Can You Play Doubles in UNO? (Read This First!)

By Kimberly

Updated:

Everyone knows Uno — it’s a great, simple-to-play card game that’s fun for everyone. But how well do you know the official rules? And can you play doubles or stack in UNO?

In the official UNO rules released by Mattel, players cannot play doubles or stack the draw (pick up) cards. Mattel revealed this on their official social media in 2019, causing widespread surprise. However, most people play these as house rules without realizing they are customizations.

This article will discuss the popular rule variation of ‘playing doubles.’ Read on to learn what this common variation means, and how it can affect the original Uno game and other variations such as Uno flip.

An image of Playing cards UNO on black Table games. Pastime. Board games. A stay-home leisure activity for kids.

What Does ‘Playing Doubles’ Mean in Uno?

‘Playing doubles’ in Uno means playing two of the same cards at once when we are eligible to play the card. It is a common variation of Uno rules that many people play at home.

Playing doubles in Uno is a nice twist and one that many families choose to add to the rules. It speeds up play, as we can sometimes play two cards at once and get closer to the famous ‘Uno’ moment of having one card left.

Is this an actual part of the official game, though? And is it an acceptable one to add? Read on to find out all about it!

Is Playing Doubles in Uno Part Of the Real Rules?

Unfortunately, doubles are not a part of the official UNO game rules. However, this does not mean players cannot choose to play using that as a customized rule for a variation game of UNO.

So many people play this variation of the rules that they’re commonly believed to be official. While this isn’t the case, they can greatly contribute to the game.

Below, we’ll discuss how to incorporate this variation by clarifying a couple of extra challenging scenarios that might come up in the game.

Can You Play Doubles in Uno If Everyone Agrees?

There’s no reason why players cannot choose to allow playing doubles if all players agree. However, the rules need to be explained beforehand, and should add extra rules to clarify certain situations that can arise.

Some of the rules to follow are below.

Playing doubles

When we play doubles, they should be identical cards. Let’s say the first card is a green seven. It’s not enough, for example, for the second card to be green or a seven; it should also be a green seven.

This also applies to special cards. They must be the same number and the same color, not just the same number.

Playing doubles as your last card

In theory, playing doubles for the last card would mean we skip having to say ‘Uno,’ missing a key part of the game. For that reason, people usually say that if we play doubles on our last turn, we should pick one card up from the pile and say ‘Uno’ just like we normally do.

You could also decide that you just can’t play doubles as the last card if it would cause a win.

Both options work; just decide which variation you want.

Playing double reverse cards

It should be possible to play double reverse cards, but in this case, the game will continue in the same direction as before. Consider this as two reverse cards played one after the other rather than two cards played simultaneously.

Playing double skip cards

When we play double skip cards, we’ll encounter a similar situation. I’d recommend skipping two people rather than one as a nice variation from playing doubles.

Can You Play Two Identical Cards At Once in Uno?

Playing two identical cards simultaneously in Uno is known as ‘playing doubles.’ While this is not part of the official rules, it is a commonly played ‘house rules’ variation and can speed up the game and offer different ways to play tactically.

Personally, I love this variation. It can spice up a classic game of Uno and allows us to get rid of cards quickly, especially if we’ve just been forced to pick up a lot at once.

My kids, in particular, love using this extra rule. It helps them manage their hand size, because little hand struggle holding more than a few cards.

An image of Personal perspective of hand holding black Uno card withdraw four sign.

Can You Play Doubles in Uno Variations (Like UNO Flip)?

It’s possible to play with similar doubles rules in other variations of Uno, such as Uno flip or Dos. However, as these games are designed to increase tactical complexity, players may not want to use extra house rules.

Some other games, like Uno, can also work great with the doubles rule. Uno flip is a great example; it’s still pretty similar to the original game, so adding the doubles rule doesn’t confuse things too much.

Other games, like Dos, are already a little more complex, and we’ll need to think more carefully about whether we want to introduce house rules or stick to the official ones to keep things simple.

Next Steps

At the end of the day, it’s up to us how we decide to play. Choosing our own house rules is a great way to keep things fresh and have fun with all the family.

Our family loves using variations on the regular rules, including the doubles and stacking rules, though we usually only use the stacking rules when our players are all at least 8 years old.

We’ve found that kids under 8 don’t react as well when they have to draw 8 or 12 cards – nor can they hold them all!

There’s much more to learn about this fantastic game, especially as the official rules are commonly misunderstood. But that’s part of what makes gaming fun. You first learn the vanilla rules, and then you get to spice things up with your own house rules!

Ready to learn more UNO variations?

This article has a lot of super fun ideas to spice up your Uno game: Custom UNO Card Ideas (17 Creative Tips and Ideas!)

Go give it a read next!

Resources

Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as gamers.

  • How to Play DOS | Official Rules | UltraBoardGames. www.ultraboardgames.com/dos/game-rules.php. Accessed 24 Sept. 2022.
  • Mattel Games. “How to Play UNO FLIP!” YouTube, 11 Feb. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Vw10HfdcM.

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