Uno, International Games Inc, 1979, 2-10 players, ages 7 and up. The classic family card game of Uno has been around for about 30 years now. I remember playing a similar card called "Crazy Eights" with a regular deck of cards way back when. Each player is dealt 7 cards with the remaining ones placed face down to form a "draw" pile. The top card of the draw pile is turned over to begin a "discard" pile. The first player has to match the card in the discard pile either by number, color or word. For example, if the card is a red 7, player must throw down a red card or any color 7. Or the player can throw down a Wild Card. If the player doesn't have anything to match, he must pick a card from the draw pile. If he can play what is drawn, great. Otherwise play moves to the next person. When you have one card left, you must yell "UNO" (meaning one). Failure to do this results in you having to pick two cards from the draw pile. That is, of course if you get caught by the other players. Once a player has no cards left, the hand is over. Points are scored and you start over again.

Mattel (the current publisher) has this to say on the origins of Uno:

"Merle Robbins, an Ohio barbershop owner, loved to play cards. One day in 1971, Merle came up with the idea for UNO and introduced the game to his family. When his family and friends began playing UNO more and more, Merle took notice. He and his family decided to pool together $8,000 and have 5,000 games made. That's how UNO got its start!

So how did UNO go from 5,000 games to 125 million? At first, Merle sold UNO from his barbershop. A few friends and local businesses sold them, too. Then UNO took the next step towards card-game fame: Merle, the Ohio barbershop owner, sold the UNO rights to a funeral parlor owner and UNO fan from Joliet, Illinois. The cost? Fifty thousand dollars, plus royalties of 10 cents per game. International Games Inc. was formed to market UNO, and sales skyrocketed. In 1992, International Games became part of the Mattel family, and UNO had a new home."

This game is a lot of fun for the whole family. No home should be without a set.

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