Uno Emoji is based on the popular culture of emoji usage in daily electronic communication. Anyone who has ever chatted online using any of the numerous texting apps out there knows how vital emojis are to convey an emotion or mood, and now they have become part of our global culture. Uno Emoji combines the fun of Uno with that of emojis that we have now all become accustomed to. Let’s look at the rules of Uno Emoji.
Get rid of all your cards before the others do, and be the first to score 500 points (or a number mutually agreed upon).
Starting the Game
There are 112 cards in total; 2-10 players can take part. In common with all Uno versions, you can choose a dealer by having everyone drawing a card and the one with the highest face number becomes the dealer (action cards can be counted as zero). The dealer shuffles the deck and deals 7 cards to every player. The remaining cards are then placed facedown to form the Draw pile. The first card of the Draw pile is turned up to form the Discard pile and the game begins.
Typically, the player to the left of the dealer begins play, and then the turns proceed in clockwise fashion until they get changed by a Reverse card. For each player’s turn, cards in the hand are matched with the topmost Discard pile card by color, number, or symbol, and then played down onto the Discard pile. Take note: You can only put down one card at a time; you cannot stack two or more cards together on the same turn UNLESS you are playing the Wild Emoji card (please see below).
Example – If the card on the Discard pile is a blue 7, you can discard/play a blue card or any number 7 of any color. You can also play a blue Action card such as blue Skip/blue Reverse/blue Draw Two. Alternatively, you can play any Wild card in your hand, since they do not depend on color, and call out what color you want for play to continue.
If you don’t have any matching card, you will need to draw a card from the Draw pile. You can then play that card if it matches by color, number, or symbol, or choose not to altogether. If you do not wish to play any card after drawing it, just hold onto the card while play moves on to the next player in turn.
All Uno versions have symbol cards that are also called Action cards. These comprise the Skip, Reverse, Draw Two, Wild card, Wild Draw Four card, Wild Customizable card, and the Wild Emoji card, unique to Uno Emoji. Let’s look at each of them.
When you play this card, the next player skips their turn. It can only be played by matching it with another Skip or card with the same color, on the Discard pile. When turned up at the start of the round, the first player that is supposed to go first loses their turn.
When you play this card, you change the direction of play to the opposite direction (clockwise to anti-clockwise, and vice versa). You can only play it with a matching color card, or another Reverse (which can be of any color). If turned up at the start of the round, the player to the dealer’s right will go first instead of the player on the dealer’s left.
When you play this card, the next player must draw two cards from the Draw pile, as well as skip their turn. You can only play this card with a matching color card or another Draw Two card (which can happen if the player before you receives a Draw Two and needs to draw 2 cards while losing their turn). If turned up at the start of the round (as the first card of the Discard pile), the first player must draw 2 cards and skip their turn.
This card can be played on any turn, provided you have not been skipped by an Action card. You can play this card even if you don’t have any cards of the same color as the card on the Discard pile, and then choose a color you want play to continue with. This is why it is called a “Wild" card. If turned up at the start of the round, the first player calls out the color to kick start the round.
Wild Draw Four
This card is also a Wild card and it forces the next player to draw 4 cards from the Draw pile. But unlike the plain Wild card above, you can only play this card if you do not have a matching color card with the card on the Discard pile. You can still play the Wild Draw Four card (illegally), but if the other player challenges you, you must show your hand. If it is proven that you have a matching color card, you need to draw 4 cards as a penalty. But, if it is proven that you really do not have a matching color card, then the person who challenged you must draw 6 cards instead!
Wild Customizable Card
This card is blank, so you can write on it any house rule you prefer, like for example, asking the unfortunate recipient to do a headstand or sing a song (as long as the other players mutually consent). Tip: Use a pencil to write your house rule so that you can erase it and write a new one next time! This card is also a Wild card, so you get to choose the color that resumes play. If turned up at the start of the round, treat it like a normal Wild card – the first player chooses the color to resume play, and that’s it.
Wild Emoji Card
This is the specialty card for Uno Emoji. When you play this card, you must also put down a number card (0-9) on top of it. Each numbered card in Uno Emoji has an emoji face on it, if you notice. The fun thing about the Wild Emoji card is that you force the next player to make the same face as the emoji face on the numbered card that you just played AND while they can take their turn as normal, they need to continue making that face until their turn comes again. If they fail to maintain that facial expression before their turn comes around, they must draw 4 cards as penalty!
Three things to remember about the Wild Emoji card. 1) You can choose what color you want to resume play with. 2) You can place any numbered card of any color along with the Wild Emoji card and that will serve as your choice of color 3) You can only add a numbered card (0-9) with an emoji face on it, so no other Action cards like Skips or Draw Two/Four cards, etc. If this card is turned up at the start of the round, treat it as a normal Wild card – the first player chooses or calls out the color he/she wants the play to resume with and that’s it.
You win the round (or “go out") by becoming the first person to get rid of all your cards. When you are playing your next-to-last card, you must yell “Uno" to announce to the rest that you are about to go out. If you don’t yell “Uno" and someone catches you before the next player begins their turn, you must draw 2 cards as penalty. If your last card is a Draw Two or Wild Draw Four, the other player still must draw those cards because they will be tallied for points, even though the round ends there.
Scoring and Winning
- Numbered emoji cards (0-9) – 5 points each
- Draw Two/Skip/Reverse – 20 points each
- Wild/Wild Draw Four/Wild Customizable/Wild Emoji – 50 points each
The first player to score 500 points (or whichever number is agreed upon by all the participants) is declared the winner. This may require several rounds of play in order for someone to achieve those 500 points required. If no player is out of cards and the Draw pile is depleted, simply reshuffle the Discard pile and use it as a new Draw pile to resume play.
An alternative scoring method suggested by Mattel is to keep a running tally of the points everyone is left with at the end of every round. When someone reaches 500 points, the player with the lowest points is declared as the winner.