Uno is an American card game that is played with a specially printed deck (see Mau Mau for an almost identical game played with normal playing cards). The game was originally developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins in Reading, Ohio, a suburb ofvCincinnati. It has been a Mattel brand since 1992. The game's general principles put it into the Crazy Eights family of card games.

How to Play

The aim of the game is to be the first player to score 500 points. This is achieved (usually over several rounds of play) by a player discarding all of their cards and earning points corresponding to the value of the remaining cards still held by the other players.

The deck consists of 108 cards, of which there are twenty-five of each color (red, green, blue, and yellow), each color having two of each rank except zero. The ranks in each color are zero to nine, "Skip", "Draw Two" and "Reverse" (the last three of these being classified as "action cards"). In addition, the deck contains four each of "Wild" and "Wild Draw
Four" cards.

To start a hand, seven cards are dealt out to each player, and the top card of the deck is flipped over and set aside to begin the discard pile. The dealer draws one extra card (a total of 8 cards). The player to the dealer's left plays first, unless the first card on the discard pile is an action or Wild card (see below). On a player's turn, he/she must do one of the following:

  • play a card matching the discard in color, number or symbol
  • play a Wild card, or a playable Wild Draw Four card (see restriction below)
  • draw the top card of the deck

Play proceeds clockwise around the table.

Action and Wild cards have the following effects:

Card Effect when played from hand Effect as first discard
Skip Next player in sequence misses a turn Player to dealer's left misses a turn
Draw Two Next player in sequence draws two cards and misses a turn Player to dealer's left draws two cards and misses a turn.
Reverse Order of play switches directions (clockwise to counterclockwise, or vice versa) Dealer plays first; play proceeds counterclockwise
Wild Player declares next color to be matched (may be used on any turn even if the player has matching color) Player to dealer's left declares first color to be matched, then plays normally
Wild Draw Four Player declares next color to be matched; next player in sequence draws four cards and loses a turn. May be legally played only if the player has no cards of the current color, not counting wild cards; cards in a color different from the current color do not count even if they have the with the same number or symbol. Return card to deck, shuffle, flip top card to start discard pile
  • If a player draws a card that is playable, the player has the option of either keeping it or playing it immediately. Having drawn from the deck, the player may not use any other card from his/her hand on that turn.
  • A player may play a Wild card at any time, even if that player has other playable cards.
  • A player may play a Wild Draw Four card only if that player has no cards matching the current color. The player may have cards of a different color matching the current number or symbol or a Wild card and still play the Wild Draw Four card.[3] A player who plays a Wild Draw Four may be challenged by the next player in sequence (see below) to prove that his or her hand meets this condition.
  • If the entire deck is used during play, the top discard is set aside and the rest of the pile is shuffled to create a new deck. Play then proceeds normally.
  • It is illegal to trade cards of any sort with another player.
A player who plays his/her next-to-last card must call "Uno" as a warning to the others.

The first player to get rid of his/her last card ("going out") wins the hand and scores points for the cards held by the other players. Number cards count their face value, all action cards count 20, and Wild and Wild Draw Four cards count 50. If a Draw Two or Wild Draw Four card is played to go out, the next player in sequence must draw the appropriate number of cards before the score is tallied.

The first player to score 500 points wins the game.


  • If a player lays down his/her second-to-last card without calling "Uno" and is caught before the next player in sequence takes a turn (draws a card from their hand, draws a card or touches the discard pile, depending on interpretation), he/she must draw four[5] card. If the player is not caught in time, or remembers to call "Uno" before being caught, he/she suffers no penalty. If a player calls out "Uno" at the wrong time then he/she must draw one card. According to the current official rules[6] the penalty for failing to call out "Uno" is two cards.
  • When a Wild Draw Four card is played, the next player in sequence has the right to challenge the playing of the card if he/she believes that the player does have at least one card in the current color. The player of the Wild Draw Four card privately shows his/her cards to the challenging player. If the challenge is successful then the player who played the Wild Draw Four must draw four cards; otherwise, the challenging player must draw six cards and miss a turn. Regardless of the outcome, the Wild Draw Four remains on the discard pile and the color of further play is the color named by the player who played the card.
  • If a player lays down a card not during their turn, they are required to draw two cards.

Two-player game

In a two-player game, the Reverse card acts like a Skip card; when played, the other player misses a turn.


A strategy at Uno may be offensive (aiming to go out), or defensive (aiming to minimize the score of the hand, in the event that another player goes out). Part of the skill of playing Uno is knowing when to adopt an offensive or defensive strategy.

An offensive strategy would advise holding on to Wild and Wild Draw Four cards, because these can be played near the end of the hand in order to go out (when it may be hard or impossible to play a matching card). However, a defensive strategy would advise getting rid of such cards early, because they have a high point value.

A defensive strategy would advise playing a high-numbered card in order to reduce the point value of the hand. However, an offensive strategy would suggest playing a 0 when the player wants to continue on the current color, because it is less likely to be matched by another 0 of a different color (there is only one 0 of each color, but two of each 1–9).

UNO Original 2265720 03

A player holding only one card is required to call out "Uno" or risk being penalized if caught. A player who calls "Uno" risks being the target of concerted action from the other players, who may be able to use action cards to prevent that player from going out. Depending on the level and seriousness of play, some players may deliberately avoid saying "Uno", in the hope of avoiding detection and then going out on the next turn. For this reason, it is useful to conceal how many cards are in your hand, and to keep track of how many cards every other player holds.

Little has been published on the optimal strategy for the game of Uno. Simulations of games may shed some light on the matter, but the game solution is likely to be very complex. This is because attempts to reduce point count in the player's hands can be "read" by other players if too transparent. This information can be exploited by other players, and it follows that a mixed strategy may be more appropriate.

