Waiting one’s turn is annoying. We stand in line at the store, sit in our car at traffic lights and chew the inside of our cheek while our coworkers prattle out their complaints in the most endless possible way while we repeat the mental mantra, “Just-let-me-go-already.”
This constant vigil of personal restraint can prolapse into bursts of barista abuse, fits of right-hand-lane passing, and colleague strangulation if kept under pressure too long. We need a safe outlet in which to pounce, cuss, fist-pump, gloat, turn the tables and score before we do some actionable damage to ourselves and those around us.
I give you: Killer Uno.
Yes, there are rules. Yes, there are turns. Yes, there is some basic addition involved in the score-keeping. But if you are sober enough to match a color and a number at the same time, you can play when it’s not your turn and nobody can stop you. And that is beautiful satisfaction. So much so, you may not even need to kill people this week.
Killer Uno Rules
The game is simple.
You start with the basic Uno rules that come with the cards. The object is to run out of cards first. Match the color or number of the card showing on the discard pile, play a wild card, or draw. This encompasses the Action Cards (Reverse, Draw 2, Skip) as well. But we don’t want to wait our turn, do we? So here’s the Killer part:
If you are holding the identical card (same color and symbol) that is showing on the discard pile, play it. Play it fast. Smack it down on the pile before the person whose turn it really is has even decided what he wants to play. There. It’s not his turn anymore. Play continues to your left. Unless there is a Reverse card in play, in which case play continues to your right. Felt good, didn’t it? A gloating “Whoop!” is appropriate here.
It gets better. You know those pesky Draw Four wild cards? If one gets played on you, and you have one in your hand — you play it! Bam! Now the guy next to you has to draw eight. But wait! The girl across the table just realized she has one, too. Pow! She smacks it down immediately after you do, and now her next-door neighbor has a hand that has grown by twelve cards. Snickers ensue. Cries of relief whoosh out from those saved from drawing.
There is one more house rule we have added to foil the really smart strategic players. The Green Zero.
If a green zero is discarded (there is one per deck), play is halted while everyone passes their entire hand to the person next to her (in the reverse direction of current play). Play continues as before. That guy who was just about to go out now has a really ugly hand. You probably do, too.
- This game is best played with 6-10 players. We use two sets of cards for best impact and least re-shuffling.
- Identical cards may be played together: Have two Yellow Draw Two cards in your hand? Play them at the same time to make the next person draw four. Two Red Reverses? Play them together and they cancel each other out. Three Green Skips? Play them together and skip the next three players’ turns.
- Don’t have a card to play when it’s your turn? Draw until you do, or until someone else realizes they can and puts you out of your misery.
- Don’t forget to call “Uno!” when you have one card left. If someone else beats you to it, you must draw two cards.
- Black cards are 50 points.
- Action cards are 20.
- Number cards are face value.
- When someone discards his last card, play stops and everyone counts up what is left in their hand. The player to reach 500 points first is the loser. This is a good time to break for food and drink.
- Round tables even the odds. Players with long arms have the advantage of reaching the discard pile faster when racing to play out of turn.
- Keep nail-clippers available for your guests. Blood droplets from scrabbling players make the cards sticky.
- Quiet, polite people tend to have atomic elbows. Body-blocks can be strategic.
- Couples should not always sit next to each other. You’ll see.
Now go play!