UNO Game Instructions

By Grant D. McKenzie
Tara Novak/Demand Media

Uno is a card game distributed by Mattel Inc. that can be played by two to 10 players. Mattel recommends Uno for age 7 and older. Mattel has developed spinoffs such as Uno Deluxe, the basic game packaged with a scorepad in a decorative tin; and Uno Attack!, which is played at a much faster pace than Uno.

Setup

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The Uno deck contains 108 cards--76 number cards and 24 action cards in one of four colors and eight wild cards. Shuffle the cards thoroughly and deal seven to each player. The remainder of the deck becomes the draw pile and should be placed face-down near the center of the table. The game begins when the dealer turns the top card from the draw pile face-up next to the draw pile to start a discard pile.

Play

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Play proceeds clockwise from the the dealer. Each player in turn plays a card on the discard pile or draws one from the draw pile. A player may play a card from her hand that matches the color or the number of the card on top of the discard pile. For example, a blue 5 or a red 7 can be played on a blue 7. If a player does not have a card to play, he must draw one from the draw pile. The next player then takes his turn. Play continues until one player plays the last card in her hand.

Action Cards

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Uno has three types of action cards in addition to the number cards. Action cards can be played at any time on a matching color. A Reverse card changes the direction of play. When a player plays a Reverse card, play continues to her right rather than her left. A Skip card causes the next player to lose his turn. Play skips over him and onto the next player. A Draw Two forces the next player to draw two cards from the draw pile as well as lose his turn.

Wild Cards

Tara Novak/Demand Media

Uno also has two types of wild cards. The first allows the player to change the discard pile to the color of his choice and has no restrictions. The most powerful wild card is the Draw Four. This card can be played only when a player has no other card to play on the discard pile. The person playing this card chooses the color of the discard pile and forces the next player to lose his turn and draw four cards.

Scoring

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When a player has one card left, he calls out "Uno" to let the other players know he is about to go out. A player who fails to call "Uno" at the appropriate time must draw two cards from the draw pile. When a player plays his last card, he receives the cumulative points from his opponent’s hands. Number cards count their face value, action cards count 20 and wild cards count 50. The person to the left of the dealer becomes the dealer for the next hand, and play continues until one player collects 500 points.

About the Author

Grant is a history buff, especially in the area of airpower theory with a focus on European Theater in WWII. He is also a Sinfonian and deeply dedicated to the advancement of music in America, both as an amateur performer and as a supporter or music education. Finally, Grant is an amateur craftsman. He enjoys woodworking and candle-making and has developed his own unique methods and styles for candles.