I was playing with my fiancée and some friends, and she's adamant that if you can yell Uno before someone who has just played their second to last card, they are required to pick up the penalty amount of cards.

Is this kosher?

  • 2
    A house rule I have used in the past is to allow the player to say UNO before they play their card since the rule appears to be set up as a way to let the other players know you only have 1 card left and it really doesn't matter if that happens before you play your card or as you play your card.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 14:14
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    Being that she's your fiancée, she is correct in that she makes the rules. If it wasn't for that rule, gaming amongst significant others wouldn't happen. =)
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 19:11
  • 6
    Unfortunately she is my wife now, and thus I will no longer be questioning her authority. Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


She's basically right, but timing matters here. Your correct play is to say "UNO" as you play the card, which can't be interrupted. The player about to go down to one card may not be caught until his second to last card hits the discard pile. After that though, he's fair game! From the rules:

When you have one card left, you must yell "UNO" (meaning one). Failure to do this results in you having to pick two cards from the DRAW pile. That is, of course if you get caught by the other players...

A player who forgets to say UNO before his card touches the discard pile, but "catches" himself before any other player catches him, is safe and is not subject to the penalty. You may not catch a player for failure to say UNO until his second to last card touches the DISCARD pile. Also, you may not catch a player for failure to say UNO after the next player begins his turn. "Beginning a turn is defines as either drawing a card from the DRAW pile or drawing a card from your hand to play.

Newer rules on Mattel's web site have a FOUR card penalty:

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    do you think I can give a penalty of 2 cards to my friend the next morning for the time he didn't call 'Uno' the previous night? I am giving him 2 cards for now even though we are not actually playing this game at the moment. He will be relieved of those cards, once we get your reply.
    – user6523
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 18:35
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    @Saloman Miguel - Nope! Re-read the rule I quoted: you may not catch a player for a failure to say UNO after the next player begins his turn. So if you've started your turn, it's too late. I think it's fair to assume the rules expect the game to be played in a single sitting. If a single game was spread overnight, and you haven't had your turn yet, I think it's still in the spirit of the rules that you've missed your chance to penalise your friend if you've left it for hours to notice. The point is you notice immediately, or the player gets away with it. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 21:40

If a person said "Uno" before putting the card down, they need to withdraw three cards.

  • Recommend checking the operation of your Caps Lock button; and expanding on this answer such that value is added. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 17:04
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    I recommend reading the rules... such as the quote in ire_and_curses answer.
    – AndyT
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 16:37

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