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The Official Rules Of UNO Card Game

Brief History of UNO

UNO, a card game that perfectly balances simplicity and strategy, has been a cherished pastime for generations. The card game began in the 1970s and remains popular today. It is easy to learn and also involves exciting strategies. The rules of UNO have made ordinary moments memorable, like family gatherings and fun rides with friends.

Why UNO is Popular

One of the reasons for UNO’s popularity is its simplicity and accessibility. The game requires a pack of UNO cards and 2-10 players. Whether you’re seven or seventy, UNO’s gameplay is the same, and the rules are simple. The fun and friendly competition of game night has made it famous worldwide.

UNO Card Game
UNO Card Game

Different Versions of UNO

Over time, UNO has given birth to exciting variations, like UNO Remix, UNO Attack, and UNO Stacko. Each game version introduces new rules and dynamics, making it more exciting and appealing to players.

Quick UNO Rules Overview:

  1. Number of Players: 2-10
  2. Objective: Get rid of all your cards before any other player.
  3. Each player starts with 7 cards.
  4. Matching Cards: Play a card that matches the color, number, or symbol with the topmost card on the discard pile.

The Basic Rules of UNO Cards

Uno Rules Overview - UNO Rules infographic process-5-steps-informal

The objective of the Game

The primary goal in UNO is simple: you must be the first player to get rid of all your cards. This is accomplished by matching the top card’s color, number, or symbol on the discard pile during your turn. The game is not just about speed but also strategy, as certain cards can change the course of the game!

Number of Players and Age Group

UNO is a versatile game that a small or large group can enjoy. You need 2 or more players to play. It’s good for family gatherings or parties because it can have up to 10 players.

As for the age group, while UNO is easy for children to play, the strategic elements make it engaging for adults. At Learning Board Games, we discovered that UNO is a game for everyone.

The UNO Deck

A standard UNO deck consists of 112 cards (complete cards details) split into four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. Each contains 19 numerical cards (0 through 9) and 8 action cards: Skip, Reverse, and Draw Two. Additionally, there are 8 wild cards (4 Wild and 4 Wild Draw Four) and 4 blank cards, which can serve as substitutes or for devising unique rules.

Rules for UNO Card Game Gameplay

Setting Up the Game

To set up the game, shuffle the 112 cards well and deal seven cards to each player. The remaining cards form the draw pile, placed face-down in the center of the table. Then, flip over the first card from the draw pile to start the discard pile. If this card happens to be a Wild card, it can be used to select the initial color, or it can be moved to the bottom of the pile, and another card can be flipped over.

The UNO Gameplay

Starting the Game

The dealer shuffles the deck of 108 cards and deals seven cards to each player to start. Then, place the remaining cards face-down in the center of the table to form the draw pile. The top card from the draw pile is flipped over to start the discard pile.

Rules of UNO
The official rules to uno gameplay

The player to the left of the dealer goes first. If the flipped card is a wild card, it can be used to choose the first color or moved to the bottom of the pile, and another card is flipped over.

Playing a Turn

On your turn, you must play a card from your hand that matches the number, color, or symbol on the top card of the discard pile. You must draw a card from the draw pile if you cannot play a card. If the drawn card can be played, you can play it immediately. Otherwise, your turn is over.

Special Cards and Their Effects

Some cards in UNO change the game. The Skip card makes the next player miss a turn. The Reverse card switches the direction of play. The Draw Two card forces the next player to draw two cards and skip their turn.

The Wild card can be played on any card, and you choose the color for the next player. The Wild Draw Four is like the Wild card, but the next player must also draw four cards and forfeit their turn.

The Role of Blank Cards in UNO

The UNO deck includes four blank cards that can replace lost or damaged cards or introduce custom rules to your game. They’re your chance to get creative!

The UNO Rules (Calling “UNO” and the Penalty for Forgetting)

When you’re down to your last card, you must yell, “UNO!” If you forget and another player catches you before the next player takes their turn, you must draw two cards as a penalty.

Ending the Game (Playing the Last Card and Scoring Points)

The game ends when a player has no cards left. That player scores points for all the cards remaining in their opponents’ hands: number cards are face value, Skip, Reverse, and Draw Two cards are 20 points each, and Wild and Wild Draw Four cards are 50 points each. The first player to reach a predetermined score, like 500 points, wins.

UNO game strategies - UNO Rules

UNO House Rules and Variations

Adding a personal touch to your UNO games can make the already exciting game even more fun. Let’s explore how to use blank cards for custom rules, popular house rules and variations, and even how to play UNO with a regular deck of cards!

Using Blank Cards for Custom Rules

UNO decks often come with 4 blank cards. These are not extras or misprints; they’re opportunities for creativity! We encourage you to use these cards to add custom rules to the game, making your UNO games unique and personalized.

Here are a few simple ideas for your custom uno rules:

  • Wild Card: You can write “wild” on a blank card and use it to change the color of play to any color of your choice.
  • Wild Draw Four Card: Write “wild draw four” on a blank card to change the color of the play and make the next player draw four cards.
  • Swap Hands Card: Write “swap hands” on a blank card to exchange your hand with another player.
  • Shuffle Hands Card: Put “shuffle hands” on a blank card to mix all the players’ hands and deal them out again, creating chaos!

Just ensure everyone agrees on the rules before the game starts, and write them clearly on the blank cards.

Popular House Rules and Variations

You can also introduce house rules to add a new twist to your UNO games. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Stacking: If a Draw 2 or a Wild Draw 4 card is played, you can play the same card to add to the penalty and pass it down to the next player.
  • Jump-In: If a player has the same card (both number and color) as the top card on the discard pile, they can play it out of turn.
  • 7-0: When a 7 is played, the person who played it swaps hands with another player of their choice. When a 0 is played, everyone rotates hands in the direction of play.

Playing UNO with a Regular Deck of Cards

UNO game night - UNO Rules
  • Assign each of the four suits a color.
  • Number cards stay the same.
  • Use Jacks for Skip, Queens for Reverse, and Kings for Draw 2.
  • Aces can be used as Wild cards, and Jokers as Wild Draw 4 cards.

This adaptation keeps the spirit of UNO alive, even when you don’t have a UNO deck on hand. By customizing your UNO game, you can add a unique touch to your game nights and make your UNO games even more exciting. So make your own rules, and keep the UNO fun going!


What is the 7 Rule in UNO?

The 7 rule is a fun twist to the game. When players play a 7 card, they can swap hands with another player. It adds an extra layer of strategy and fun to the game. But remember, this rule is optional, and you can decide whether to include it in your game.

Can You Play UNO with More Than 10 Players?

The standard UNO rules suggest that the game is best for 2 to 10 players. However, there’s no reason you can’t play with more people if you desire. You might need to shuffle the discard pile into the draw pile more frequently. For larger groups, consider using multiple UNO decks or try some of our other UNO variants to keep everyone engaged.

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