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How to Play Advanced UNO

UNO card pile.
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UNO is a very popular card game that was created in 1971 by Merle Robbins, a Midwest barber. The game is based on the children's classic "Crazy Eights" and "Mau Mau," the latter of which has very similar rules.

UNO became immensely popular after a few years, and Mr. Robbins sold the rights to International Games. The basic version of this game is very easy to play; the advanced game variations create a more challenging exercise for the card playing enthusiast.

UNO Card Game - Variations


Familiarize yourself with the original or basic rules of UNO and the meaning of the colors, suits, wild and special instruction cards. The following steps are alternate variations.

Variation 1 - Elimination UNO (by A. Price)

Play the regular or standard game. However, the game does not end when someone plays their last card. Instead, the person responsible for allowing the person who is going out of the game is ELIMINATED. (A brutal rule!) In other words, if the person to your left has one card remaining in his hand, and you make the play that lets him get rid of his last card, YOU LOSE the game!

Variation 2 - Pirate UNO (by "Kyle")

Anytime a "Draw Two" card is played, the next player in turn, may "cover" it with another "Draw Two" card, and the penalty is now a draw of four cards to the next player, unless he can produce a "Draw Two" card. If not, the penalty is now six cards! When a seven of any color is played, the player of the seven may SWITCH hands with anyone else! When a zero card is played, all players PASS their hands to the next player in the direction the hand is going. And saying "Arrrggh" is encouraged!

Personal UNO (by "Senofeeuh")

The first hand of the game is played with the standard rules. The winner of the game (person who first unloads all of their cards) now becomes the "UNO master" and is allowed to create one NEW rule for the the game. The winner of the next game now adds their new rule. The game is played in each successive round with ALL new rules in effect. Five or ten rounds is usually the limit! Having a good memory helps too.

Deadly UNO (by I. Kuo)

The regular game is played with one notable difference. If you can't play a card you lose IMMEDIATELY and leave the game! You do not draw a card. The only ways to draw cards are if someone plays a "Draw Two" or one of the wild cards, or if someone calls out UNO when you have only one card remaining in your hand. The games are very quick. You win by getting rid of all of your cards or are the last person who has not lost a game. Whew!

Miscellaneous UNO Rules/Variations

When I first played UNO, I added an optional rule that allowed the play of the "Wild/Draw 4" card to be CANCELLED by another "Wild/Draw 4" card in succession. It was obvious that the "Wild/Draw 4" had too much power in the end game! Partnership UNO seems to be another good idea, although I do not know if the "bugs" have been worked out. There should be a limit to the amount of cards one can draw on a given turn. UNO tournaments may be worth exploring as well, if the rules can be standardized and a good format developed. The beauty of the game is its solo or individuals' feature, which minimizes collusion. UNO is a great game for kids, as it is very easy to learn, perfect for a social gathering, and is an introduction or primer for other card games.

Things You'll Need:

  • A well-lit and ventilated room
  • A card table and chairs
  • Pencils and paper
  • Two UNO decks
  • Four (or more) players


Play the standard game before attempting any variations. Keep an extra deck available if you get a big crowd.


  • UNO can be very addicting! When playing variations, be sure you understand the new rules.
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