Can you play Uno with two people? Is it boring with 2 players?

by | Guides

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If you are a devoted Uno fan then you’ll know that playing it with 4 or 5 players is a blast. What about two players though? Can you play Uno with two people?

The great answer to this question is, yes you can play Uno with two people. It is also fun to play with two and certainly isn’t boring. Let’s take a look at these proven ways to maximise the fun of Uno with only two of you.

Uno 2 player rules

To play Uno with two people the rules are pretty much the same with some obvious variations to make the game work. Let’s take a look at how to play Uno with two people.

Game set up

You need to decide who is going first. To do this shuffle the pack and then each player draws a card from the pack. The highest card wins and that player becomes the dealer.

The dealer shuffles the pack again and deals each player 7 cards. The dealer places the rest of the cards down as a draw pile and turns the top card over onto the table. This then becomes a discard pile.

If the first discard is a wildcard or a wild draw 4 then put it at the bottom of the pack and draw the next card.

Uno card shuffle

Game play

Variations to the rules

Before you begin play you need to understand the differences to the rules in order to play Uno with two people.

If you played a reverse card it would really do anything. So, in this variation both the skip card and reverse card act in the same way and the other player misses a turn. The player who laid the card then gets to go again.

Laying a Draw 2 or Wild Draw 4 card will mean the other player must pick up 2 or 4 respectively. In the two player variation they also miss a go. So the turn goes back to the player who laid the card immediately.

Now we have discussed the variations and how they work. The player who is not the dealer goes first in the usual way by discarding a card onto the draw pile. Matching the first discarded card by color, number or with wild or wild draw 4 cards.

If the player cannot follow then they must pick up a card from the draw pile. They can then place this card onto the discard pile if they wish.

Once that player’s turn is finished the turn passes to the dealer for their turn.

Remember: Make sure you call out Uno BEFORE playing your second to last card. This is defined by the second to last card in your hand touching the discard pile. If you are caught out by the other player then you’ll have to pick up four cards.

A hand is over when a player is out of cards. Time to add up the scores. The score is made up from the cards in the losing hand as shown in the table. Bad luck if you’ve got stuck with a Wild or Wild Draw 4 card!

Card type

Number card
Draw 2
Reverse
Skip
Wild
Wild draw 4

Value

Face value
20
20
20
50
50

Once the winner of the hand has added up their score the dealer passes to the other player. They then take the deck, shuffles it thoroughly and the hand begins again.

Winning

Repeat playing hands until a player hits 500 points to win the game.

Alternative 2 player rules

A shout out and thanks to @blackdeath2 for these alternative 2 player rules that he posted on Board Game Geek here. These rules change the feel of the game a little more and make it a little quicker to play.

In this variation the number of cards are reduced from 108 to 38 to change the dynamic of the game.

Game setup

As we are going to play with less cards you will need to pick out specific cards to play with. Here are the cards you need.

Pick three colors to use from the usual four (red, yellow, green, blue) e.g. only use red, yellow, and green. Place the discarded color card set to one side as it won’t be used.

Now from each of the three colors pick:

Numbers 1-9
3 x Draw 2 cards
3 x Reverse cards
3 x Skip cards
2 x Wild cards

Uno cards

Game play

The game plays exactly as the Uno 2 player rules above. With the exception that you play to 186 points instead of the usual 500.

Optional

You may find that when a player has to draw 2 and then miss a go it is a bit harsh when playing a 2 player game. In this case play the rule that the player picks up the cards but then doesn’t miss their go. This is a particularly good strategy when playing with younger opponents.

Conclusion

Uno has been around for over 50 years now and is still as much fun as it has always been. 

As you can see, it is absolutely possible to play Uno with two people. I personally find Uno a fun game to play with two players. The variations described above can help make it even more fun. Uno is a great game that can be played quickly, a hand doesn’t take long. It can also travel well as it is a card game.

A little Uno History (click the + to read)

Whilst I was researching this article I did look up how Uno was invented and found it quite interesting. So I thought I would drop a few lines here about it.

Created in 1971 this game was a real cottage industry. Merle Robbins, the inventor, literally had 5000 games made and sold them from his Barber shop. 

Eventually selling through other local businesses and then selling the rights to another local businessman who started International Games in order to sell Uno. 

It wasn’t until 1992 when International Games finally joined the Mattel family of companies.

If you enjoy Uno and like card games then perhaps you would be interested in another excellent card game from Roxley Games called Dice Throne. It is a great tactical duelling dice and card game for two players. Take a look at the reviews below and see if this awesome game will take your fancy.

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Dice Throne: Season Two – Tactician Vs Huntress is a fun 2 player tactical card and dice game created by Nate Chatellier and Manny Trembley. It is a 1v1 duelling game where you start with a health of 50 and once you reach 0 you are defeated. It is part of the larger collection of Dice Throne games that includes 16 heroes from season 1 and 2, plus a cooperative expansion. Let’s find out more about this intriguing game.

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Dice Throne: Season Two – Gunslinger Vs Samurai is a fun 2 player tactical card and dice game created by Nate Chatellier and Manny Trembley. It is a 1v1 duelling game where you start with a health of 50 and once you reach 0 you are defeated. It is part of the larger collection of Dice Throne games that includes 16 heroes from season 1 and 2, plus a cooperative expansion. Let’s find out more about this intriguing game.