I know you know Uno

A drawing of four Uno cards: a green one, a blue two, a red three, and a yellow four.
Imagine playing Uno but as if you’re also playing Cheat. *shudder* lee lim

But did you know everything else in here?

Uno! A very popular card game, even though it can get super frustrating at times. Interestingly though, Uno is kind of controversial. What’s controversial about a card game, you ask? Well, the controversial thing about Uno is that ultimately there are many ways for people to play it. 

Even though there are rules that come with the card game, every group of friends, household, or even classroom has a different way of playing Uno. With all the different versions of this beloved game and the endless different sets of house rules, there are countless versions of the game to play. 

Official rules can be found on unorules.com. Now, some people might have gotten off-track over the years, and there are still quite a lot of rules for this easy to pick up game, but there are some key ones that sometimes get pushed to the side. 

At the beginning of the game, all players start with seven cards in their hand. The point of the game, as many of you know, is to discard cards that match with the discard pile; whether this is achieved by matching the number, colour, or the symbol/action on the card doesn’t matter, it just has to match one of those. 

To start the game, one card is flipped up from the draw pile and placed in the middle to start of the discard pile. If the first card flipped from the draw pile is an action card, that action must be followed. The only time it won’t be followed is if it’s a Wild or Draw Four card, as those cards are to be put back in the deck randomly and then a new card is to be flipped up.  

Once the first card is played, the game is then played clockwise with each player discarding their cards until they have none left.  

According to unorules.com, when playing the Draw Two card the next player must draw two cards and forfeit their turn, meaning they do not play after they pick up. Also, with the Wild Draw Four Card, you can only play when you have no other alternative, meaning there are no matching cards in your hand. If you try anyway you can be challenged by another player, and if you did have a match you must pick up four cards; if the challenger is wrong, they pick up six cards. 

Also, you can only put down one card at a time. Meaning, there are no stacking cards. You cannot put down a plus two with a plus two or a blue eight and a red eight.  

Second, let’s chat about some of the rules that people have created over the years. According to WikiHow’s article under Your Complete Guide to Spicy Uno written by Jennifer Mueller on Oct 25, 2022, this version of the game involves new rules, such as “slap on six.” If someone plays a six, everyone must slap the pile as fast as they can and the loser has to pick up two cards. Or they have “trading zero.” If someone plays a zero, they have a choice to trade hands with another player.  

I am sure these are only some rules people have added to Uno over the years. Over the years I have been playing, I have had to pick up ten cards because of so many plus two cards being stacked before my turn. Or I have had to skip my turn until another seven is played. The opportunities and choices for new rules seem endless, depending on who you are playing with.  

Lastly, let’s chat about all the different versions of Uno! According to Uno under the Mattel website at “Uno Variations,” they state, “There are 651 different types of Uno card games and spinoffs.”  

There are tons of Uno variants based on TV shows or movies. But there are also variants that challenge what a game of Uno can be, such as  Uno Show ‘Em No Mercy; Uno, All Wild; Uno Bingo; Uno Dare; and many more. 

There are many ways to play, inlcuding on your phone, so take a break from studying to play a round or two with your friends! 


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