UNO for Large Groups


UNO Games with more than four players change the dynamics of the game. You've got more faces to watch, more hands to keep track of, more personalities to deal with, and most of all, fewer cards per person. All that ads up to excitement and fun, but with a few simple tips, you can stay on top of your game and win.

Basics of Group Dynamics

Freud's 1922 work, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego laid much of the groundwork for the what we know today as the modern realm of group dynamics. Though much of Freud's original hypotheses have been subsequently repudiated by other researchers (notably Schutz and Bion), the basis of his thesis was clear: to control the group, you must first understand it.

By now, you've familiarized yourself with the The Five UNO Personalities. If not, please take a moment to review that information. As is to be expected, the five personalities surface in large-group UNO, but the keys to controling the group is to understand and subtly control the factions that will appear. You'll spot The Rube, The Bogan, The Grifter and The Whiner within the opening round of the game. But watch closely how they interact: this will be your edge in the game.

If you are familiar with Cog's Ladder (articulated first in an unpublished paper from Proctor and Gamble Co, written in 1965 by G.C. Charrier), you know the five stages of group growth. Your goal is to keep the group from evolving past the Power Stage. This way, you can easily manage the five personalities back into their rightful roles, and quietly assume your position at the top of the power pyramid.

But how? The key is to play the personalities against each other. If you can turn The Bogans against The Rubes, and deftly assist the Grifter as he takes on the mask of the Savant, you can keep the Whiners in your corner and turn the game rapidly to your advantage.

Group Dynamics in UNO

Another critical aspect is that the five UNO personalities adapt and begin to exhibit unusual traits in large group settings. Here's what to watch for:

Group Variant
How to Gain Advantage
The Rube
63% Bogan, 37% Rube
Turn the Bogan against the Rube. The inner Bogan is revealed, and the Rube returns to his normal behavior.
The Bogan
41% Bogan, 33% Rube, 26% Whiner
Treat the Bogan as you would any Whiner.
The Whiner
83% Whiner, 27% Rube
Turn the Whiner into your uniwitting automaton by using subtle visual cues to convince him that the Grifter is, in fact, the Savant.
The Grifter
Once you identify the Grifter, lead him to believe that you think he is the Savant. Use the Whiner as your unwitting accomplice.
The Savant
Hopefully, you are the Savant in every game. In the unusual circumstance that there are two Savants in a large game, observe carefully, but do not engage. Just as two samurai who met on a battlefield would not engage directly in the heat of battle, neither should you. When the game is complete, arrange for a Pas de Deux.

©2009, all rights reserved. UNO® is a registered trademark of Mattel. This site is not affiliated with Mattel and the opinions expressed within are those of the members, and do not reflect the views of Mattel or its assignees.
About  |   Contact  |  Help  |  Privacy