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How to Play UNO Triple Play Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

How to Play UNO Triple Play Card Game (Rules and Instructions)

UNO is arguably one of the most popular card games of all time. Most people have played some version of UNO at least once in their life. The success of the franchise has lead to a lot of UNO spinoff games. One of the newest games in the franchise is UNO Triple Play which was released last year. The game takes the classic gameplay and adds in an electronic game unit that determines which of three discard piles that a player can play to on their turn. Beware though as there is a limited number of cards that can be played to each pile before it overloads.


Year: 2021 | Publisher: Mattel | Designer: NA | Artist: NA

Genres: Card, Family

Ages: 7+ | Number of Players: 2-6 | Length of Game: 10-15 minutes per hand

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate

Components: 112 cards, UNO Triple Play Unit, instructions

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay (Amazon has an exclusive version of the game called UNO Triple Play Stealth). Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.


Note: The rules explanation below are for UNO Triple Play. There is an Amazon exclusive version of the game called UNO Triple Play Stealth which seems to only has cosmetic differences to the components. The rules below should apply to UNO Triple Play Stealth as well.

Objective for UNO Triple Play

The objective of UNO Triple Play is to try to get rid of all of your cards before the other players.

Setup for UNO Triple Play

  • Choose whether you are going to play the regular mode or timer mode. Slide the switch on the bottom of the game unit towards the clock symbol to choose timer mode. Slide the switch away from the clock to choose regular mode.
  • Slide the on/off switch (on the bottom of the game unit) towards the on symbol (|) to turn on the game unit.
  • Shuffle the deck of cards and deal seven cards to each player.
  • The rest of the cards will form the draw pile.
  • Take the top three cards from the draw pile. Place one card face up on each of the discard piles on the game unit. These cards must be number cards. If one or more of the cards are action cards, replace them with number cards.
  • Choose a player to start the game. The instructions don’t specify how to determine who will be the first player.
  • Press the yellow button on the front of the game unit to start the game.

Playing the Game

This section will detail how to play the regular mode. These rules also apply to the timer mode. Additional rules for the timer mode are detailed in the Timer Mode section below.

At the beginning of your turn the game unit will light up one, two or all three discard piles. The lit up sections determine which discard piles that you can play to on your turn. You may not play cards to a pile that is not lit up.

Active Discard Pile
For this turn only the discard pile with the blue five on it is lit up. Therefore the current player is only allowed to play on that one pile.

You should look at the discard pile(s) that is lit up. The card on the top of the pile determines what cards you can potentially play. In order to play a card on a discard pile it must match one of three criteria.

  • Color
  • Number
  • Symbol

If a card matches one of these three criteria, you can play the card. After playing the card you will press down on the button for the discard pile that you played a card on. It should make a beep sound when you press it.

Play A Card in UNO Triple Play
The blue five pile was the only one lit up. Pictured are an example of five cards that the current player could play. The blue two could be played because it matches the color. The green five could be played because it matches the number. The bottom three cards could be played because they are wilds.

If you don’t have a card that you can play, you will take the top card from the draw pile. You will then compare this new card to the discard pile(s) that you can play to. If you can play the card to one of the lit up discard piles, you can play it immediately. After playing the card you will press down on the button for that pile.

If you can’t play the card, you will press down on any of the lit up discard piles.

Even if you have a card that you can play, you can choose to instead draw a card. When you draw a card, it is the only card that you can then play to a discard pile.

When you press one of the discard pile buttons after playing or failing to play a card, your turn ends. The lights on the game unit will then rotate for the next player.

Overloading a Discard Pile

Each discard pile can only have a certain number of cards played to it before it overloads. The lights in the center of the board will give you an indication of how close a pile is to overloading.

  • Green – safe
  • Yellow – caution
  • Red – close to overload
Overload Colors in UNO Triple Play
At this point the light for the blue nine pile is red which means it can overload after any card now. The blue skip pile is yellow which means that it is close to overloading. The two green pile is green which means that it is safe.

Each time you press one of the discard pile buttons, you could potentially overload that pile. A sound is played and the lights change to indicate that a pile overloaded. A number will be displayed in the middle of the game unit. This number is how many cards the player that overloaded the pile has to take from the draw pile (between one and four cards).

