How Many Different Versions of UNO Exist?
If you take a stroll down the card game aisle at your local supermarket or toy store, you might notice that there are quite a few varieties of the game UNO. It makes you wonder, just how many versions are there? The number may surprise you!
So, how many versions of Uno are there? Since its invention in 1971, UNO has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon. In its over 50 years of history with International Games and later Mattel, there has been an array of spinoffs that is difficult to keep up with.
Including all the varieties and theme packs that have been released over the years, there are a staggering 500+ different types of UNO card games in existence. Mattel releases 15-30 new games and spinoffs of UNO every year!
With so many new UNO games becoming available every year, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the varieties. In this article, we will explore some of the various versions of UNO and what makes each one special and different.
What Is UNO?
If you are not familiar with the wildly popular UNO card game, it is a simple matching game for 2-10 players. The object of the game is to be the first player to reach 500 points by discarding your cards and earning points as indicated by the cards left in your opponent’s hand.
You can play a draw 1 or a wild card if no one has any of those colored cards. There are also rules for skips, reverse, and allowing players to trade hands when they have one card remaining. It’s easy to learn and fun to master!
The original version of UNO consists of cards numbered 0-9 with four colors (red, green, blue, and yellow) having two each in a deck.
This version includes special action cards such as skip, reverse, and wilds which are playable only when the player holds the corresponding color or number for that action. It is recommended for ages 7+.
How To Play UNO
The official rules found on the website for UNO indicate that players start with seven cards and must follow the color or number shown on the top of the deck.
Players match a card in their hand with either color or number to those of another player. The last person to get rid of all their cards is the winner!
Are There Different Ways To Play UNO?
Yes! If you’ve obtained more than one version of UNO, there are many ways to play. Play classic UNO with the official rules, or try playing with special action cards which do not require matching colors or numbers.
You can also play with just colors or just numbers by turning all the wild cards into their corresponding color/number card. With so many ways to play, it’s easy to see why this game is fun for all ages!
The Deluxe Edition of UNO contains everything needed to play, including 108 cards (2 decks) and 4 padlocks. The Deluxe Edition includes unique action cards such as draw 2, skip, reverse, and wild draw four that can be used regardless of color or number but may not be played until a player holds the corresponding color and number for that card.
It also includes two ultimate wilds: Wild and Final Draw Four. When combined with any other regular wild card in UNO, these two ultimate wilds have the potential to change the entire game! This version is recommended for ages 8+.
The Action Deck contains 112 cards consisting of 16 action cards that require no match in color or number to be played as well as 96 number/color cards found in regular UNO games.
The action cards are numbered 1-16 with four colors (red, green, blue, and yellow) having two cards each. The action cards allow for the drawing of extra cards within the gameplay as well as adding new elements to the gameplay that is not found in regular UNO games. This version is recommended for ages 8+.
The UNO Plus card game is a combination of UNO and rummy. It consists of 112 playing cards consisting of 16 action cards which require no match in color or number to be played as well as 96 number/color cards found in regular UNO games.
The action cards are numbered 1-16 with four colors (red, green, blue, and yellow) having two each. A deck of 52 standard playing cards is included in the game UNO plus. UNO plus allows for 2-6 players and includes instructions for both classic play and advanced play. This version is recommended for ages 8+.
Freeze Card Game
The Freeze card game contains 92 cards consisting of 12 action cards that require no match in color or number to be played as well as 80 number/color cards found in regular UNO games.
The action cards are numbered 1-12 with four colors (red, green, cards are also included. It is recommended for ages 7+.
This variety of Uno requires simultaneous playing, twisting of arms, and creative foot placements. It includes an inflatable mat that acts as the center point for all players where they place their feet while trying to win the game by playing cards according to color or number on their inflatable mats.
Twister UNO is recommended for ages 8+.
UNO Theme Packs
Mattel’s first few years of theme pack production were focused on standard decks of UNO cards with different artwork reflecting licensed properties. However, they soon started adding wildcards that had an effect in addition to changing colors–most have 112 rather than 108 card options.
These theme packs account for a huge number of the available versions of UNO and include categories such as:
- TV Series
A spinoff of UNO is a version of the game that is different from the original. It may have additional playing pieces, different rules, or a new format. Several of the UNO spinoffs combine UNO with other classic games such as Bingo, dominos, and dice.
If you’ve grown bored of playing the original UNO game, trying one of these spinoffs might be just what you need to add some excitement back into the game! Some of these spinoffs include:
- Car-Go UNO
- UNO Attack
- UNO Bingo
- UNO Dare
- UNO Dice Game
- UNO Dominos
- UNO Flip
- UNO Remix
- UNO Showdown
- UNO Triple Play
What Is An UNO Challenge?
A UNO challenge is a fun way to add UNO cards, such as action cards, without much complication. To play the UNO challenge, you’ll need two regular decks of Uno.
Pick out the wilds, negatives, and reverse cards from one deck and shuffle them back in. You are now ready to play!
How Do You Win UNO?
The object of the game is to be the first person to rid yourself of all your cards. You can accomplish this by discarding a card that matches either the color or shape of the current card on top of the deck or playing a wild/action card.
The cards have matching colors and shapes, except for wild cards which are marked with “Draw Two” or “Skip.” In addition to normal numbered cards ranging from zero through nine in four different colors (green, red, blue, yellow) there are also corresponding colored Draw Two and Draw Four cards.
When you play a DRAW TWO CARD, its effect takes place immediately after you draw two cards from the pile into your hand. If you play a DRAW FOUR CARD instead, its effect takes place as soon as you draw all four cards from the pile.
When a DRAW TWO or DRAW FOUR CARD is played, its corresponding DRAW FOUR or DRAW TWO CARDS MUST also be played.
The History of UNO
The inventor of Uno was Merle Robbins. He joined a company called “Irwin Toy” where he would work on ideas they deemed marketable and sell them at toy and game expositions.
Before passing away, Merle Robbins had expressed many times that his best invention was UNO, although it was not his idea alone, but rather a team effort that made it possible.
The original prototype of Uno was created in 1971 to be sold in women’s purses at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).
The following year, they started selling it nationwide and it became one of Irwin Toy’s best sellers. It would eventually be released in France after 6 years, but became an international success shortly after.
There are Uno games for children, adults, teenagers, and even for families with expansion packs. Uno can also be played with or without special action cards which makes it more interesting depending on player preference.
On top of all these versions, you could just use a standard deck of playing cards (sans jokers) where the number value is based on face-card 10, Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13, Ace=14.
There are countless versions of the game UNO, spanning across different play formats, wildcards, and playing pieces. If you want to play a quick-paced and fun family game night activity with your friends and/or family members, UNO is always a great option.
Next time you’re at your local supermarket or toy store, see if you can count how many versions your store carries. It won’t be over 500, but I bet it will be more than you expected.