each one has a specific order which comes into effect after being played. The "Reverse" command changes the direction of the play order: from left to right, or right to left. The "Skip" die makes the next player lose her turn and passes to the next person. Another die is called "Draw Two," which forces the next player to lose a turn and pull two dice from the pouch, which are rolled and placed in her "hand." If there is only one die left in the pouch, the affected player takes that last die. Additionally, command dice can also be played in a similar fashion as numbered dice: "Blue Reverse" is playable on a "Yellow Reverse."

"Wild" Dice

Two dice can give any player a great advantage: "Wild" and "Wild Draw Four" dice. A "Wild" dice can be played and used on any color, number or command listed on the "center die." The "Wild" die is substituted for any color the player wishes and applied on his turn, even if another die is playable in the player's "hand." The "Wild Draw Four" is the most devastating die in the game; it contains the same properties as the "Wild" die, but forces the next player to lose a turn and to pull and throw four dice to be added to his hand. However, the "Wild Draw Four" die can only be played if the player does not have a die to match the current "center die." If caught using this die illegally, the rule breaker must take back the die to draw and roll four more dice to be added to his current "hand."

Round Completion and Scoring

A player with a single die left in her "hand" must proclaim "Uno" on her turn. If the player forgets and is caught by an opposing participant before the start of the next turn, that player must draw and roll two dice from the pouch, if available. If a player uses the final die in her "hand," the round is concluded. The remaining dice in each player's "hand" must now be tallied and is added to the round winner's score. All numbered dice are of their respective values from one through six, the two "Wild" dice are worth 50 points each, and the remaining three command dice are worth 20 points each. Afterward, the winner of the previous round starts the next one. The first person to reach 500 points wins the game.

About the Author

Zeus Tyrone Mendoza is an award-winning and accomplished freelance writer from California. Mendoza has contributed works published in "Kerygma" magazine, "Philippine Star Newspaper," and the monthly newsletter for the world renowned GK Community Development Foundation. Mendoza holds a B.A. in English creative writing from California State University, Northridge.