A game of UNO is initiated by deciding who the dealer will be. Each player must draw a random card from the deck, and the player with the highest point card will be the dealer. If, when choosing who the dealer will be, someone draws a special card, they must return that card to the bottom of the deck and choose a new one until they draw a standard number card. If two or more players draw cards with the same point value, they must return their cards to the deck and choose new cards until one player has a higher point value card than the other.
Once the dealer has been decided, each player is dealt seven cards. The remaining cards will form the draw pile and must be placed face down. The dealer will then draw the top card of the draw pile and place it face up. Now, the game can begin.
For more in-depth details about the game, as well as guides on how to play UNO online, unorules.nz serves as a fantastic online learning resource for players.
Before going into more detail about the game of UNO, here is a simple overview of how the game should proceed:
- Players start their turn by matching a card on the discard pile with a card in their hand, either by number, colour, or word.
- If a player cannot match a card, they must draw a card from the draw pile and play the newly drawn card if possible. If they cannot play the card, the play moves on to the next person.
- The hand ends when a player plays their last card. Points are then tallied, and a new round begins.
- The first player to reach 500 points wins the game.
As mentioned in the overview, a player wins a round by playing all of the cards in their hand. A pivotal rule to remember is that a player must say “UNO” after playing their second to last card in order to signify that they are down to their final card. Failing to do so will result in having to draw four cards from the draw pile. Saying “UNO” upon playing your second to last card does not win you the game. Players must proceed to play their final card in order to win the round. If you cannot play your final card because it does not match the card played by the previous player, you must draw a card from the draw pile.
When a round ends, the winner of the round will get points based on the value of the cards that remain in their opponents’ hands. Here are the values of each card:
- Number cards equate to the same amount of points as their face value. For example, a number card with the value of 7, regardless of colour, is worth 7 points.
- Skip, Reverse, and Draw 2 cards are worth 20 points.
- Wild and Wild Draw 4 cards are worth 50 points.
Let’s say; for example, if one of your opponents’ remaining hands consists of a number 3 card, a number 9 card, a Reverse card, and a Wild card, you would score 82 points. Remember that you score points based on the remaining cards of every other player.
Once a player reaches 500 points, they are declared the winner of the game.
Play this card, and the next player will miss their turn or be “skipped”. You can only play this card on a matching colour or another Skip card.
Play this card, and the direction of play will be reversed. You can only play this card on a matching colour or another Reverse card.
Play this card, and the next player will have to pick up two cards from the draw pile. You can only play this card on a matching colour or another Draw 2 card.
Play this card to change the colour that is currently being played to any colour of your choosing. A Wild card can be played at any time.
Play this card, and the player next in order must pick up four cards from the draw pile. Additionally, you can change the colour that is being played. This card can only be played, however, if you do not have any other matching cards in your hand.