I know the regular rules for UNO, but over the years, playing with different people, I hear all kinds of different rules. I've hear different rules when a specific card is played, you and/or everybody does something.

For example:

  • When someone plays any '5' card, everyone must slap the discard pile. The last people to slap must draw 2 cards from the pile.

I've also heard different rules over the years but I can't seem to remember them. I don't think they were House Rules, more like "underground" rules that people over time have added and eventually were passed on through different people. I've heard different rules like switching cards in your hand with someone else, and etc. But I don't really know the specifics.

So I guess my real question is, what are some unique rules that are apart the standard UNO Rules? Maybe even rules that "you" personally have made up that have made your time playing UNO enjoyable?

Any information and/or help will be appreciated. Thanks!

  • Voting to close this as too broad: it's a list question Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 5:18
  • Maybe open the question and mark one answer as wiki so everyone can just add they rules on it?
    – gbianchi
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 13:24

7 Answers 7


We have some house rules to make is faster and fun:

  1. Every time you ask if it's your turn you draw a card

  2. If you play an invalid card, you draw a card

  3. If the rest think you are taking too long, you draw a card.

  4. If someone plays a card that you also have in your hand, you can play it as well, but you need to be faster than the next player.

  • These are rules that we're playing as well, but instead of drawing one card, we always draw two. One is not that big punish for a player ;)
    – kreys
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 7:42
  • Actually, you may not be aware of this, but Number 2 on your list is an official rule. Officially, if you play an illegal card, you must take it back, draw two cards, and lose your turn.
    – user45266
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 2:46

You might want to look at Mao (also known as "Chairman").

Mao has gameplay similar to Uno but the rules are secret, only communicated through penalties. Typically, new rules are added over the course of play. Of course, the in-game secrecy doesn't stop fans from discussing their house rules online.

I think it's a good source of inspiration because Mao house rules include both purely functional rules (like Konerak's pass-the-draw-card example) and action triggers (like your slap-the-5 example), with all sorts of levels of complexity and silliness.

One of the more-or-less standard rules, for instance, is that players must announce the name of any spade card they play; another is that you must thank people for forcing you to draw cards (under penalty of having to more draw cards, in both cases). You can easily adapt rules like these to Uno to make it a more raucous game.


This combines a little bit of @gbianchi's and @Konerak's: we've always played that if you can exactly match the card on top of the pile (both color and value), you can play out of turn, and play continues as if it had been your turn. If you have two identical cards in your hand, you can play them both at once.

When penalty cards are played this way, they can stack. For example, if someone plays a yellow Draw 2, and you hold one as well, you can choose between playing it immediately to make the person after you pick up 4, or waiting for the naturally next player to pick up 2, then playing out of turn to make the person after you pick up 2. Draw 4 Wild cards can also stack, which often leads to one unlucky person drawing 12 or 16 because people hoard them. Two Skips skip two people, two Reverses have no net effect.

The one exception to playing out of turn is that you can't play a card out of turn if you just picked it up as a penalty (Draw 2, Draw 4 Wild), you have to wait for another player to play at least one card before you can use those.

These rules speed the game up significantly because people want to play fast to prevent their turns from being stolen, and want to play even faster if they can steal someone's turn!

  1. If someone plays a +2, you can throw a +2 on that and it becomes a +4 to the next one. He again can add another +2...

  2. Right after drawing a card but before adding it to your hand, if you can play the card you just drew, you are allowed to. This goes for punishments (+2 or +4 or other house rules that force a draw) too.

  3. Forgetting to say 'UNO' adds 7 cards to your hand.

  • For the 3rd rule, people I've played with always did 4 cards instead of 7, and it's only if somebody else says "uno" before you do.
    – Joe Z.
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 23:28
  • We always allow stacking of all special cards in a way that makes... well, not necessarily sense, but fun. For instance, if Alice plays a +2 so that Bob must pick 2 cards, Bob can play an additional +2 so Carol must pick 4 cards, but Carol plays a "reverse direction" so it's now back to Bob who must pick 4 cards, but he plays a "skip turn" to skip his own turn, so in the end it's Alice who must pick 4 cards.
    – SQB
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 7:40

The only one I'll add is whenever a '0' is played, all players pass their hands to the person to their right (regardless of the direction the turn sequence is currently going). Players who receive a hand of one card must say "UNO" or receive the penalty.


When we play we let +2's stack. It makes the game much more fun when draws are running around the table and one unlucky person picks up 12 cards. We also reduce the penalty for not saying Uno to one card because we always forget that.


Instead of each player starting with 7 cards, what I do is have each player start with 10, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 cards.

  • Each player starting with 40 or 50? Surely you only play 2-player, because otherwise you'd run out of cards (the deck is 108 cards)?!
    – user45266
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 2:48

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