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Source: Radio One / Radio One Digital

Since the beginning of time, black people have always been innovative and strategic when it comes to recreating the standard. 

In this case, it’s the classic card game UNO. UNO has been an instrumental game that has gathered black households and communities together for some fun. Over time we have recreated the standard rules and stamped it as one of the “Black People Card Games.” 

Many have wondered what are the standard rules for playing UNO with black folks. With the constant mentions, retweets and debates on social with the creators on how we play, here are some common rules that we play by in the black community when it comes to that game.


Rule #1 Before we shuffle we establish which way we are playing 

This rule is very important, hint why it’s number 1, so pay close attention. There are several ways to play UNO, such as: 

Doubles and Triples 

You can put down two or three cards of the same number, reverse symbol, skip symbol, wild symbol, and draw symbol as long as they follow the same color or number of the top card 


You can put down a set of cards that are in ascending numerical order of the top card number.

Example: If the top card is a 2, you can put down 3,4,5,6 in that order. (Depending on your friends or family you can decide to skip one number of the numerical order) 


You are allowed to stack draw two cards and draw 4 cards on top of each other, and let the stacking continue until someone doesn’t have a drawcard. If the stack stops on you, you have to draw that number of stacked cards and your turn is skipped. 

Example: Let’s say you’re playing with 4 people. The first person who turns it is pulled out a draw 4, the second person who turns it is would put down a draw 2 if they have it and the third person who turns it is would do the same. If you’re the 4th person and you don’t have a draw 2 or draw 4 you would have to draw all those cards. In this case, that’s 8 cards you have to draw and your turn is skipped. 

Knowing how we are playing the game helps make the game go by quicker and shows how strategic we are at creating our own rules. 


Rule #2 You can’t shuffle, you cant play 

At a certain age in a black family household, you should know how to shuffle cards. If you can’t shuffle cards by the age of 21, somewhere in your household or community there was a disconnect. That disconnect doesn’t need to be on the UNO table when it’s time to play. If you still in practice mode at that age, go practice on the side. 

The worst part about UNO is having a hand full cards that looks repetitive and doesn’t have at least one symbol card that’s going to help eliminate your chances of getting out.  


Rule #3 Deal 7 Cards

We are dealing 7 cards to each person that plays as stated in the instructions. Not 5, not 9, not 13, we are dealing 7!

We have to abide by at least one standard rule of the game. This is that rule. 


Rule #4 Repeat from #1, Yes we stacking cards

This rule is repeated because somehow someone always forgets how you’re playing the game when they see someone has stacked a draw 2 on top of a draw 4. 


Rule #5 You have one-second maximum to say, UNO

If you have one card left in your hand you have one-second maximum to call out UNO before someone at the table calls you out for not saying it. Failure to do so results in picking up two cards from the deck.  


Rule #6 The more people the better

Having more than two people play Uno is a must! The more people you have makes the game more fun. 


Rule #7 Just like spades, talking trash is a must 

When your playing spades with 18 and over you will hear things such as:

“WTF! So you just gone skip me?” 

“You better draw all those cards nigga!” 

“Oh, you should’ve said UNO, now get your two cards!”  


Rule #8 Winners, the first to say “UNO Out” “Out” or “Game”

The first one who says “Uno Out”, “Out” or “Game” wins. There’s no materialistic gift you win unless you’ve establish that at the beginning of the game. 


Rule #9 The length of the game depends on the intake of Alcohol, Food and AGAIN how we playing

A game of Uno can last 10-45 minutes. If there is food and liquor involved the game can go for a while. 


Rule #10 Have Fun Always 

UNO is a classic board game that’s meant for you to gather and have fun with the ones you love. It is also competitive, so may the best man win! 


Words by: Kinyana Mccoy

How To Play UNO With Black Folks  was originally published on