Techniques for UNO the Game

by Noel Shankel

UNO is a card game that has been around since 1971, and since that time many strategies have been developed by players looking to be the best. The key to UNO is knowing when -- and when not to -- play certain cards. The more you know about the techniques and strategies associated with this game, the more you will increase your odds of victory.

Save Those Draw Cards

Within the game of UNO, you can collect two types of draw cards: The first one makes the player to your left draw two cards, the second makes the player to your left draw four cards. Although it might be tempting to use these cards right off the bat, you should save them until the end of the game. If the player to your left is down to one, two or three cards, this would be the best time to make her draw two or four more. Using them early on will give her more cards, but early in the game everyone has a lot of cards. Be patient, and only use them when someone is getting close to winning.

Reverse and Skip

The reverse and skip cards -- similar to the draw-two and draw-four cards -- should be used in a timely fashion. When you place a skip card, the player to your left has his turn skipped. Do not play this card if the player after him only has two or three cards left. Wait until the player to your left only has a few cards left to play your skip card, and make sure skipping him will not allow the next person to play their last card. The same holds true for the reverse card which allows the player to your right to go next. Do not play this card if the player to your right only has one card left. Using skip and reverse cards wisely will help you win the game.

Pay Attention

Pay close attention to the other players within the game, especially when trying to determine what color cards they have. If one player is always drawing more cards when a blue card is face up on the discard pile, you know she does not have a lot of blue cards. In this case, play as many blue cards -- or whatever colored card she is lacking -- as you can to keep her drawing. If you play a draw-four card or a wild card you can determine what color of card has to be played next. If you know that all of your opponents are lacking a certain color card, choose that color to keep them drawing.

Saying UNO

Whenever a player drops his second to last card, he must say "UNO" before that card lands on the discard pile, according to the official UNO rules. If he does not, he has to draw up to five more cards depending on the penalty you attach. If you notice a player only has two cards left, listen closely to make sure he says "UNO." If the player is prone to talking a lot while playing, let him. Hopefully he will overlook how many cards he has left and forget to say "UNO." If you want to be devious about it, try getting the player with only two cards left to launch into a story in hopes of distracting him.

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