Synopsis of Toy
Card games can be a lot of fun, but they don’t always make the best family games. The rules are often complex, there's often money involved, and the young ones sometimes just don't get it. Some games manage to buck this trend, but none in bigger way than Uno. This colorful card game can be learned quickly by people of any age, making it a major family favorite and one of the most popular card games of all time.
Uno is essentially a colorful update of the card game classic, “Crazy Eights.” The game starts with the shuffling of the Uno deck, which consists of 108 cards. The majority of the cards are numbered from 0 to 9 and come in four colors: red, blue, green and yellow. The remaining cards are the ones that really spice up game play. The non-number cards usually contain a direction to alter game play, like Draw Two, Skip, or Reverse. There are also Wild Cards, which let you choose the color of gameplay, and Wild Draw Four cards, which work the same as a Wild Card but also cause the next player to draw four cards.
The game begins with each of two to ten players being dealt seven cards. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table to act as a draw pile. A card is taken from the top of this pile and laid down face-up to start the Discard pile. Players must match the card at the top of the discard pile with a card featuring the same number, color, or word. A player can also play a Wild Card as a match for any card.
When players can’t make a match, they must draw a card from the draw pile. However, if the card they draw is a match, they can play it to finish the turn. The idea of the game is to get rid of all the cards in a hand. Once a player is down to his last card, that person must say the word “uno” aloud (that's Spanish for "one," by the way). If he fails to do so, a player can call him on it and he will be forced to draw two cards. This penalty is bypassed if no one notices before the next player takes a turn.
Once a player gets rid of all his or her cards, the hand ends and scores are tallied up. The score can be kept two ways. The first way is to allow the winning player of a hand to take points for the cards that all the other players have left. In this version, hands are played until someone wins by reaching 500 points. The other scoring method has the players left with cards at the end of the hand taking points for what they have left. Once they reach 500 points, they have to drop out of the game. In this version, the winner is the last person who can stay in the game without reaching 500 points.
Uno quickly became a staple of ‘family game nights’ after its release. Its combination of easily learned rules with suspenseful game play made it a long-lived hit that continues to be popular today. It’s long life has also led to several spin-off Uno games, everything from Uno Hearts to Uno Attack, which includes a mechanized card-dealer that randomly spits new cards at game players. Several home gamers have invented their own rules for the game over the years, a few were canonized in special "Uno House Rules" sets.
The enduring popularity of Uno has also inspired tie-in versions of Uno as merchandising for television programs like The X-Game and Star Trek. It has also led to new Uno-related games in other formats, like the electronic Uno Handheld Game and Uno Stacko, a three-dimensional stacking game that incorporates the rules from Uno. These many variations of Uno prove that this game’s combination of accessibility and challenges is an enduring "uno."