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18 Fun and Intriguing Facts About UNO (the Card Game!)

View of Uno card game on old wood table
Julie Deshaies / Shutterstock.com

Anytime is a good time to play a round or ten of Uno, isn’t it? I absolutely love the game, and luckily for me, so does my family. This means that I always have the opportunity to play the game I have come to love so much over my lifespan. Whether you are just getting into the game or have played it for years like me, Uno never fails to impress with its fun gameplay and interesting history and background too.

I must admit that when I was researching Uno, its history, and associated facts, I was quite surprised to find out how little I actually knew of the game and where it comes from. As I kept reading and researching, I couldn’t help but research more and more. For years, I thought that one of my favorite games was simply a product of a big games manufacturer, when in fact, it comes from a small home and was designed by a family man for the enjoyment of his family. 

If you are reading this, you probably want to know more about Uno for some or other reason. Below are 18 facts that I have learned about the game Uno along the way. Give them a read-through, and maybe you can glean just a bit more about Uno’s facts and background.

These are 18 facts about the game UNO:

1. The game was invented in 1971 by Merle Robbins.

Merle Robbins was a barbershop owner and a family man. He enjoyed playing Crazy Eights with his family, which is where his idea for Uno came from. 

Background of the Uno playing cards
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2. Uno was created to help solve an argument about Crazy Eights.

Without Crazy Eights, who knows if Uno would even exist? There’s a strong possibility that it wouldn’t. According to history, Merle had an argument with his son regarding the rules of Crazy Eight. To avoid confrontations, he decided to create a similar game with slightly different rules, and so Uno was born. 

3. Merle invested $8,000 to make 5,000 first edition Uno games.

Merle’s homemade game was wildly popular with the family, and its potential as a game to be enjoyed by others was quickly realized. He and the family invested $8,000 on creating 5,000 prints of the game. Merle and his wife are said to have sold their family home, bought a car, and traveled the country trying to sell their game on the road. 

4. Merle Robbins sold the rights to Uno for more than $50,000.

In 1972, after experiencing a considerable amount of success traveling and selling his game, Merle decided to sell the rights to the game to Robert Tezak, a funeral parlor homeowner, and his partners, Ed Ackeman and Bill Apple. They bought the rights of the game for $50,000, as well as 10-cents-a-deck royalties (for a total of about $100,000). Robert is said to have been a huge fan of the Crazy Eights. 

Deck of Uno game cards scattered all over on a table
Sosn-a / Shutterstock.com

5. Mattel announced in 2019 that Uno is now available in braille. 

Mattel recently decided to cater to the over 7 million blind and low-vision people in the US by releasing a braille version of the game. Mattel announced the new braille version of the game in October 2019.

6. The game has its own unique deck of 108 cards.

Unlike some other card games, you cannot play Uno using a standard deck of cards. Uno is played with its own unique deck of cards consisting of 108 cards. The cards are in 4 main groups: red, green, yellow, and blue. The deck also includes special cards: skip, reverse, draw +2, wild, and wild +4 cards. 

7. Uno sales are still increasing year over year. 

Uno games have experienced immense success over the years – the sales figures speak for themselves. In 2017, the statistics showed that Uno sales for the year were 20% more than the previous year.  

8. Uno is a great way to teach little kids about number and color recognition.

Playing Uno is not just about having fun, it’s also about capitalizing on teaching and learning moments. Kids that play Uno learn to recognize the colors, familiarize themselves with how numbers look, and how to count. Parents can use Uno to teach kids valuable skills needed in life. 

9. Playing Uno can help children develop fine motor skills.

When small children are holding cards, reaching, placing, and quickly reacting when it is their turn, they are developing fine motor skills. The more kids play Uno, the more they can develop their fine motor skills become.

Boy holding Uno cards
Sokor Space / Shutterstock.com

10. Modern Uno is available in various themes.

When shopping online for Uno, you will find a multitude of game themes available, including Barbie, TV shows, Movies, Super Heroes, Sports Teams, and even Cartoons. 

11. Uno is available on modern gaming consoles.

With the advent of gaming consoles, Uno has become available on all modern consoles in various themes too. 

12. The Uno app makes it possible to download the game to your mobile phone.

Uno can now be downloaded to your phone, which means that you can play anytime, anywhere. 

13. Uno is designed for players of 3 years and up.

Uno is a game that can be easily understood, even by toddlers. In fact, there are Uno games that are specifically designed for 3 years olds and older.  

14. Playing Uno provides good-clean-fun socializing opportunities.

There are family gatherings, work gatherings, and social situations that call for appropriate entertainment. It is often hard to find good clean entertainment that is aimed at all ages, all sexes, and people of any background and interest. However, Uno is able to provide the type of good clean fun that is perfect for all kinds of social events and gatherings. 

15. Uno teaches children about strategic thinking.

In order to start winning, kids need to think quickly and start playing and reserving cards strategically. For instance, a child with a wild +2 card might not play it immediately but instead, save it to play later when they perceive another player to be ahead. This type of thinking can only be developed by children encountering these types of situations in life. 

family playing UNO card board game sitting on carpet at home
Tatyana Soares / Shutterstock.com

16. Playing Uno improves children’s basic mathematics skills.

During a game of Uno, children have to consistently count. When they put cards down, pick them up, or are faced with wild cards, they must count. The more they count, the more improved their counting and basic mathematics skills will become.

17. Uno bridges the gap between young and old family members.

When the Uno card game comes out in my family, everyone gathers around. Granny and gramps are just as keen to play a few rounds as the smallest, latest additions to our family are, which is great. While playing Uno, common ground and shared interest are present, and people get to connect and bond on a fun, light-hearted level. Suddenly the child present who does not have much in common with a much older aunt can actually communicate and have fun with that aunt, for instance. 

18. The game is highly portable and can be taken anywhere.

I am always highly appreciative of games that I can take anywhere with me. There has been a multitude of times when I have been stuck in a group waiting for something, and my Uno cards – which fit easily into my handbag – have saved the day by providing much-needed entertainment. Uno cards are small and can be popped into hand luggage, a handbag, a backpack, or a pocket. 

Last Word

Maybe you already knew some of these facts, but it is highly likely that you learned, at the very least, one or two new and interesting facts about the game. When it comes to learning about Uno, these fun and interesting facts taught me a lot. Hopefully, Uno will have as much of a positive impact on your life as it has had on mine and my family members’, too.