Overloaded Pile in UNO Triple Play
The current player played the yellow five card. This overloaded the pile. They will have to draw two cards from the draw pile.

Action Cards

When you play one of the following action cards, you will take a special action depending on which card you play.

Reverse Card

Reverse

When you play a Reverse card, the current direction of play will be reversed. If play was moving clockwise, it will now move counter-clockwise. If play was moving counter-clockwise, it will now move clockwise.

Skip Card

Skip

If you play a Skip card, the next player in turn order will lose their turn.

Discard Two Cards of the Same Color Card

Discard Two of the Same Color

The Discard Two of the Same Color card can be played with another card of the same color. You will play the Discard Two of the Same Color card first. You can then play another card of the same color on top of it.

Discard Two Cards of the Same Color Card Example in UNO Triple Play
This player has decided to play their Discard Two Cards of the Same Color card. They will play the action card first and will play a blue seven on top of it.

If the second card is an action card, the next player will take the action.

You may play a Discard Two of the Same Color card by itself without playing another card with it.

Wild Card

Wild

A Wild card can be played on top of any other card. The next player to play on the same pile, gets to choose its color by playing the card of their choice on top of it. If the next player plays an action card on top of a Wild, the effect of the action card is applied.

Wild Clear Card

Wild Clear

A Wild Clear card can be played on top of any other card. Instead of pressing the discard pile button that you played it on, you will hold the button for two seconds. This will reset the overload color for that pile back to green.

The next player to play on the pile that the Wild Clear was played to, can play any card from their hand. If an action card is played, the effect goes into play.

Wild Give All Card

Wild Give Away

A Wild Give Away card can be played on top of any other card.

If you play this card to a pile that overloads when you press the button, you will avoid the penalty for the overload. Instead of taking the overload penalty yourself, you will distribute the cards to the other players. Take cards from the draw pile equal to the number displayed in the middle of the game unit. You may then distribute these cards to the other players however you want. You can give all of the cards to one player, or you can give cards to several different players.

Wild Give Away Example in UNO Triple Play
The current player played a Wild Give Away card on this pile. The pile overloaded. Instead of drawing the two cards themselves, they can choose which of the other players to give the two cards to.

If the pile you play the Wild Give Away card to doesn’t overload, the card has no special effect.

The next player to play a card on the pile that a Wild Give Away was played on, can play any card from their hand. If this card is an action card, the effect applies.

Calling UNO

When you only have one card left in your hand, you must call out UNO to let the other players know you only have one card left.

If you do not say UNO and another player catches you before the next player begins their turn, you must take two cards from the draw pile.

Winning UNO Triple Play

The first player to play their last card to a discard pile wins the game.

Before declaring victory though, you must first press the button corresponding to the pile that you played your last card to. If the pile overloads, you will not win the game. You will draw the corresponding number of cards from the draw pile, and the game will continue.

UNO Triple Play Timer Mode

Timer mode for the most part plays the same as the normal game. You will play cards to the discard piles in the same way.

The one main difference is that you only have seven seconds to play a card on your turn. The center of the game unit tells you how much time you have left. If the timer runs out before you end your turn by pressing one of the discard pile buttons, you will be forced to take six cards from the draw pile. After drawing the six cards, you will press the yellow button to start the next player’s turn.

Timer Mode in UNO Triple Play
The current player was unable to finish their turn in time. They will be forced to draw six cards from the draw pile.

Alternative Scoring in UNO Triple Play

UNO Triple Play has an alternative way of determining a winner if you want to play multiple hands.

The player that wins each hand will take all of the cards left in the other players’ hands. They will score points for them based on the following chart:

  • Number cards – face value
  • Skip, Reverse, Discard 2 of the Same Color – 20 points
  • Wild, Wild Clear, Wild Give Away – 50 points
Scoring in UNO Triple Play
A the end of the hand, these cards were left in the other players hands. The winner of the hand will score 19 points from the number cards (8 + 2 + 8 + 1). They will score 60 points from the three action games (20 points each). They will score 150 points for the three wild cards (50 points each). The player will score a total of 229 points from the hand.

When a player has acquired 500 or more total points, they win the game.

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