Winning Uno is largely about strategy. The key to winning is using the right combination of cards and tricking the other players until you’ve got them right where you want them. To do this, you’ll need to play your cards in a way that makes you seem like you don’t have any good cards or that you’re desperate.
THE BASICS – UNDERSTANDING THE CARDS
Besides the numbered cards (numbered 0 – 9), there are a few action cards that you should know how to play.
The Reverse card, which depicts two arrows pointing in opposite directions, changes the flow of the game; if you’re playing clockwise, once the Reverse card is played, you play in the other direction.
The Skip card, which shows a circle with a line through it, skips the next player’s turn.
Draw Two, shown as “+2”, makes the next player draw two new cards and lose their turn.
The Wildcard, which is a black card showing an oval of all four colors. This card allows a player to change the current color of cards being played.
Wild Draw Four, another black card with a bold “+4” in its corners. This acts as the Wildcard, but the following player also must draw 4 cards while losing their turn. You may be challenged by the other player, who can guess if you have the same color card as the one you’ve chosen in your hand. If you do, you draw 4 cards. If you don’t, the other player draws 6 for challenging you and failing.
Below, you’ll find a list of tips, tricks, and hints to build a winning Uno strategy:
1. Remember that winning Uno is all about losing all your cards and making others gain cards.
2. Co-ordinate with players opposite you (whose plays will never affect yours), to try and catch out the players between you. This is much more effective when playing co-op Uno.
3. When someone has one card left and must draw, that means that they don’t have the current center card color to play. Play in this color as much as possible.
4. Start from your 9s and work down, holding 1s and 0s to the end. Players are less likely to number match your card and change the color play this way.
5. Always keep at least one “+2” card in your hand, but don’t load your hand with them.
6. Bear in mind the risks of challenging a Wild +4 card.
7. Trick your opponents into challenging your Wild +4 card by choosing a color that you don’t have. Most of the time, they’ll end up drawing 6 cards for failing.
8. Don’t use a Wild +4 card and keep the color the same. This is an obvious move, and you’ll lose the challenge.
In a way, playing Uno is like playing poker – if you don’t have a good poker face, or you aren’t good at lying/tricking people in card games, you’re probably going to lose, and lose fast.