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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #12: UNO

Green 6!

The beauty of UNO lies in its unambiguous simplicity and unabashed savagery. As with a delightfully troubling number of card games, bucking your fuddy is the explicit goal of UNO. Yeah, sure, be the first to get rid of all your cards, but this is best done while your flustered opponent is left with a mittful of high-value cards themselves. Ideally, drop a couple of Draw Four Wilds on their unsuspecting soul on your way out. Do it with style. Panache. Flair. And don't forget to sing out "UNO" just before you let the last card fall with the hammer-stroke of doom.

Do I have to describe the game play here? Is there anyone who hasn't played this?

We threw down a lot of UNO back in high school and after. It was a staple during the interminable waiting between indoor track races, at Pizza Hut tables, in basements and on buses. My first wife and I embarked on a marathon UNO game to one million points. At the time of our divorce, she may or may not have been ahead by a considerable margin. Hard to say - I believe the records were lost in a fire. It didn't get any better when I remarried; I have vivid memories of my wife in labor, beating me at UNO in the hospital during contractions. Despite these apparent shortcomings, I maintain that it's a game at which I am not utterly without skill. I mean, I once dealt the cards and predicted that the face-up card would be a green six. It was. There are witnesses and everything. So there.

Green Reverse, Yellow Reverse, Yellow Skip, Yellow Draw Two, Red Draw Two, Red Skip, Blue Skip, Draw Four Wild (Green), UNO!, Green Six. And I'm out.

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