Ascending Rules UNO


Ascending Rules UNO (ARUNO) is a variation on the classic card game, UNO. It's a bit twisted in ways, but we think it's a lot more fun.


The official rules:

The official rules of "ARUNO" are the rules that ship with the game (wikipedia seems to have the Official UNO Rules, if that's what you're after), with the following additions:

  1. 5-Second Rule
    A player has only five seconds to make a play (play, draw, pass, etc.). If a player is without a doubt taking longer than five seconds, anyone may point to that player and say "Draw a card". S/He then draws the penalty card and continues with their turn.
  2. Infinite-Finite Draw
    The UNO rules have been printed with two sets of rules for drawing when you can't play. At first, the rules said to keep on drawing until you can play. In the reprint the rules said to "draw one card and if you can play it, great". In ARU, the first time through the deck for each hand, draw until you can play. After the first reshuffle for each hand, draw only one card, and you may play it if legal.
  3. Dealer's Choice
    The dealer chooses how many cards to deal.
  4. Face up-Face down Cards
    The dealer chooses any number of cards, specifically and/or randomly, to turn face up in the deck before each shuffle. Any face up cards a player gets must stay revealed on the playing surface before them. These face up cards are still part of their hand, and can be played normally, they are merely visible or "revealed". The normal, non-revealed cards are called "hidden".
  5. Dealer Adds A Rule
    The dealer adds a rule before play begins at the beginning of each hand. The rule must pertain to the game, and cannot require unrelated mental or physical tricks, i.e. speaking in rhyme or doing pushups. Rules cannot directly remove previous rules, but they may overlap, or amend previous rules. A rule can be removed at any time by UNANIMOUS agreement, including the person who made the rule. A specific person can be voted out of the game by unanimous agreement of everyone minus the said person. The subsequent dealer is the person sitting to the left of the dealer at the end of the hand.

Note: For fun play, we recommend that when first playing, avoid drastic or complex rules, or rules that dramatically increase the number of cards drawn. We also recommend that if people boo at your proposed rule, that you modify it even though you don't have to. And remember that the game isn't as fun if it becomes very difficult to go out. We have found that the drastic changes or draw increases work much better with prior rules that make it possible to avoid or reduce drawing, or provide alternative ways of winning. Enough said.

Examples of dealer added rules that have been heard about...

If you have your own rule that you'd like to list here, send e-mail to, and I'll consider adding it.

General Clarifications

Wild Draw Fours
may not be played if the player has a card of the same color as the "current color". That is in the regular rules.
Calling UNO
is required only when a player plays their second to last card. To avoid confusion, the player should say "UNO" as s/he is playing that card. If s/he fails to call it then, s/he must say "UNO" before anyone catches him/her, and s/he can only be caught until the next person plays. If caught, s/he is penalized by drawing two cards.
The Hand Begins
when the top card of the deck is 'played'. In all cases, consider the dealer to have played the card. (Regular rules say that only numbers can be the first card. Most house rules I've come across allow any card to be the first.)
Rules Clarification
is determined by general agreement with preference given to the originators intent.
Rules Precedence
is ordered by 'specificity' and 'number'. Rules or rulings and agreements regarding the specific instance take precedence. Rules that are more specifically related or refer to fewer people generally take place before more general rules. With contradictory rules, the more recent or more specific rule generally wins. Any questions should be resolved by general agreement, taking into account original intent and game balance.
The Winner
is the first person (counting left from the dealer) who has no cards at the end of a play.

ARUNO rules donated by Chris O'Hare

This page maintained by:
David Lindes