Instruction Manual Shows That S’poreans Have Been Playing Uno The Wrong Way


Last Updated on 2018-09-28 , 12:51 pm

I’m sure that you have played UNO at least once in your life.

You know, that addictive card game that can destroy friendships with the emergence of a ‘Draw Four’ card and usually finishes with the other players praying that the next player does not have the card to win, but get their hopes dashed with a triumphant ‘GAME’ shouted out by the lucky player.

Most people would confidently say that they know how to play UNO, but the real question is, have they been playing it right?

Check out how the top three points on how the game is supposed to be played versus how we Singaporeans actually play it, based on the official Intel instruction booklet.

Using a Draw Four Card

Image: julie deshaies /

‘You can only play this card when you don’t have a card in your hand that matches the colour of the card previously played’. Knowing us Singaporeans, the sole purpose of this card is to sabo the player after us and make them keep adding cards to their hand while we watch with an evil laugh.

However, we are actually only supposed to play this as a last resort, meaning there are no other cards that we can play. If you are accused of using the Draw Four while you have playable cards and are found to have done so, you have to draw 4 cards from the deck. Lesson is, practice your poker face and gain the trust of everyone in your group.


Winning the Game

Image: Ekaterina_Minaeva /

To us, the person that wins the game is the one who manages to finish their whole hand first, but actually, according to the UNO instruction manual, “The first player to score 500 points wins the game.”

Each card has a point value and when a person finishes their hand, the points of the remaining cards in the other players’ hands are totalled up and credited to the finished player. Therefore, a winner might actually take more than one round to decide, but really, who has time to play the points system. Win means win already what, right?

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Starting off with the Top Card of the Deck

Image: julie deshaies /

Before officially starting the game, we usually turn over the first card of the deck to form the discard pile and if it is a non-number card, we tend to draw another card until we get a numbered one.

However, we are actually supposed to follow the special card (with the exception of the Draw Four card). That is to say, if the top card is a Skip Card, then the first player is skipped.

How many of these mistakes have you been committing in your UNO game? I’m willing to bet that you’ve made at least one of them; I know I’ve been doing all three wrongly.

Next time, try introducing these official rules into the game and see if they make it more fun, or just cause your friends to be annoyed at how difficult you’re making it.

Actually right, just stick to our Singaporean way of playing it, it’s much more fun lah.

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