OBJECTIVE OF ENA UNO: Have the lowest score at the end of the game.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 10 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 112 players
TYPE OF GAME: Hand Shedding
AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults
INTRODUCTION OF ENA UNO
Ena, which is Slovanian for one, is a unique form of UNO played by Slovenians. While it does have its own unique cards, the rules for the game can be easily adapted to the standard UNO deck. The biggest rule changes for this game include the ability to play out of turn, the ability to stack action cards, and taking penalty draws for mistakes. For this writeup, the rules of Ena UNO will use standard UNO as a strong foundation for how to play, with the noted rule changes included.
THE CARDS & THE DEAL
Ena UNO uses a standard UNO deck. Depending on the year published, the UNO deck might include 108 cards or 112 cards. Either will work for this game.
Cut the deck to determine the dealer. Lowest card deals first. For the cut, action cards are worth zero points. Deal seven cards face down to each player. Place the remaining cards face down in the center of the table and turn up one card to begin the discard pile. The player directly left of the dealer will go first.
Deal passes left each round.
THE FIRST TURN
If an action card is turned up by the dealer, the action must be completed. If it is a Draw Two, the player who is going first must draw two cards and pass their turn. If it is a Skip, the first player misses their first turn. If it is a Reverse, the player to the right of the dealer gets to go first. If it is a Wild or a Wild Draw Four, the dealer gets to pick a color, and the player going first draws four cards in the case of the Wild Draw Four.
A PLAYER’S TURN
On a player’s turn, there are a few options for play. Players can play a card that matches the color, number, or action of the card on the top of the discard pile. A Wild card or a Wild Draw Four can be played. If they cannot or do not want to play a card, the player taking their turn can draw one card from the draw pile. The draw card can be played if eligible. Once a player has drawn a card or played, they pass their turn.
In Ena UNO, more focus is placed on speed. Players are able to play out of turn if they have a card that is identical to the one on top of the discard pile. For example, if a red 9 is played, and another player has a red 9 in their hand, they can quickly place it on the discard pile before the player who was supposed to go takes their turn. If this occurs, each player that should have gone before the Overtaker gets skipped. Play continues on from the Overtaker.
If the top card is a draw card, and a player overtakes with another identical draw card, the draw count is stacked. The player that goes next will draw the total number of cards. Of course, they have the option to stack another identical draw card if they can. This can only occur with Draw Fours.
When a player sheds their second to last card, they must call out UNO. If they fail to do so and are caught by another player, they must draw two cards. An opponent must say UNO before the next player takes their turn in order for the penalty draw to occur.
OTHER PENALTY DRAWS
Mistakes are punished with penalty draws. If a player plays out of turn or attempts to overtake incorrectly, plays an incorrect card, draws too many cards, or misdeals, they must draw two cards.
ENDING THE ROUND
The round ends once a player sheds their final card. Deal passes left each round.
0 – 9 = points equal to the number on the card
Draw 2, Reverse, Skip = 20 points each
Wild, Wild Draw Four = 50 points each
Once a player reaches 500 points, the game is over. The player with the lowest score wins the game. In the case of a tie, continue play until the tie is broken.
It should be noted that Ena is played with a commercial deck that is a little different than a standard UNO deck. What I wanted to do for this ruleset is take the most interesting components of Ena and combine them with the more widely known UNO gameplay. I think the idea of overtaking as well as penalizing mistakes that will occur due to the increase in gameplay speed takes UNO from a simple shedding game and puts it more in line with games like Blink and Slapjack. I also like the concept of stacking draw cards. While there are only two of each colored card type which limits the potential for overtaking, there are eight Wilds and four Draw Fours. This means it is much more likely that a Draw Four will get overtaken and stacked upon then a Draw Two which is much more devastating to the player who must draw. Of course, with Wilds being the most common individual card in the deck, the gameplay is sure to get quite chaotic when one is played. Some might say the game will get… wild.