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What's All the Fuss About the UNO Game?

Have you ever played Hand card game?! This card game was and still is one of the most popular game, and one of the most entertaining one I have learned in my childhood, and I think it was favoured by all family members. Over the years, my opinion was divided, whether kids need to play cards or not (since I related it to gambling). But know that I'm a parent, I have found that playing card games can be quite beneficial for kids. The main benefit a kid could get from such games is improving his mathematical and memory skills. Nowadays, we parents can choose from a plethora of childrens playing cards, designed for kids of different ages. Out of all games available on the market, it seems that UNO is the leading one. This game is for all family members and can be played as long as you want. Let's go step by step so you could understand the game and the rules.


For starters, this is a game that can be played by 2-10 players, from the age of 7 and above. But this is not a general rule, as I have a cousin who's 4 and he plays UNO. It's fun! The rules of this game are the following: every player gets seven cards that should be dealt face down. Once dealt, the rest of the cards should be placed in the Draw Pile with face down, while next to this pile you should leave a space that is designed for the Discard Pile. Once done, the top card should be placed in the Discard Pile and the game can begin.

Now, before showing you the rules, you should know that is a basic game that works wonder when playing with younger children (like my cousin or even younger). All you need to do is to give them the childrens playing cards and let the fun begin. Since this game is basic, you can set various house rules (depending on the kids' age of course) and make it more fun.

Game Play

According to the rules, the first player is the one that sits on the left of the card dealer, but you can also choose as first the youngest kid in the room. The game usually follows a clockwise direction and every player gets to see his/her cards and tries to match the card in the discard play. The rule says that you should match the card either by the colour, number or by the symbol/Action. For example, if the Discard Pile has a blue card that is a 4, you have to place a card that is either blue or 4. You can also use a Wild card the purpose of which is to alter the current colour in play.

If the player doesn't have a match or chooses not to play any cards even though he/she might have a match, the player has to draw a card from the Draw Pile. If the card can be played, the player should use it, but he/she can also keep the card and the game moves on to the next person. Once again, the person can use the Wild Card or the Wild Draw Four Card. According to the game rules, if the 1st card turned up from the Draw Pile is an Action card, then the action from that card applies and must be carried out by the first player to go. In case it's a wild card, the first player to start can choose whatever colour to begin tp play. On the other hand, if the first card is a wild draw four card, then you should return it to the draw pile, shuffle the deck and pick a new card. If the draw pile get depleted at any time during the game, you can take the discard pile, shuffle it and use it as a draw pile.

The game can continue until a player has been left with only one card. That moment a player has just one card, he/she should yell UNO! In case he/she doesn't say this, that player must draw two new cards as a penalty. In case the player is unable to play/discard his last card and needs to draw, after drawing, he is able to play/discard that penultimate card and he has to repeat the action of calling “UNO”. Once the player is left with no cards, the game round is over and the game begins over again.

Action Cards

As already mentioned, besides the basic number cards, there are some other cards known as Action/Symbol cards the purpose of which is to make the game more fun.

  • Reverse – When going clockwise, this card can help you switch to counter-clockwise or vice versa. Keep in mind that this card can be played only on a card that matches by colour or on another Reverse card. In case it's picked at the beginning of the game, the dealer should go first and the player to the dealer's right is next playing.

  • Skip – According to the rules, when a player places this card, the next player has to skip their turn. But you should keep in mind that this card can only be played on a card that matches by another skip card or by colour. In case this card is turned up at the beginning of the play, the first player that is on the dealer's left side loses his turn and the player next to him starts the play.

  • Draw Two – When a person plays this card, the next player should have to pick up two cards and forfeit his/her turn. You should know that this can only be played on a card that matches another draw two card or by colour. If picked at the beginning of the game, the first player draws two cards and gets skipped.

  • Wild – The wild card represents all four colours which means that it can be placed on any card. In order to be used, the player should state which card colour will be represented for the next player. If turned up at the beginning of the play, the first player can choose what colour to continue to play.

  • Wild Draw Four – This card is almost the same as the basic wild card just that the next player also has to draw four cards as well as to forfeit his turn. Keep in mind that with this card you shouldn't have any other alternative cards to play that matches the colour of the previously played card.

  • Wild Customizable Card – These cards are all blank and there are 3 of them provided in any deck. These cards are designed for you to write down your own house rules, so before the game, you need to make sure that each and every one of the players is agreed to this. However, it's recommended not to use this card when playing with kids as they can get easily annoyed by everything. (chuckles)

  • Wild Swap Hands Card – Last but not least, this is a powerful card that allows you to swap the cards in your hand with anyone of your choice. For instance, with this card, you can choose to either play it or not at any of your turns and you can also choose the colour of the play. You can also swap your cards with another player who has the least number of cards. If turned at the beginning of the game, the first player can get to choose the colour and can also swap his hands with another person. 

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