OBJECTIVE OF UNO DUO: The player with the lowest score at the end of the game is the winner



TYPE OF GAME: Hand Shedding

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


UNO Duo is a two player hand shedding game designed and developed by Mark & Cristina Ball.  It uses a standard UNO deck but incorporates many different rule changes in order to create a more enjoyable two player UNO experience.

In this game, players will draft their beginning hands, have the opportunity to stack Draw 2’s, and play all of their cards in a single color.  Be sure to play your cards right because if a player goes out, the loser earns points for the cards remaining in their hand.


 UNO Duo uses a 112 card UNO deck.  A way to keep score is also needed.


Rather than deal, players will begin the game by drafting their first seven cards.  To determine who drafts first, each player cuts the deck.  Whoever cuts the highest card drafts first.  This person is considered Player 1.

Player 1 shuffles the deck and places it in the center of the table.  They draw the top card and look at it.  If they want the card, they keep it and turn the next card over to begin a discard pile.  The cards in the discard pile cannot be chosen.  If Player 1 does not want the card they draw, they discard it and draw the next one.  They must keep that card.

Player 2 does the same.  They draw one card and either keep or discard it.  If they keep it, they turn the next card over onto the discard pile.  If they don’t want it, they discard that card and draw the next one.

At the end of the drafting phase, each player will have seven cards in their hand, and the discard pile will have fourteen cards.  Turn the discard pile over and place it face down under the draw pile.

The player that drafts first alternates each round.


Now, turn the top card over to begin the discard pile for the game.  If the turned up card is an action card, the action must be completed by the player who goes first.


Player 2 goes first.  If the turned up card is a Draw 2 or Wild Draw 4, they must draw those cards and end their turn.  If the turned up card is a Skip, Player 1 goes first instead.  If the turned up card is a Reverse, the first player gets to play all of their cards of that color.  See the special instructions for Reverse cards below.  If the turned up card is a number card, Player 2 takes their first turn like normal.

If the turned up card is a Wild or a Wild Draw 4, Player 1 chooses the color that must be played.

The player that goes first alternates each round.


A player has a few options on their turn.  If they want, they can play a card that matches the color, number, or action of the top card on the discard pile.  They may also play a Wild or Wild Draw 4.  They are not required to play a card if they do not want to.

If a player cannot or does not want to play a card, they draw one from the draw pile.  If that card can be played, the player can choose to do so.  Again, they are not required to play the card.  If the card cannot be played, or if the player does not want to play it, they add the card to their hand.  This ends their turn.

The next player will do the same and play will continue.  If at any point the draw pile runs empty, place the top card from the discard pile aside, and turn the rest of the discard pile face down.  This begins a new draw pile.  


When the second to last card is played, the player must say UNO.  If they fail to say UNO, and their opponent says it first, the player who forgot must draw two cards.


The round ends once a player has played all of their cards.


There are a few special rules in UNO Duo.  Read how each card works carefully in order to learn all the new possible actions.

Draw 2

When a Draw 2 is played, the opposite player must draw two cards from the draw pile UNLESS they have a Draw 2 in their hand.  If they want, they may stack their Draw 2 on top of the one that was played.  This begins a Draw 2 Volley.  A Draw 2 Volley can continue as long as possible.  The first player that is unable to continue the Volley must draw the total number of cards.  Drawing cards ends the player’s turn.

Volley Example: Player 1 plays a Draw 2.  Player 2 immediately plays a Draw 2 bringing the total up to 4.  Player 1 plays another Draw 2 bringing the total to six cards.  Player 2 has no more Draw 2 cards to play, so they draw six cards from the draw pile.  Their turn ends.


The player that plays a Skip card immediately gets to go again.


In UNO Duo, the Reverse card has a very special ability.  When a player places a Reverse card on the discard pile, they may also play all of the cards from their hand that are the same color.  A player cannot play a few of the same colored cards.  It is all or nothing.  Play the Reverse card first, then lay the rest of the same colored cards one at a time.  If the final card is an action card, that action must be completed by the opponent.  


The person that plays a Wild card chooses the color that must be played next by their opponent.


When a Wild Draw 4 is played, the opposite player must draw four cards.  The person that played the Wild Draw 4 chooses the color that must be played next and takes another turn.  


If the player that has to draw four believes their opponent has a card they could have played, they may challenge the Wild Draw 4.  If a challenge is made, the player who played the Wild Draw 4 must show their hand.  If they did have a card that could be played, they must draw four cards instead.  However, if the player actually played the Wild Draw 4 legitimately, the challenger must draw SIX cards.  


The player that got rid of all their cards earns zero points for the round.  The other player earns points for the cards remaining in their hand.

Numbered cards are worth the number on the card.  Draw 2’s, Reverses, and Skips are worth 10 points each.  Wilds are worth 15 points each.  Wild Draw 4’s are worth 20 points each.

Continue playing rounds until one player reaches 200 points or more.


The player who reaches 200 points first is the loser.  The player with the lower score is the winner. 

If you want to win when playing Uno, head over to our guide on how to win at Uno!

Mark Ball
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