UNOtips Card Guide

Face it. You can’t win at UNO unless you can recognize the different cards on sight. New players can consult the instructions, come to our forum for advice, or even ask a friend. Winners know the cards in an instant. There are three different types of cards: numbered cards, wild cards and action cards. We’ve broken out two of the trickiest numbered cards--six and nine--because there are some special tricks to recognizing those, but don’t get intimidated. Start learning! You can use this guide to learn what you need and really start to hone your skills. Mouse over the name of each category for an interactive demonstration.

Action Cards are powerful tools that can change the flow of the game, punish an adversary, and lead you to victory. Each has a distinct symbol that you can train yourself to recognize instantaneously.

First, there is the Wild Draw Four Card. You might remember it as one of the Wild Cards. And the same mnemonic applies: all four colors equals wild. Or, you can think about the name: Wild Draw Four Card .

Next, there is the Draw Two Card. The card in this guide is yellow, but Draw Two Cards come in three other variants: blue, green, and red. Keep an eye out for the plus (+) symbol in the upper corner.

Third in the lineup is the Reverse Card. Note the tangled crazy arrows on the face of the card. While there’s no easy way to remember what these arrows mean, Reverse Cards are the only cards in the deck that have that symbol. These cards also come in four colors.

Finally, there is the Skip Card. It’s very similar to the 0 card (described in the Numbered Cards tab of the card guide) but if you look very closely, you’ll see one key difference. Note that the Skip Card has a big slash through its middle. The zero doesn’t have that slash!

Numbered cards are the life-blood of any UNO game. If you’ve made it to this level of training in your quest to crack the UNO code, you can probably already recognize the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Learning to identify sixes and nines is especially complicated, so that’s covered in the Tricky 6 & 9 section. What about 0? You might remember from the Action! Cards section that zeroes and Skip Cards can be potentially disastrously confusing.

If you can remember the simple rule that the 0 does NOT have a slash through it, then you’re good to go. Each of the numbered cards comes in all four colors. See the following examples.

If you have a deck of UNO cards handy, now is a good time to quiz yourself

Wild Cards are the easiest to spot. They are the only cards that show all four colors: red, yellow, blue, and green. However, they are also the rarest cards in the deck.

The most powerful card in the deck is the Wild Draw Four Card. This is a wild card AND an action card. (Don’t worry, you’ll see this card in the Action! Card Guide too.)

The numbers 6 and 9 get a special section because they are some of the most difficult cards in the deck to recognize.

Even experienced players may find themselves getting confused over these tricky little devils, so let’s start with some basics. First, you know you’re looking at a 6 or a 9 when you see that there’s more than just a number on the card. These cards have three extra horizontal lines that aren’t on any of the other cards. These lines are here to help. Think of the line as a platform upon which the number stands … up!

In the examples below, the first card is a six and the last card is a nine. But what about the other two? The second cards looks like it could be a six, (after all, there’s a six in the middle, and then another one in the lower right corner). But there’s a nine in the upper left! So if two out of three of the numbers are sixes, then majority rules, right?

WRONG. Think of the platform. The number is 'standing up' on the bar, so the only one you should care to look at is in the upper left. It’s a nine! Can you guess which card the third one is?

Wild Draw Four

Wild Cards

Blue Numbers

Red Numbers

Yellow Numbers

Green Numbers

Tricky 6

Tricky ??

Tricky ??

Tricky 9

Wild Draw Four

Draw Two


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