UNO with Chinese characteristics

Our teachers love UNO. And the way they play is 100 times better than the way I learned growing up.

There’s even a Chinese rip-off version of it called “Who’s Afraid of Who?” (谁怕谁?), which is essentially the same but the cards are look different. What makes Chinese UNO better are the house rules our teacher’s use, which make things faster, more violent, and more luàn (乱/chaotic):

  • 0 – trade hands with anyone you choose.
  • 7 – last person to slap the discard pile has to draw two.
  • You can play an identical card as the most recent discard at any time, and play continues to your right or left, depending on which way you’re going at the time.
  • If the person beside you plays a Draw Two or Draw Four against you, you can play the same on top of it and pass the accumulating penalty on to the next person.
  • The worst loser gets punished.

I don’t even know if this is “Chinese” UNO, if our teachers just made up extra rules, or if foreigners who learned some other version of UNO taught our teachers how to play. Either way, they love it.

These two photos are from this afternoon.

4 thoughts on “UNO with Chinese characteristics”

  1. haha, yeah, punishment is apparently half the point. The university students like to make each other yell nonsense out windows, pick up the tab, or root around in the deck with their nose like a pig, among other things… especially when they’re playing “squeeze the pig.”

    This was the first time I’d seen the Chinese UNO, but one of our friends said we could find it on Taobao, and I just did.

  2. I have yet to see the Chinese rip-off of UNO, but once I do I’ll definitely be picking myself up a deck or two!

    My wife and I did bring a couple of decks of UNO to teach our friends here and we have yet to find a Chinese person who does not love the game. All of the extra rules you mentioned aren’t part of our playing here except for one:

    It seems that with any game we play our Chinese friends are unhappy to just have a winner – they MUST PUNISH the loser!

  3. Oh, Joel…you’ve got to get in touch with “western” trends! The kind of UNO you described, or “Jungle Uno” as my friends call it has been around for YEARS! Another rule…anytime a 1 is played, everyone has to pass their cards one person to the right. It’s great because you could lay a double “Draw 4” on your neighbor and then a 1 gets played and you end up with the 8+ cards! I’ve been teaching this version to my students since I got here! :)

  4. I wondered. So I guess the only “Chinese” part of this is the punishments, and playing to not be the worst loser rather than the winner? Apparently people don’t like to play for nothing… like if there isn’t going to be money involved, then there a least needs to be some Truth or Dare.

    i’ve been out of touch with ‘western’ trends since middle school… maybe that’s how i ended up over here…

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