You win a round of Uno if you manage to shed your last card before any other player. Because of the rules of the game and scoring considerations, planning for the final move can be tough. Let’s say for example, that you have a blue seven left. If your opponent plays a yellow eight, you’ll have to pick another card from the draw pile and stay in the game longer. Drawing more cards gives your opponents an opportunity to finish the game before you. You also don’t want to have an unfavorable card (the shuffle hands or swap hands card for example) as your last card.
It has long been said that you can’t end a game with an action card but Uno says you totally can. You can end a game with any card you like as long as you have a matching card and the card atop the discard pile isn’t a Draw 2 or a Draw 4.
What are the rules of the last card?
You can end a game of Uno with any card you like as long as it matches the card on top of the discard pile or is a wildcard (has all four colors).
The only exception is when the card at the top of the discard pile is a Draw 2 or a Draw 4. These cards cannot be countered or stacked. If you face a Draw 2, you have to draw two cards and skip your turn. There’s no counter. The same rule applies to a Draw 4.
Can the last card be a power card?
Yes. The last card can be any card you wish as long as you obey other rules on card matching. For example, you can only play a Draw 2 against a matching card i.e. a green draw 2 can only be played against a green card.
What if your last card is Draw 4?
A Wild Draw 4 is one of the best cards to end the game with. First, it can be played against any other card. Secondly, it increases your points tally. When you play the Wild Draw 4 to end the game, the next player has to pick up four cards before the points are tallied.
Can you end on a shuffle hands card in Uno?
Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t. You will not win. When the shuffle hands card is played, all the cards in players’ hands are taken, shuffled, and dealt out equally among the players. Since you are one of the players, you get an equal number of cards with the other players.
Let’s say you’re playing Uno with:
- Tom – 3 cards
- Dick – 3 cards
- Harry – 5 cards
- You – 1 shuffle hands card
If you play the shuffle hands card, you have to take all the 12 cards from everyone, shuffle them, and parcel them out equally. As you can see, this is a losing move for you. You go from having one card and being on the verge of winning the game to holding three cards and even with everyone else.
The only person who benefits is Harry. If you have a shuffle hands card, you should play it as soon as possible early in the game or when you have more cards than everyone else. Waiting until the last round to play is a great way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Can you end on a swap hands card in Uno?
Technically, you can end a game of Uno with a swap hands card but you will lose. In fact, you’re guaranteed to lose and hand the game to another player.
All this boils down to what the swap hands card does. When you play this card, you exchange your cards with another player. If you’re only playing against Tom, you’ll have to take his cards and give him yours.
If you’re playing against Dick and Harry, you have to choose one of them and swap their cards with yours. Conventional wisdom says you pick the guy with the fewest cards. If you have eight cards while Dick has five and Harry has two, you can play the swap hands card and give Harry your remaining seven cards while taking his two.
If you play the swap hands card as the last card, however, you have to swap your remaining cards (zero), with those of another player (1,2, 3, or more). So if you’re playing against Dick and Harry, you will swap your zero cards with Harry’s two cards. You will end up with two cards while Harry is left with no cards. Since Harry has no cards, he wins the game thanks to you.
Consequently, you should try playing the swap hands card as soon as possible. Preferably when you have more cards than your opponents.