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Learn How to Play Uno With These Simple Step-by-step Instructions

How to Play Uno
The different types of cards used in the game of Uno make it interesting and more exciting than the regular, mainstream card games. Read this article to understand the game and its rules.
Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
Uno card game on wood table
Uno was first developed by Merle Robbins in the year 1971. Today, it is owned by 'Mattel', a toy company. This article briefly lists down the rules through which it is played and helps beginners understand the game thoroughly.
The Basics
It is important that one should first get familiar with the types/kinds of cards that are used in this game. There are four types of cards used to play Uno. These are distinguished by their colors (red, blue, green, and yellow). Every color/kind has cards with ranks from 0-9. Apart from these ranked cards, there are special 'black action' & 'action' cards.
The names of action cards are 'skip', 'reverse', and 'draw two'. 'Wild' and 'Wild Draw Four' are the black action cards. Both these cards have four copies each. All the regular colored and action cards have 2 copies each. The zero card however, is just one (without a copy) in every color suit. In all, there are a total of 108 Uno cards in a deck or pack. A maximum of 10 players can play this game at a time.
The Instructions
The rules are easy to understand and can be quickly grasped.
  • The objective of the game is get rid of the cards in your hands. The player who is left with no cards the fastest, is the winner of the game.
  • Among the group, first decide on a 'dealer'; a dealer is selected through a draw. The person with a card having the highest face value is the dealer.
  • The dealer distributes seven cards to each player. The cards that remain after distribution are used as draw.
  • The player whose turn is up, tries to match the color of a card being played with that of the top, exposed card. If no card matches with the top card, one can play the 'wild' or 'wild four' cards.
  • One can just draw the top card and keep it in hand till the next turn; this is done if no card matches with the top card.
  • The special cards have an important role to play in the course of the game. The 'reverse' card for example, changes the moving turns. It means that if turns are moving in a clockwise manner, the reverse card changes it to anti-clockwise manner.
  • The skip card indicates that the player whose turn is next cannot play. His or her turn gets skipped.
  • The 'draw two' card is used to indicate that next player has to draw 2 cards instead of one. There is a rule that he cannot even discard during this particular round.
  • The black action cards have great significance in the game. The 'wild' card can be used to change the color of a card that is being played.
  • If it is not possible to match the color of the card present at the top in the discard pile, one can use the 'wild four card'. This card not only changes the color of the card being played, but also forces the next player to draw 4 cards at a time.
  • Uno attack, a variation of the game, makes the game even more interesting. This variation uses a card shooter. The players do not draw cards in Uno attack. They press the button on the card shooter, which shoots random number of cards.