The Crazy UNO Rule We Bet You Never Knew About

Updated: Nov. 04, 2022

Before your next round of cards, you may want to actually read those instructions that came with the game.

UnoM Sosnowska/Shutterstock

Learning how to play UNO is pretty much a childhood rite of passage. At some point growing up, your parents, babysitter, or camp counselor probably taught you the rules: When it’s your turn, match a card in your hand with the top card on the discard pile by either number, color, or word. Use your word cards strategically against your opponents, and don’t forget to yell “UNO!” before playing your next-to-last card.

But have you ever taken the time to actually read the UNO rules yourself? Facebook user LaToya McCaskill Stallings recently did and discovered that she’s been playing the card game wrong her whole life.

Chances are, so have you.

The little-known rule

While you can use Draw 2, Reverse, Skip, and Wild at any time, it turns out your Wild Draw 4 can only be used when you legitimately can’t play another card. That changes everything!

Here’s what the official UNO rules says about the Wild Draw 4 card: “You can only play this card when you don’t have a card in your hand that matches the color of the card previously played.”

You’re probably thinking, “My opponents can’t see my cards. How would they know if I’m using my Wild Draw 4 incorrectly?” Well, the UNO folks have a rule about that too.

“If you suspect that a player has played a Wild Draw 4 card illegally, you may challenge them. A challenged player must show his/her hand to the player who challenged. If the challenged player is guilty, he/she must draw the 4 cards, plus 2 additional cards. Only the person required to draw the 4 cards can make the challenge.”

So if you’re going to use your Wild Draw 4 to prevent somebody else from calling “UNO,” you’d better have a pretty good poker face.

Next, read on to find out all the ways you’ve been playing Monopoly wrong your entire life.

[Source: Good Housekeeping]