Learn how to play the classic UNO card game with these complete rules. Find out how to set up the game, the objective of the game, and how to play each round, along with the details of the five special cards. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this guide will help you master UNO.
How to set up the game
Establish the dealer
Each player must draw a card from the deck. The player with the highest point card will be the dealer. If a player 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.
Starting the round
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. The player to the left of the dealer will commence the first play. Now, the round can begin.
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The first player to play all of the cards in their hand scores points based on the value of the cards left in their opponents’ hands. These points are tallied at the end of each round. The first player to reach 500 points wins the game.
How to play a round of UNO
Here is simple overview of how each round of UNO should proceed:
- Players start their turn by matching a card on the discard pile with a card in their hand. The card must match with the corresponding number, colour or word of the card on the discard pile.
- 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, play moves on to the next person.
- Important note – a Wild card can be played at any time.
- Players 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.
- A round ends when a player plays their last card. Points are then tallied and a new round can begin.
Special cards – what do they do?
There are five types of special cards within a standard game of UNO. Below are details on how each of them works.
Play this card and the next player will miss their turn or be “skipped”. This card can only be played on a matching colour or another Skip card.
Play this card and the direction of play will be reversed. This card can only be played on a matching colour or another Reverse card.
Draw 2 card
Play this card and the next player will have to pick up 2 cards from the draw pile. This card can only be played 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.
Wild Draw 4 card
Play this card and you can change the colour of play and the next player must pick up 4 cards from the draw pile. This card can only be played, however, if you do not have any other matching cards in your hand.
The winner of a round will gain points based on the value of the cards that remain in their opponents’ hands. Here are the values of each card:
|Number cards (0-9)||Face value of the card|
|Skip cards||20 points|
|Reverse cards||20 points|
|Draw 2 cards||20 points|
|Wild cards||50 points|
|Wild Draw 4 cards||50 points|
Once a player reaches 500 points overall, they win the game.