After 16 years we have decided these are the most balanced rules...
UNO! Awsumb-Hardy House Rules
1. Dealing- Begin with 2 UNO decks. Dealer chooses how many cards are dealt. (1-?) (Wendy is known for dealing only one card, leaving all players scrambling to quickly turn over their cards and scream UNO! Often a game will end there, other times a one card deal leads to a very long game- it just depends on the cards in the deck!)
2. Play- Play starts with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise until reversed. Play begins the second the dealer flips the first card. (You may flip the top card before all players are ready, or make sure your own cards are in order first! This can be used as strategy because matches may be played immediately after the play begins. Kenneth is known for not sorting his cards as strategy to mix up the person who may receive them later in the game.)
3. Draw 'til you play. If a player has no legal card to play, the play must continue to draw from the pile until a playable card is drawn. Shuffle as needed. If you draw Wild cards, you don't have to play them but you must play the first matching color card you draw.
4. Matching- Any player can play out of turn if you can make an exact match to the current card. Play then continues from that person on, skipping the players in between the last played card and the match. If you have two identical cards in your hand then you can play both at the same time. This is particularly good when it is 2 (identical) draw-cards, or 2 (identical) reverse cards, etc. (2 Reverse= no change. 2 Skip = skip 2 players)
5. Match and play- A variation of the matching rule is to allow the person who matched to match and then play a legal card from their hand, giving them an extra turn. (This rule is controversial, so it is optional.)
6. Draw Stacks- Any Draw card starts a draw stack. Instead of drawing the appropriate cards, a player may “fight” with another draw card, ADDING to the draw effects and sending it on to the next player. You can “fight” a draw with any Draw Two, Reverse, Skip or a Wild Draw Four. Normal color rules apply. The number cards and the standard Wild card cannot be played in the draw stack. (Skip cards may also be stacked, sending the skip around the table)
7. Wild Cards- In normal play, you can play a Wild Draw Four, even if you have any of the appropriate color available. When playing any Wild card, in normal play or in the stack, you must still declare the new color and cannot use the same color.
8. Sixes & Nines- Sixes and nines may be played interchangeably. Beware, if you are caught you must draw six or nine!
9. Pass on Zero- When any one of the "0" cards are played everyone must pass their hand to the adjacent person in the direction of play. Only after a swap or draw stack has completed is a final winner determined… and it may NOT be the person who originally “played their last card.”
10. Switch on Zero- A variation for the “0” card is to allow the player who plays the “0” the option of switching hands with another player.
11. Going Out- Be cautious of playing a draw card or a “0” as your final card, it will trigger additional action! The hand does not end until play is resolved and, if you end up drawing cards, play will continue.
12. Scoring- The winner is the one who gets rid of all their cards first, and then everyone "counts" their remaining cards (as in the usual game- remaining numbers are added together, Draw Two, Reverse, Skip or Wild - 20 points; Wild Draw Four- 50 points). The game stops when the first player gets to 500, and the one with the lowest score wins!
13. Pirates- In honor of Little Awsumb (Optional) Players must cheat – Suggested methods include, but are not limited to…
looking at other players' hands, playing two or more cards at once to get rid of them faster,
hiding cards anywhere you can (up sleeves, under the table or back on the deck),
playing the wrong card when no one is looking (if caught player draw that # of cards),
passing and not playing cards you may want to keep for a future draw stack…
Players must use pirate voices and say "arggh" a lot (adds to the atmosphere)
Killer UNO servers as a really good 'gateway game' to introduce new friends to our board game nights and our ever growing collection of good quality strategy board games.
What are your House Rule variations?