Uno - The Ultimate Travel Game
Uno card game has travelled to lots of countries with us as a family. It’s a “go to” family card game for us to play on trains, planes and ferries throughout the years. We have played many a game of Uno while we are waiting on the barbeque to heat up or on a deck as the sun sets. It’s a game which has become a staple in the holiday suitcase over the years.
So why has Uno card game stayed with us as a family game when the kids were young now into their teens? It’s just such an easy fun game to pass the time away! The rules are easy, there are twists and turns and it’s a game for all the family. When someone shouts UNO, we tend to gang up on them to make them pick up more cards. This adds to the fun for everyone.
Object of the Game
The first player to play all the cards in their hand in each round scores points. These points are for the cards that the other players are holding. The first player to score five hundred points wins the game. Depending on time and the ages of the kids playing, we have also done the first to win three rounds. Or just played for the fun of whoever wins each round. We tend to play the first to five hundred when the kids were a bit older and depending on the time we had.
Setup – Uno Card Game Rules
It couldn’t be easier to set up the game. Each player draws a card. The player with the highest point value is the dealer. All you need to do is give the deck a good shuffle and deal each player seven cards. You then put the remaining cards facedown to form a draw pile. Turn over the top card of the draw pile to begin a discard pile. If the top card is a wild or wild draw four, return it to the deck and pick another card.
How to Play Uno Card Game
Player to the left of the dealer plays first. Play goes clockwise from the dealer to start. So the aim of the game is to match the top card on the discard pile either by number, colour or symbol. For example, if the card is a blue eight, you can play a blue card of any number. You can also play any colour which has the number eight, there are four colours in total, blue, green, yellow and red. You can also play any wild card or a wild draw four card. (More about them later) If you don't have anything that matches, you must pick a card from the draw pile. If you draw a card you can play, you can play it straight away.
Then play moves to the next person. Before playing your next to last card, you must say "Uno". If you don't say Uno and another player catches you with one card before the next player begins their turn, you must pick two more cards from the draw pile. It still amazes me how many times someone forgets to shout Uno when it is their time!
If you are not caught before the next player draws a card, you do not have to draw the extra cards. Once a player plays their last card, the hand is over. You tally the points and you start over again.
In addition to the normal numbered cards there are some special cards which change the play.
The next person in line to play after you play this card loses their turn and is "skipped". If you turn this card up at the beginning of play, you skip the first player (the player to the left of the dealer). You can only play this card on a matching colour or on another skip card.
Draw Two Card
When you play this card, the next person to play must draw two cards and that’s the end of their turn. Even if the cards they pick up match the played card they cannot play them now. If this card is turned up at the beginning of play, the first player to the left of the dealer needs to draw two cards. You can only play this card on a matching colour or on another draw two card. We have a house rule we have played lots where we stack the draw 2 cards. If the player has a draw two card they can play it and the next player has to pick up four cards. Or play another draw two card and the next player needs to pick up six etc. If you are adding in house rules make sure everyone knows about them at the start!
This card reverses the direction of play. Play to the left now passes to the right, and vice versa. If you turn up this card at the beginning of play, the player to the left would usually play next. However the player to the right now plays first, and play then goes to the right instead of left. You can only play this card on a matching colour or on another reverse card.
This is where the fun starts! When you play this card, you can change the colour being played to any colour to continue play. You can also choose the same colour to continue. You can play a wild card even if you have another playable card in your hand. This is great for the player to choose the colour which they have most of in their hand. Or for their strategy to win.
Wild Draw Four Card
This evil card allows you to call the next colour played. Also the next player has to pick four cards from the draw pile and that is the end of their turn. But you can only play this card when you don't have a card in your hand that matches the colour of the card previously played. If this one gets turned up at the beginning of play, return the card to the deck and pick another card.
Now you can play a wild draw four card even if you have a matching number or word card of a different colour in your hand. If you are the player who has to pick up four cards and you think that a player has played a wild draw four card illegally, you can challenge them. A challenged player needs to show their hand to the player who challenged. If the challenged player is guilty, they need to draw the four cards. If the challenged player is not guilty, the challenger must draw the four cards, and two extra cards. So make sure you think they are guilty or else you might have an extra six cards in your hand.
Newer versions of Uno card game come with customizable cards. You can customize these cards for your own house rules. They come blank so you can write any house rules you like on them. We have found some fun ones. Each person swaps hands to the person next to them according to the current direction of the game. Or we had one where all the wild cards had to be thrown in the discard pile from all player's hands from the game. Or you could swap hands with another player. These multiply the fun factor of the game for everyone! If you can’t come up with your own ideas there are lots of ideas online from Uno enthusiasts. Just copy some ideas until you come up with your own.
In the rules to Uno card game, if you are first to get rid of all your cards, you get points for the cards left in the other players hands. All the number cards are scored at their face value. Draw two, reverse and skip cards are worth twenty points. Wild and wild draw four are both worth fifty Points. The winner is the first player to reach five hundred points.
Uno is a great family game. It’s fun, fast and easy. Although the pack says from 7+ we have found younger children can enjoy it too. There is also a junior version which is 3+ if you want to start there. It’s fantastic for travelling, a must for the suitcase. It’s easy for new players to pick up and veteran players to enjoy. A true classic which we still enjoy year after year.
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