Uno Rules: Know How to Play Uno With Official Rules(2023)

Basana Saha


Are you ready for a thrilling card game UNO that will test your strategy and quick-thinking skills? This beloved game is enjoyed by players of all ages and is sure to bring hours of entertainment to your next game night.

In this guide, I will provide you with the official UNO rules and some helpful tips from my UNO playing experience to help you know the game better and win over the competition.

This is going to be a very helpful and comprehensive guide, so read till the end to get complete knowledge on this.

UNO Rules
UNO Rules

So, let’s get started!

Basic Uno Rules

There are a few basic UNO rules by Mattel:

  • Initially, each player gets 7 cards out of the 108 cards to start with. After distribution, one card is drawn from the draw pile, and another, called the discard pile, is established. 
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts the game. Each player will try to match the cards that they have with the topmost card of the discard pile. They will draw them from the draw pile if they need matching cards.
  • The players can place a card on the discard pile if that card matches in color, symbol, or number with the topmost card of the discard pile. 
  • The game proceeds in this way, in the clockwise direction. Certain unique cards in the game, such as the wild card or the Draw 2 cards, have unique functions distinct from the regular gameplay cards. 
  • The player who can get rid of all their cards at the earliest wins the game.

Draw Two Cards (+2 Card) Rules

Draw 2 Card
Image of Draw +2 Wild Card

If you draw this card, the next player will draw 2 cards for their turn. If someone draws the +2 card at the beginning of the game, the first player will draw 2 cards. The card will be only played on another +2 or draw 2 cards. 

UNO Skip Card Rules

UNO Skip Card
Image of UNO Skip Card

When a player draws a skip card, the next player loses their turn, termed as “Skipped”. So, if the card is drawn at the beginning of the game, the first player will have to skip the turn. The game, in this case, will start with the second player.

As with other UNO card rules, the Skip Card rules will apply only with skip cards of matching color. 

UNO Wild Card Rules

UNO Wild Card
UNO Wild Card

This is the only UNO card that can be played with other colors. Players can change the Wild Card color at any time to continue the game.

The player can continue playing a Wild card when they have another playable card.

When the Wild card is drawn at the gem’s beginning, the first person to the left will choose the color to start the game and get the chance to play the card at the beginning. 

Learn more about the UNO Wild Card Rules where I discussed about all the UNO Wild cards including this Wild Color Change Card.

Reverse Cards Rules

UNO Reverse Card
UNO Reverse Card

If a player draws a reverse card, the play direction gets reversed. If the game continued in the right direction, it would move toward the left.

And if it moved toward the left, it would now move to the right.

If the reverse card appears at the beginning of the play, the player on the right will get the first play chance, and after one chance, the game, instead of proceeding toward the left, will proceed toward the right.

Like all the other cards, this card can be played on only matching color reverse cards. 

To know more detail about UNO Reverse Card Rules, you can check this post.

Wild Draw 4 Cards Rules

UNO Wild Draw 4 Card
UNO Wild Draw 4 Card

When a player draws Wild Card 4, the next player will pick 4 cards and forfeit their turn. You can call the next player to draw 4 cards when you pick this card. Players can play with this card when they don’t have any cards.

The Wild Card 4 must match the color of the previously drawn card. This card cannot be drawn at the beginning of the game.

If any player draws the Wild Card 4 at the beginning, this card has to be returned to the deck, and the player must choose other cards. 

Any player can draw the wild card 4 whether they have a matching or a different color card. Many wild cards 4 card holders try to do the game illegally.

If any other player suspects another player illegally retained a Wild Card 4, another player can challenge that player. The challenged player will have to prove guilt-free by showing their card. Learn More About Challenging in UNO as per official rules by Mattel.

To know more about the Wild Draw 4 Cards Rules, you can check this post written by me.

Wild Shuffle Hand Cards Rules

UNO Shuffle Hand Card
UNO Shuffle Hand Card

This is one of the most exciting cards in UNO. Anyone playing this card can collect every card from another player’s hands. After collecting, they can shuffle all the cards and then deal them again with the players.

The dealing, as usual, will start from the immediate left player of the dealer. This is one of the game-changing cards in UNO.

Players can change the whole set-up and gameplay when they draw this card. The player who used this card will collect all the cards from every other player.

Check here in detail about the UNO Shuffle Hands Rules.

Wild Customizable Cards Rules

Customizable Wild Card
Customizable Wild Card

Players playing this particular card can choose the color to continue the game. The player can even play a wild card if they have any playable card.

Since this is a wild card type, the same rules will apply to them as to the other wild cards. If this card is turned up at the beginning of the game, the player to use it will choose the color of the entire play during the game.

This one is also a game-changing card because the player can determine the overall color to be followed during the game.

Learn more about the UNO Blank Wild Card Rules here.

Now, these are customizable blank cards, so you can put custom rules over here. To get ideas, explore my collection of custom UNO card ideas.

Things You Need to Know Before Playing UNO

UNO is one of the most exciting board games ever. If you are searching for an engaging card game, try UNO. Each player will start the game of UNO with 7 cards.

The essential gameplay involves matching one of your cards with another card drawn from the draw pile. Whichever player can eliminate all their cards by matching the swiftest before other players win the game.

The game often continues till one player reaches 500 points. At this point, all the other players tally their scores to decide on the tanks. 

Also Read: History Of UNO

How many Players can Play UNO?

To play UNO, you need at least 2 players. The maximum number of players that can play UNO is 10. The minimum age of the players to play UNO should be 7. 

How much time does it take to complete a UNO game?

There is no time limit for playing a UNO card game. The idea is to eliminate all the cards as soon as possible. The faster you can do it, the better it is.

