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Uno is a popular card game played with a deck of 108 specialist cards and anywhere between two and 10 players. The aim is to discard all of your cards and score as few penalty points as possible.
Uno was invented by an American named Merle Robbins, who conceived the idea in 1971. Robbins initially had the cards made and marketed and sold the games on his own. Soon enough a local buyer stepped forward and the company that first owned Uno, International Games, was later made part of the huge Mattel group.
Uno is available in lots of varieties these days - with a huge selection of themed Uno games for sale, including cards featuring characters from the Simpsons, Batman and Iron Man. You can also play Uno online, with a wide choice of sites offering the game in various formats.
What equipment do you need to play Uno?
Part of Uno's appeal is the great simplicity of the game. All you need to play the physical version of the game is a set of 108 Uno cards, comprised of the following:
25 cards in each color (red, yellow, green and blue), with each color set comprising of one zero and two of every number from one through nine, plus 'skip', 'draw two' and 'reverse' cards.
Four 'wild' cards
Four 'wild draw four' cards
To keep score you will also need a piece of paper and a pen, unless you're playing online - in which case everything will be calculated automatically for you. Those playing online will simply need a desktop or mobile/tablet device. Some Uno games will be available live through websites, while others can be downloaded to your desktop/mobile device and played at your leisure.
How do you play a game of Uno?
Here follows a basic outline of how to play a game of Uno, from start to finish:
The game starts with seven cards being dealt to each player.
The remaining cards are placed on the table in a pile, with the top card turned over to start a second pile.
The player to the left of the dealer goes first, with the aim to lay down one of his or her cards on top of the upturned card. To do this the card must be either a color, number or symbol match.
If the player does not have a card to match color, number or symbol, they must pick up an additional card from the downturned pile.
Players also have the option to play wild cards at any time. The straight wild card allows a player to set the color required of the next player. The wild draw four requires the next player to pick up four cards for the pile.
'Skip' cards lead to the next player missing a turn, while 'draw two' cards require that they pick up two cards and 'reverse' cards change the direction of the game.
The game ends when a player has discarded all of their cards. When a player has one card remaining they must call 'Uno' immediately to alert the other players of their status.
How does Uno scoring work?
At the end of an Uno hand the losing players must total the cards left in their hand. Numbered cards score as they read, while the two wild cards accrue 50 points each and the four 'action' cards count for 20 each. The sum total is recorded and the game is over when the first player reaches 500 points.
At the point a player hits 500 points, the overall winner is the player who has the lowest score - since avoiding scoring points is the name of the game here.
How do I get started playing Uno?
Playing Uno online is great way to get introduced to the game. There are lots of really good sites out there, with a ton of variety in terms of themed games and varieties of Uno. A good step is to visit an online Uno portal for guidance on the best sites to play at.