Some work has been done into the psychology of Uno as it relates to individual and group behavior.[7] Players may exhibit physical tells,[8] in which a subtle, often repeated, visual cue inadvertently reveals their state of mind during a game. Alternatively, they may change their playing style; switching from an aggressive card-shedding strategy to a more subdued one, or vice versa.

How to play- Uno

How to play- Uno

Revisions and Extensions

The new Uno action cards bear symbols which denote their action, except for the Wild cards which still bear the word "Wild." Before the design change, such cards in English versions of the game bear letters. Especially old English versions can be denoted by the absence of the white rim that surrounds the edge of most Uno cards. Other versions also use symbols and images in both old and new designs, especially those with Wild cards that do not bear the word "Wild" in 40th Anniversary sets. The Xbox 360 version of the game uses the new English style of the cards in gameplay. There are also language-free versions of the newer styles Uno action cards that do not bear the word "Wild" but have the same styling. There is a new version called "Uno Mod" where the cards have symbols instead of letters or numbers. This version also comes in a red and white case. It is one of several "Mod" games by Mattel, the others being Othello (game) Mod, Apples to ApplesMod, Phase 10 Mod, and Skip-Bo Mod.

Theme packs

There are many different themes and versions of Uno. These theme games may come with slightly different directions and special cards.

  • Angelina BallerinaUno*
  • Angry Birds Uno
  • Barbie Uno
  • Barbie Cali Girl Edition Uno  
  • Batman Uno
  • Batman Begins Uno
  • Betty Boop Uno
  • Bob The Builder Uno*
  • Burger King Kids Meal Edition Uno
  • Care Bears Uno
  • Car-Go Uno
  • Cars Uno
  • Coca-Cola Uno
  • Curious George Uno
  • Diary of a Wimpy KidUno
  • Disney Theme Park Uno
  • Disney Electronic Uno
  • Disney Pixar Uno
  • Disney PrincessUno
  • Disney Shows Uno
  • Dog Uno
  • Dogs Herding Breeds Uno   
  • Dogs Terrier Breeds Uno
  • Dora the ExplorerUno
  • Doraemon Uno
  • Doctor Who Uno
  • Elvis Uno
  • Family Guy Uno
  • Fantastic Four Uno
  • Ferrari Uno
  • Fraggle Rock Uno
  • Frozen Uno
  • Golden Compass Uno
  • Glee Uno
  • Green Lantern Uno
  • Hannah MontanaUno
  • Hanna-Barbera Uno
  • Happy Feet Uno
  • Harry Potter Uno
  • Hello Kitty Uno
  • High School Musical Uno
  • High School Musical 2 Uno
  • High School Musical 3 Uno
  • Hoops and Yoyo Uno
  • Hot Death Uno
  • Hulk Uno
  • Iron Man 2 Uno
  • John Deere Uno
  • Koala Brothers Uno
  • Kung Fu Panda Uno
  • Macy's Parade Uno
  • Magic Tree HouseUno
  • Marvel Heroes Uno
  • Mario Bros. Uno
  • Monster High Uno
  • Mini Party Favors Uno
  • Muppet Show Uno
  • My 1st Uno
  • My Scene Uno
  • MyUno Uno
  • NASCAR Uno
  • National Parks Uno
  • New York City Uno
  • NHL Uno
  • Nightmare Before Christmas Uno
  • Nintendo Uno
  • Notre Dame Uno
  • NSYNC Uno
  • One Piece Uno
  • Over the Hedge Uno
  • Peanuts Uno
  • Peanuts – Christmas Uno
  • Peanuts – Great Pumpkin Uno
  • Peanuts Valentine Uno
  • The Penguins of Madagascar Uno
  • Phineas and FerbUno
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Uno
  • Pokémon Uno
  • Polly Pocket Uno
  • Ratatouille Uno
  • Ren and Stimpy Uno
  • Scooby-Doo Uno
  • Sesame StreetUno
  • Shrek Uno
  • Shrek 2 Uno
  • Shrek the ThirdUno
  • The Simpsons Uno
  • The Simpsons: Great Scot Uno
  • The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Uno
  • The Simpsons: Springfield Uno
  • South Park Uno
  • Speed Racer'
  • Spider-Man Uno
  • SpongeBob SquarePants #1
  • SpongeBob SquarePants #2
  • SpongeBob SquarePants #3
  • St. Louis Uno
  • Star Trek Uno
    • Mattel-produced "Special Edition"
    • Fundex Games"Collector's Edition"
  • Superman Uno
  • Superman ReturnsUno
  • Sydney 2000 Uno
  • Teen Titans Uno
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Uno
  • Texas Uno
  • Thomas & Friends Uno
  • Toy Story Uno
  • Toy Story 3 Uno
  • Uno 35th Anniversary
  • Uno 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Uno Deluxe in box
  • Uno Deluxe in Wood Box
  • Uno H2O
  • Uno H2O Splash
  • Uno Mod
  • WWE Legends Uno
  • Wizard of Oz Uno
  • X-Men Uno

Themed sports teams

Several sports teams each have 112-card sets, featuring players from those teams. The special cards in each deck vary depending on the card set itself. The following teams have confirmed Uno sets.

  • Boston Red Sox (regular and World Series editions)
  • Boston Celtics
  • Calgary Flames
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago Bears
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Houston Astros
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Basketball player LeBron James
  • Manchester United
  • MLB All-Stars
    American League
    National League
  • NBA All-Stars
    (East and West)
  • Auburn Tigers (NCAA)
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Giants
  • New York Knicks
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees

Links and References

Official Uno Website

Uno Rules

BoardGameGeek Review