UNO is 40 years old! This four-coloured card game is simple to learn, but needs a lot of strategising and thinking, making it one of the best ways to sharpen mental skills while having lots of fun.
UNO was invented in 1971 by a man named Merle Robbins. He is said to have had an argument with his son about the rules of another popular card game, Crazy Eights. A barbershop owner and card lover, Merle invented UNO and introduced the game to his family. After they started playing the game often he decided to have the game printed. His family pooled together $8,000 to have 5,000 games made. At first, UNO was sold from Merle's barbershop and friends and local businesses sold them too, but soon Merle sold the rights to a funeral parlour owner in Joliet, Illinois, USA. Sales for the game soon skyrocketed and in 1992, UNO became part of the Mattel family.
TIPS TO EXCEL AT UNO
You can't win at UNO unless you can recognise the different cards on sight. There are three different types of
cards - numbered cards, wild cards and action cards.
Numbered Cards: The numbers 6 and 9 get a special mention because they are some of the most difficult cards in the deck to recognise. They are confusing cards and the easiest to cheat with.
Wild Cards: These are the easiest to spot but also the rarest cards in the deck. The most powerful card in the deck is the Wild Draw Four Card.
Action Cards: These are powerful tools that change the flow of the game and if played properly, can help you win.
The Zero Factor: Do you ever feel like you don't see as many 0 cards in a game as there should be? Well, a little known UNO secret is that while there are eight of every numbered card from 1 to 9, there are only four 0s. And that's a secret.
A tell is an unconscious signal transmitted by one UNO player to others who are cunning enough to detect it, conveying something about the player's hand or his state of mind. Learn to recognise tells to improve your game. Physical tells are the easiest to spot. If a player fidgets or keeps shifting in his seat, it is likely that he is cheating or doesn't have great cards. If you see a player move his cards from his right hand to his left (or from his left hand to his right, if he is left-handed), you are probably about to be a victim of a sophisticated cheating technique. So be on your guard!
NOT JUST CARDS
Throughout the decades, UNO has reinvented itself by adding new rules, features and electronic elements. Recently, UNO introduced new, customisable games and experiences for anytime, anywhere play:
- UNO Extreme!: UNO Extreme! comes with all-new commands, a complete redesign and the fastest card launcher ever!
- UNO Mobile App: Play UNO on mobile devices offering great casual game play for fast fun on the run!
- UNO on Facebook: Join more than 1.5 million fans at the UNO destination for all things UNO.
DIFFERENT THEMES OF UNO
There are many sets of theme games available. These come with slightly different directions and special cards. We feature some of them here.
Batman UNO: Features a Joker card. When you discard this card you can choose one to three players to draw one to three cards.
Harry Potter UNO: Features a Draw Three (instead of Draw Two) card. It also features a Howler wild card which, if played, allows the player who used the card to select another player to say all of his cards aloud. This pack also features an Invisibility wild card which, if played, allows the player to block any card from being placed down (such as a card that forces one to draw cards).
Barbie UNO: Features a Friendship card, where the player can swap his/her hand with another player.