How to win at UNO

UNO is one of the more popular card games out there.  It's easy to learn, but can be very hard to master.

For those that haven't played the game before, here are the basics:

- There are 109 cards in a standard UNO deck, made up of four colors:  Red, Blue, Yellow and Green

- There are three "action" cards in each color, which are Reverse (reverses the direction of gameplay, when it's 2 players, you get to act again), Skip (skips the next person in the rotation, same effect as reverse in a 2 player game), Draw two (next person in rotation draws 2 cards and loses their turn; in two player games, the 2nd player draws two and you go again).

- There are 4 "Wild" cards (can change the action color) and 4 "Draw Four" cards (this makes the next person in the rotation draw 4 cards and you get to name the color; in a 2 person game, you go again).

- 7 cards are dealt, face down, and then 1 card is flipped up to be the base card from the remaining card stock.

- Players can then either:

*Play a card of the same color

*Play a card of a different color if the number/action matches (i.e. Green 9 on a Blue 9, Red Skip on a Yellow Skip)

*Play a Wild Card or Draw Four card

- The player continues until they run out of cards, or have no more moves.  Play continues until a player has one card left, where they must say "UNO"! and ends when a player has no cards remaining in the hand.

UNO can be played just one hand at a time, or to a certain number of points.  So here is how that works:

- When one player goes out, the others count the number of points in their hand.

*Number cards are worth their value (0-9)

*Skip, Draw Two and Reverse cards are 20 points

*Wild and Draw Four cards are 50 points

Example:  Your hand is 9-4-R-S-W.  That's 9+4+20+20+50, or 103 points.

- The first player to bust 500 is out.  You can either then stop the game, and name the player with the smallest number of points the winner, or keep playing until there's only one person standing.

For such a simple game, UNO does have a fair amount of strategy to it:

- The most known is you can play a Draw 4 anytime, not just when you don't have the current color in your hand!  The drawback is that if someone calls out on it, and you do have the current color in your hand, you have to draw 4 cards, plus 2 additional ones.  So in this regard, UNO becomes a little like Poker.  If you have a good "poker face" you can get away with this quite often, bettering your chances of winning.  If you have a bad poker face and get caught, it can pretty much sink your chances of winning.

- Always play your highest number cards first!  This sounds simple but all too often, people just play the first color card they have in their hand, regardless of number.

- Do try to plan out your strategy when you only have a couple cards remaining (i.e., I'll play this card, then my Wild for UNO, and then my Draw Four.

- While the Wild and Draw 4 cards are the most points if you are caught with them, they are the best end game cards because you can't be blocked by colors.

- You also want to get rid of your 20 points cards quickly (i.e. Skip, Reverse, Draw 2) but use some discretion.  You might need to skip someone, or reverse the order back in a multi-player game, or otherwise you'll be stuck.

By using these strategies, you can start beating your friends and enjoy one of the favorite card games on the market today, UNO!