Sunday, January 19, 2014

Power Uno

Power Uno was introduced to us in Ontario by my then boyfriend, Brian. He and a some of his buddies developed the game out of the basic Uno game in Chicago (where we were not allowed to use "real" playing cards). I had a huge crowd of friends and family, and we were always getting together for games nights.

Well, Power Uno is about the *most fun* you will ever have playing cards.

There is not maximum to the number of players. Minimum is probably 3 or 4 (the more the better, really). The game literally swept the Toronto area like a storm (ok, well like, all our friends and their friends anyway, haha:-). It was a huge hit, and we even held Power Uno tournaments!

After Brian and I got married, and lived in Rochester, our friends from Toronto would come down and stay with us for the weekends, and we would literally play never ending games the whole time! Great memories.

PLAY UNO - Power Uno is a great game for a very (very) large group. We have played with 12+ people all around a large table or making a big circle on the floor! You may need 2 or more decks to accommodate larger crowds. You want plenty of cards in the pick up pile. If your crowd is very large, say 20+ people, why not have two games going, and the winners and losers from each swap out games each time (see more on that in the scoring below) - you can get creative and make it work, and even add your own rule - as long as you add it before the game starts and all are agreeable.

Follow all the rules of Uno, for example laying either a matching colour or matching number out on the discard pile, and saying "Uno" when you only have 1 card left, or get the penalty of picking up 2 cards etc. Deal 7 cards to each player.

Once the pick up pile is gone, the discard pile is shuffled and placed back as the pick up pile, leave the top card out so play will continue from that point.

The game starts out with the player beside the dealer, clockwise. Any identical card (same number and colour) may be played at any time, even out of turn. If player #1 lays a blue 4, player #6 may jump in and play his blue 4. Players 2 through 5 have just been skipped and play continues on around the table from player 7. Always be ready to play your hand quickly, or you will always be skipped!
With an identical card, you can always jump in and play it "out of turn", if you are fast enough!
Any cards progressively played that carry a penalty gets carried forward. Player 1 lays a red+2. Player #4 jumps in and lays his red+2 (skipping #2 & 3)...player #5 will have to pick up 4 cards unless he can lay a +2 (of any colour, since it is his natural turn, as in regular Uno)...if he does lay a green +2, it goes on round and round, until no one jumps in matching the card, or no one has a +2 in their hand to push on the running total to the next player. Result - you can end up picking up 16 cards to your hand, easily (especially if it's a +4 that is going around!).
Ahh, and someone is picking up 12 cards:-) The last person to lay the +4 calls the colour

When a colour must be specified (wilds), and progressive playing has occurred, the last player to lay the card gets to name the colour, not the first player who laid the card.

You can pass off the skip your turn cards well, too, with progressive play. Keep your brain working - keeping up with the progressive play of the switch direction card is hard!
if you don't want your turn skipped, you have to be fast, and you have to play your card quickly to pass off the skip to the next player. If you do not play in time, you will be skipped. Players do not wait for people to take their turn.

*If player one has in his hand 3 identical cards...three blue 9's. He may play them all out, but not at once. He must quickly lay the first one out, and then go back to his hand and lay out the next, and then again. It gives time for a quick opponent to get in there (the player sitting beside is able to take his natural turn, if he is quick enough, or another player can jump in from across the table, if he's quick!)

5's = every person must slap the pile (hands stacking up). Last one on top (loser) picks up 2 cards
0's = the player of the 0 gets to give away 1 card from their own hand to the player of their choice
7's = identical 7 played (matched up). The second person who played the 7 can choose to swap hands with the original 7 layer (but does not have to). The first 7 person cannot refuse to swap. Being the first person to lay a 7 can be very dangerous if you only have few cards in your hand!

(Originally, 0's were "touch your nose", the last player to do so, getting 2 cards. This got a little hard to judge especially in large competitive crowds, so we brainstormed on another rule that would suit the flow of the game better, and this does. But "touch your nose" could be an option for you, if you like it)

Game play is lightning fast in Power Uno. There is no time for snacking etc. There are no real "time outs", but there will be natural "breaks" in the game...when that unfortunate player has to add 12 cards to his hand, it is polite to hold play until the player says go - giving them a chance to get control of their unwieldy hand. Also, when the pick up pile is low/empty there is a break to shuffle it, giving people the chance to sort out the mass amount of cards you can acquire.

SCORING - At the end of each round, everything in your hand gets added up, low score wins. Game ends when someone reaches 5000 (or number predetermined by all), and the person with the lowest score at that point wins.
Numbers are their face value.
Change direction & +2's etc are 15 pts each card,
Wilds are 20 pts each
+4 wilds are 25 pts each
At the end of each round, the highest score and the lowest score of that round switch seats around the table.

If you try this game, and love it, let us know. It's really a lot of fun, and worth playing a time or two until you get the hang of it. Fun for lots of teenagers, as well as adults! If you come up with any new stellar rules, let me know!!