It is usually expected that the players will make a quick move within a few seconds, and at the max, they can consume three minutes to decide what they want to do with a particular card or a particular move. 

How many Types of UNO cards are there?

A UNO deck has a total of 112 cards out of which 108 are playable cards. Out of these, 76 cards are number cards(0-9), and action cards are(8 Skip Cards, 8 Reverse Cards, 4 Draw Four Cards, 8 Draw Two cards, and 4 Wild Cards).

There are 1 Hand Shuffle and 3 Customizable Blank Wild cards also in the deck.

There are four suits in UNO, each distinguished by a specific color – Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green. 

To know more check this article on, how many cards are in UNO written by me.

How to Play UNO Game?

UNO is one of the most popular board games, and millions of people across the globe enjoy playing this game. The player to the left first starts playing the game.

The play first starts from the left. To start the game, the players must match the topmost UNO card on the pile of Discard. They can either do it by number or color or word. 

This needs to be clarified. Let us illustrate the same with the help of an example. Suppose a player draws a Green 7 card and must play another Green card with 7.

The player may play any wild card or wild card 4. If you don’t have a matching card, you can pick up any other card from the Draw pile. If you draw any other card, you can play it. If not, the play will pass to the next player. 

When playing the penultimate card, always speak out “UNO” loudly. If you don’t say UNO aloud, another player can catch you with the penultimate card, and you will have to pay a fine in that case in terms of picking 4 more cards from the Draw pile. Learn More about Not Saying UNO penalty in detail here.

Here are the steps to play the UNO game:

Step 1:

There are 108 cards in the pack of UNO. The first step is to shuffle all the cards and hand over 7  cards to each player.

Each player will keep the cards at a face-down position. Later on, if you need more UNO cards, you can purchase them from the deck.

After shuffling and distributing the first round of cards, place all the other cards in the center of the table to create a pile. Every player will now card from this pile to continue with the game.

The first card from the draw pile will be placed at the side before the game begins. This card will lay the foundation of another pile known as the Discard pile. The card will be in the face-up position. 

Step 2:

The player who starts the game will now draw the top card from the draw pile. Usually, the player sitting to the dealer’s immediate left starts the game. They lay down a card from their hand.

If this card matches either or all attributes like color, number, symbol, or word of the face-playing card on the center of the table, they can place the card over the discard pile.

For example, if the top card of the discard pile is green in number 7, the players can place any green card over it or any card with 7 on it. The game shall proceed in a clockwise fashion. Any player with a wild card can use it to their advantage during the gameplay. 

Step 3:

If a player has no matching card to place on the discard pile, they can draw a card from the draw pile.

If the newly drawn card matches with any attribute of the discard pile, they can place it on the top. If not, the next player can try the same with the card drawn from the draw pile. 

Finishing the Game

The game ends in due course when players can get rid of all their cards. Apart from this, the game can also end with any action card. 

Who wins UNO Game?

The player who gets rid of all the cards before any other player does and also reaches 500 points before the other players win the game of UNO. 

Strategies You Can Apply while Playing UNO

Here are some of the core strategies that you can apply to win the UNO game:

Tackling Opponents:

Consider your opponents with great care. You never know which strategies they shall follow against you. If the opponent is a pro player, they can drive you to lose in no time.

Playing UNO means losing all your cards as soon as possible. Because time is a crucial factor in this case, you must quickly assess your opponents’ game plan and cards.

Have a close check of what cards they have and plan accordingly.

Don’t Use +2 and +4 Cards Often:

One of the major mistakes many UNO players commit is using the +2 and +4 cards too often. These cards are best used in emergencies.

Reserve these cards at the beginning and never use them until you have to. If you play these two cards too often, you will have nothing left to save you at the later, more complex game stages.

You can play these when you spot other players with lesser cards. At crucial moments, the +2 and +4 cards act as true saviors.

Changing Colours Often:

Usually, every player receives a similar number of cards for every color set. Most players try to maintain this color code for too long.

In reality, that only helps the player a little. Instead, changing the color codes often is a better idea.

Whenever you change the card colors, you get a different multi-colored hand that enhances your options for playing.

Also, when you change colors and play multi-colored, the other players need clarification and cannot predict your next moves.

This gives the players an upper hand in the game. You can also use wild cards to change the card colors you want. 

Optimal Usage of Action Cards:

Playing the action cards at the right moment is the best strategy to win UNO. You should play them early enough in the game.

When you count the cards of your opponent player, you should strategize whether using the action card would be appropriate at that moment.

It is also recommended to hold only a few skips or reverse cards. If you lose the reserved cards at the moment, it will be a threat to your overall game score. When throwing any action card, always consider its color. 

The last pro tip for UNO is to cooperate with other players. UNO is a fun game that can be enjoyed when players cooperate.

To know more, you can check the UNO Strategies in detail.


Let’s conclude the post on the Official UNO Rules!

As mentioned these are made officially by Mattel, so if you want to read about the variations and Unofficial rules, you can read these UNO House Rules.

As you read the rules, how did you like them?

In conclusion, the rules of Uno are simple and easy to learn, making it a great game for players of all ages and skill levels.

The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all of your cards, and you can do this by matching the color or number of the card in the discard pile.

Special action cards add an element of strategy and unpredictability to the game and can be used to your advantage if played wisely.

With a little bit of luck and a lot of skill and strategy, you can become the ultimate Uno champion of UNO tournaments.

You can also check the different UNO Versions List, to find more interesting versions of this game.

So gather your friends and family, shuffle up a deck of cards, and get ready to have some fun with the classic game of Uno!

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Basana Saha