The key to winning any Uno game is strategy and using the right combination of cards. The strategies listed here may not help you to win every time because luck plays a big role as well, but it should help you improve your win rates significantly. Other key elements to winning a game depends on how many opponents you have, the colors in your hand, the Action cards you have, and how many Action cards have been used on/against you.
Keeping track of what cards have been played will require you to pay attention to what is going on around you.
- If a player has put down quite a few cards of the same color then you need to change the color being played as soon as you can. You don’t want them to be able to get rid of their cards so quickly.
- If a player has to keep drawing cards on the same color each turn, then do your best not to have the color changed. This will keep that player continually drawing cards until they draw one that can be played but also gives them an additional amount of cards in their hand.
- You can also try to control the color in play. The best way to change the color you want is with Wild cards. You can also change the color by laying down the same number of the card played but with a different color. For example, if there is a green 2, you can play a red 2 to have the color changed.
Using your Skip and Reverse cards strategically will aid you in the one calling Uno instead of another player. You also have to pay attention to the number of cards each player has left in their hand.
- If you’re playing a game with just one other opponent and they are getting low on cards, hit them with any Skips and Reverses you have to lower your card count. This also works if a player next to you is getting low on cards.
- Let’s say the player two down from you is on their last card and you have a Skip and a Reverse card. It would be better to play the Reverse card. If you play the Skip card then the person next to you will be skipped over allowing the second person to win if they are able to lay their last card down.
As with the Skip and Reverse card, the Draw-Two card also has to be played strategically. They are a perfect way to keep a player low on cards from winning that round.
- If the player that has just gone before you is left with only a few cards, play a reverse followed by a Draw Two card on your next turn. They may be able to play another card from the Reverse but the Draw Two will give them an extra card.
- If the player who goes after you has one card left, play a Draw Two card to keep them from saying Uno.
- If 4 or more players are playing, you will find that oftentimes, you can “team up” with the player opposite of you (in the circle of players) in hitting the players to your left or right with either a couple of Draw Two cards, or Skip cards. When a Draw Two is played on someone, they also need to skip their turn. So in this way, you can “cooperate” with the player opposite of you, albeit temporarily.
Wild/Draw-Four Wild cards
Wild and Draw-Four Wild cards can make or break a winning round.
- Both cards will cost 50 points each if you still hold them in your hand at the end of the round so it is best to know when to hold onto them and when to get rid of them.
- Try to hold onto the Wild card as long as you are able. Wild cards can be used at any point in the game no matter what has been played.
- A Draw Four card will benefit you if you are able to play it when you are down to a few cards in your hand and are still able to say Uno. The cards the other players have to draw will count towards the points you get.
- If another player is low on cards and it seems they will definitely be the one saying Uno, get rid of your Wild or Draw Four Wild cards as soon as possible. You want to give them as little points as you can.
Playing Your High Cards Early
- Cards 1-9: Valued at their face amount
- Draw-Two: 20 points
- Reverse: 20 points
- Skip: 20 points
- Wild: 50 points
- Draw-Four Wild: 50 points
The higher the points in your hand, the more points the winner gets from you.
- Keep in mind that when you are discarding your number cards, play the highest card you can each turn. This is unless you have a large amount of cards that match the color in play.
- It is also important to try to discard your 20 point cards. This also comes into play with what strategy you use to best discard them.
- When another player lays down a card don’t give them a hint as to what you have or don’t have. This would include groaning, acting disappointed, or making a face.
- Players new to Uno normally concentrate on playing their cards according to color. Sometimes it is the best idea to play a card based on its number instead.
- Make sure Uno is called by those other players who are left with one card. If a player does not say Uno when they have one last card, you can challenge them and they will have to draw two more cards. You need to be quick; because you can only issue a challenge before the next player’s turn comes and he/she draws or puts down a card.
Uno is a fun game that can be played for hours of enjoyment. But if you have your heart set on winning, try out a few well played strategies your next game. I think you will be pleased with your results.