Way back in 1971, barber devoted card player Merle Robbins developed the hugely popular card game Uno, loosely basing it on the rules for Crazy Eights.

He played with friends and family, and eventually saved $8000 to pay for the first printing of 5000 copies of the game – it was a hit, and within a year Robbins sold the rights to funeral parlor owner Robert Tezak for $50,000 and a cut of 10 cents of every deck sold. 

Tezak was such a firm believer in the game that he founded International Games, Inc., just to market Uno. By 1978 sales skyrocketed and now more than 100 million Uno games have been sold.

But despite the game’s huge popularity, most of us don’t play the way that Robbins intended.

Most people follow these rules: Get rid of the cards you are holding by matching colors or numbers, and follow the instructions on the special cards such as ‘Skip’ ‘Draw 4’ etc.

The first player to get rid of all their cards wins. Right?


Wrong! According to Mattel:

“The first player to play all of the cards in their hand in each round scores points for the cards their opponents are left holding. The first player to score 500 points wins the game.”

Plus there are these scoring instructions that we don’t think ANYONE follows –

Are you going to play for points next time it’s a rainy arvo and you get out the Uno cards, or are you going to play as you always have?

Maybe you even have your own set of rules? Tell us in the comments below!


Mental Floss

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