Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Gaming Corner: Uno

Who doesn't know Uno? Since most of you do, you know the best fun of Uno is in the different house rules that are developed.

Here are a few of them that I have seen:

  • Draw 2 chain: If a draw 2 card is played against you and you have a draw 2 card in your hand, you can play it and say to the next person "draw 4." Again, if the next player also has a draw 2 in his hand, that player can play his draw 2 instead of drawing and pass a draw 6 onto the next player. This continues until a player cannot chain another draw 2 and is forced to draw all the cards for the draw 2s played.
  • Keep the game going hint: After a player calls Uno, on the turn before his, the player about to play his card shows it to the player that called Uno. The person who called Uno must then tell that player if he can play on the card shown. 
  • Jess Wins: This is an extension of the above house rule. If Jess has shown all of her playable cards and Jason has told her that he can play on all of them, Jess is allowed to play her entire hand and call out "I win", ending the game in her favor. This may sound unfair, but it keeps the mood light as Jason would usually win 75%+ of games without this rule in place. If ever Jason attempts to use this rule, he is called a cheater. (Go figure!)
  • Drop In Play: In this house rule, if you have a card of matching value of the card up, you can play it if you say "Drop In" when you do, even if it is not your turn. Wild cards cannot be 'dropped in'.
  • Pirate Uno: This variant I found online and looks fun for large groups, but since Jess and I usually play with just the 2 of us, we have not even tried it. It uses a few house rules including Drop In Play and Draw 2 chains. Additional House rules included are as follows:
    • Whenever a player plays an 8, he may trade hands with a player of his choice
    • Whenever a 0 is played, all players pass their hands in the direction of play.
    • Players are encouraged to say 'arrr' and other pirate phrases as often as possible
    • Cheating is encouraged, but if you are caught, you must draw 2 cards. Examples of cheating are as follows, but not limited to:
      • Looking at other players' hands
      • Playing cards when it isn't your turn
      • Playing more than one card on your turn 
      • Playing the wrong color card
      • Drawing the wrong number of cards after a Draw 2 chain
      • Not passing your entire hand (holding onto that wild card)
      • Hiding cards you don't want (like under the table or up your sleeve)
      • Not saying Uno when you are supposed to and saying Uno when you don't need to
For the three of you out there who don't know what Uno is, Uno is a card game for 2 to 8 people. Your goal during the game is to play all of your cards before anyone else plays all of theirs. When it is your turn, you can play any card in your hand that matches either the value or the color of the last card played. If you cannot play, you draw 1 card and play passes on. There are some power cards that 'break' the rules. For example, the wild card can be played on any color and you can chose a new color that the next player must play, or the draw 2 card causes the next player to draw 2 cards instead of playing a card on their turn. Also, when you play your second to last card, you have to say "Uno," letting everyone know that you could win on your next turn. Forgetting to say Uno, and breaking any other rule, causes you to draw 2 cards. There is a scoring system, but it is silly and we don't use it, preferring to just remember who won the most hands.

Regardless of how you play Uno, it is a great game for the whole family and all will enjoy it.
-Gamer Jason

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