How to Play UNO With Regular Playing Cards




About: I like to make stuff

Running out of card games to play? Only have a boring deck of cards?This instructable will show you how to play UNO with regular playing cards. Instead of using the four colors, you use the suit (Spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds) Numbers 2-9 are just like UNO except 1 and 0. The suit cards are the action cards.

Step 1: Jack

Jack cards are a choice between skip (skip the next player) or reverse (reverse order of players). Although when only two people are playing it doesn't really matter. You can play it when the suit matches, if the person skipped the person ahead of you or if they choose a reverse and you went before them.

Step 2: Queen

Queen cards are a pick up 2 card for the next person. They can be played when the suit matches or after another queen.

Step 3: King

King lets you change the suit. This can be played anytime.

Step 4: Ace

Ace lets you change the suit and make the next person pick up 4 cards. It can be played anytime.

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    13 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Uno is played with a deck of 108 cards, which coincidentally is the same number of cards used in two standard decks of cards (incl. jokers). It's still common enough to find two decks of cards of different colors—these are typically used for games like Bridge.

    The distribution of Uno cards is:

    76 number cards (two of 1-9 per color, plus one each of 0)
    8 Draw 2
    8 Reverse
    8 Skip
    4 Wild
    4 Draw 4 Wild

    Using two decks as you suggest:

    72 number cards (2-10)
    8 Skip/Reverse cards (Jacks)
    8 Draw 2 (Queens)
    8 Wild (Kings)
    8 Draw 4 (Aces)
    4 Unused jokers

    To better approximate the original Uno card distribution, I propose that you keep Reverse and Skip (Jack and Queen) and make half of the Kings be Wild and half be Draw 4 Wild. Typically we've done this by suit.

    You lose the strategic zero card from Uno—a number card that is rarer to match and has no point value, but your jokers are still unused. You can just drop that mechanic and leave the jokers out of the deck, or you can assign the jokers to some special purpose. Either would be in keeping with the myriad themed Uno variants which often introduce cards which in practice really break the game and probably haven't been play tested. :)

    In that spirit, I propose that the joker be treated as a limited wild card. A joker counts as any suit or wild card without changing it. If the current suit is hearts, the joker is considered to be a joker of hearts. If however you play a joker on top of a joker, you may declare a new suit as if you had just played a wild. I'd score a joker as 15 points, if anyone's bothering to keep track of card point values.

    Naturally, I haven't play-tested this joker suggestion any better than Mattel tests its various themed modifications before unleashing them to the wild.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    The way we figured it at our house. Uno maps perfectly onto two decks of standerd cards. K,Q,J's are the draw2, skips, revearse's. The jokers are the 0's . Finally the red 10's are the wild draw 4's and the black 10's are wild.

    This gives you.

    8 skips (jacks)

    8 reverses (queens)

    8 draw 2s (kings)

    4 wilds (black 10s)

    4 wild draw 4s (red 10s)

    4 zeros (jokers [marked])


    2 years ago

    My family used to play a game we called "Kings Reverse": Two decks, and the king reversed the direction of play (hence the name), jacks were the wild cards, 7s were the draw 2, and the 8s were the skips. We didn't use Draw 4s, though I suppose you could use the joker for this. The Ace of spades let you give out a card to each of the other players, and if you ran out before everyone got a card, the ones who didn't had to pick one from the deck, plus the player handing out cards didn't have to call out "one card" unless he had one card after he had handed everyone their cards for the Ace of spades.

    Scoring was backwards: each player counted up the cards left in their hand when someone went out and it counted against them. Game ended when someone got to 500 and the player with the lowest score won.

    carter k

    3 years ago

    it is as fun as uno


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I used to play this game when I was a kid. we called it "99". Then a couple of years latter it the game :UNO" came out. 0ddly some years latter after I met my ex-wife, who was from Joliet,Ill. that I learned her family knew the person who created "UNO" who was from a prominent family in Joliet.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    maybe another recommendation: play with 2 packs of cards,
    2-9 numbers
    jack: skip
    king:draw 2 (+2)
    ace:(only you need 4 of them) wild-
    joker (4 of them): wild +4
    this is more equal to the real uno, but in this version there are no 0's


    8 years ago on Introduction

    For me UNO is just a copy of a game called Mau Mau in english. I played Mau Mau (in Poland it's called "makao") in childhood and when my younger cousin came to me a year ago with this UNO game I realized that it's just like Mau Mau with special cards to play instead of normal deck.

    I think games and toys companies love to make a few changes in rules and names. in something that is known as a good game/toy and than sell it as their own great and colorfull product.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    UNO was my favorite game to play as a child. Thanks for sharing.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a cool idea. Hopefully the UNO people don't send you a cease and desist letter for undermining their whole business model of getting people to buy new, special cards when ordinary Bicycle cards do just fine.