Two Player UNO: Pas de Deux

Practice: Mirror play

A commonly used technique for improving abilities is to play against oneself, preferably in front of a mirror. This way, you can practice your card-handling skills and watch your own face for tells. Alternate playing both hands in the game, being careful to clear your mind of between each turn so that you do not use your knowledge of the other hand to affect your strategy.

Basic Strategies

Excellent players locked in a game of two-player UNO are usually playing at least five moves ahead of the table's pile. Anticipation of the other player's next five to seven movements is essential; otherwise you will be drawn into an inescapable card trap. Here are the top five exchanges to be mindful of.

Epaulette mate

In which the lead player draws his opponent in through a rapid succession of cards, alternating between yellows and blues, typically using cards Y2 B3 Y3 B7 Y4 B1 Y5 B6 Y8 B10 Y9. This sequence can be devastating if used as part of a Coup d'arrêt.

Falkbeer Countergambit

The experienced player's counter to the Prise de Fer. A sequence of skip - numbered card - draw 2 is teased out of the opponent based on the player's cards. The opponent assumes that he is being led into a classic Nimzowitsch parry, when in fact, the opposite is true.

Fianchetto's defense

Blue cards are laid down in ascending order; red descending. Wilds and skips are held in the hand. Typically used as a defensive move to extend game play and give the player a chance to regroup after a failed gambit.


Also known as mutually assured destruction, a trébuchet puts both players into their weakest postions. The game is handed to Caïssa and the outcome of the game is left to fate. Masterful card players will appear to be playing a trébuchet when in fact, they are not ... this is known as the Smith-Morra Gambit.

Smith-Morra Gambit

A late-game trébuchet in which one opponent has successfully memorized the latter half of the draw pile; knowing the card sequence ahead of time allows him to draw his opponent into a false trébuchet.

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