UNO is great family fun for both kids and adults. It suits various ages, and can be played with just 2 people or up to 10 people.
In the last school holidays we went away with three other families, staying in a holiday house together. There was up to eighteen of us over five days. We took a bunch of board games with us but there was a clear winner for entertainment that had everyone enthralled each day – UNO. Yes, that old classic iconic card game that’s been around since 1971.
What is UNO?
The card game involves players taking turns to match a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck either by colour or number. There are special action cards for game-changing moves to help you defeat your opponents. These include Skips, Reverses, Draw Twos, Wild and Draw Four Wild cards. The aim is to be the first person to get rid of all your cards. When you are down to only one card, you must call out ”UNO” (“one” in Italian).
Why is UNO perfect for families?
It was a big surprise actually, just how popular it was. These are the reasons why we loved it:
♥ It’s easy enough to pick up the rules so everyone can play it.
♥ The recommended age is 7+, but for younger kids, with a little bit of patience and maybe a little bit of help, it’s a great way to learn colours and numbers plus a bit of game strategy too. Our kids started playing from around 4 years old with a bit of help. Our group consisted of kids aged between 10-15 years (and the teens enjoyed it just as much and were happy to play with their younger siblings and friends).
♥ Any number of people can play – sometimes a few of the kids played together, then others would join in. Sometimes the whole dining table would be full of players with 6-8 playing at once. Every time there was a seat vacant, someone else would happily fill the spot. It’s a game that people came and went, but everyone was eager to join in the fun. The adults enjoyed it as much as the kids. It was played during the day and in the evening.
♥ It kept the kids off screens for a long time.
♥ One of the reasons why it was super popular are some new cards that have been added to the game a few years ago. There are three blank cards which you can make up your own rules. Write them on the card in pencil so you can change them. For example we had:
- 10+ pick up 10 cards.
- Swap all your cards with the person to the left of you.
♥ There is also the ‘Shuffle Hands’ card where the person who picks up this card must take everyone’s cards and reshuffle all the cards and distribute them evenly to all players. This is a great addition to the game (since I played this game as a kid) and is a great equaliser.
It’s a saviour for any poor sucker who has had a lot of bad luck picking up a lot of cards and/or not been able to get rid of many. It means that your fortune can change at any time in the game – you can go from winning to losing and vice versa very quickly. This unpredictability makes it exciting and fun, and there is less despair if you are going badly because there is always hope that your situation can change.
If you haven’t played UNO in a while, or have a very old packet which doesn’t have the new blank and shuffle cards, it’s worth getting a pack that does. It made all the difference with adding excitement to the game, helping to keep everyone enthralled, and coming back to play again and again. It was a huge hit with young and old for our group. UNO is a great game to play as a family at home; when friends visit; while travelling on a plane or train (in the car if you have a tray); and during holidays.
Where to Buy UNO
It’s a popular game and usually readily available at stores that sell toys.
It’s currently $7 for the game at Kmart (as of 21 March 2020).
A couple of UNO rules that you may be unsure about, straight from UNO themselves:
— UNO (@realUNOgame) May 4, 2019
You can end with an action card, except the shuffle hands card!
— UNO (@realUNOgame) January 14, 2020
For more information find UNO on Twitter here
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: All photos by Play & Go
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