How Uno Works

UNO Rules

The rules of UNO are simple and easy to explain. In fact, it's a great game for children and adults to play together (recommended age for kids is 7 years and up, but you could certainly try it with younger kids). Each game takes only five to 10 minutes to play, so it's perfect for those with short attention spans or only a few minutes to spare — although some families have been known to play the game for hours!

UNO is played using a deck of 108 cards in four-color suits, numbered from 0 through 9: 19 blue, 19 green, 19 red and 19 yellow. The deck also includes eight "Skip" cards, eight "Draw Two" cards, eight "Reverse" cards, four "Wild" cards and four "Wild Draw Four" cards. A more recent version of UNO will include "Wild Swap Hands" and "Wild" customizable cards, two of each. Just remove them if you prefer classic UNO. Here's a brief rundown of the game's rules:


Object: The object of UNO is playing all the cards in your hand. When only one card is remaining, the cardholder must shout "Uno!" alerting others that he or she is down to the last card in his or her hand.

Choosing a dealer: A simple draw of cards determines the game's dealer; the person who chooses the card with the highest numerical value deals. If a player selects a non-numerical card, he or she returns it to the deck and chooses another.

How to play: Each player is dealt seven cards at the game's start, with the remaining ones placed facedown to form a "draw" pile. The top card of the draw pile is turned over to begin a "discard" pile.

The first player has to match the card in the discard pile either by number, color or word. For example, if the card played is a red 7, the next player must throw down a red card or a 7 of any color. The player can also play a Wild or a Wild Draw Four card, the latter only if he or she doesn't have a playable card in that color. If the player doesn't have a playable card, he or she must pick a card from the draw pile and play it, if possible.

If the card plucked from the draw pile isn't playable, the next player must take his or her turn. When a player has one card left, he or she must yell "Uno!" If the player forgets, he or she has to pick two cards from the draw pile. So much for imminent victory.

Once a player has no cards left, the hand is over. Points are scored, and the dealer doles out new hands to everyone.

Scoring UNO is simple. When a player plays all his or her cards, the others count their points based on their remaining cards. Numbered cards are face value, colored special cards are worth 20 points and Wild cards are worth 50 points. The first player to play all of his or her cards receives points for the cards left in the opponents' hands. The first person to reach 500 points is declared the winner.