Can You Play Uno With Two People? 2 Great Variations to Play

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If you want to play Uno with 2 players then you’ll find two great variations described below that you can enjoy. They both have special rules which will make playing with 2 players lots of fun.

My wife and I love to play Uno every now and again when the kids have gone to bed. It is perfect for something casual when you are too tired. There is little setup time and its easy to play. We particularly enjoy the second variation in this article so make sure to check that out.

If you want to checkout the official rules then there is a link at the bottom of the page. Let’s begin with the standard two player game of Uno.

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

Table of Contents

Uno 2 player rules

Playing Uno with two players is follows the same principles as the multiplayer version but with some significant differences. Let’s take a look at what those are and how to play Uno with two people.

Game set up

As in the multiplayer you need to decide who is going first. 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. Then places the rest of the cards down as a draw pile and turns the top card over onto the table.

This first card 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.

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.

Special Cards

  • Skip card: Play skips your opponent and you immediately take another turn
  • Reverse card: Same as Skip card.
  • Draw-2 card: Your opponent draws two cards and you play again.
  • Draw-4 card: Your opponent draws four cards and you go again.

Game play

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.

Card TypeValue
Number cardFace value
Draw 220
Reverse20
Skip20
Wild50
Wild draw 450
Card Scoring

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 Card Scoring table above. Bad luck if you’ve got stuck with a Wild or Wild Draw 4 card!

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

And now to my personal favorite and 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 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

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

As you can see playing Uno with two people can be a lot of fun. It has lasted the test of time and is alos so compact it is a great travel game too. I hope you enjoy these variations and they will give you the opportunity to play Uno more often.

If you are looking for the Official Uno rules you can find them on their website by clicking this link.

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. Check out Huntress Vs Tactician – Dice Throne: Season Two or Gunslinger Vs Samurai – Dice Throne: Season Two reviews.

If you can’t find someone to play with then perhaps my article on the 20 Best Solo Board Games 2022 will provide some ideas for you.

A little Uno history

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.

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