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the whole shebang


Uno. You know, the card game?

Second only to Freecell, Uno is the card game I play the most as of late. My girlfriend and I play a slight variant we call Evil Uno, which is only for two players.

In regular Uno, if a player cannot play a card matching in rank or color, she draws one card from the draw pile. If that card can also not be played, her turn ends.

Not so in Evil Uno. In Evil Uno, a player draws until he gets a card that is playable. Or one that he wants to play. Needless to say, this can lead to some very large hands (we've had thirty or more cards in hand before, and that's a third of the deck!) and intense gameplay.

Intense because Skips, Reverses, and Draw Twos all let the player who played them play another card afterward. Imagine playing ten cards in a row, such as four Skips, a Reverse of the same color, a Draw Two of that color, three more Draw Twos, and then a five or something like that to finish it off. Extra points for style if the five was the last card in your hand.

Now, how is it possible to get all of those cards? Well, we've decided to make it legal to draw as many cards as you want. It's not unheard of for one of us to be holding two of the Draw Four wildcards, waiting to use them when the other nears one card in hand.

It's evil, I tell you. Evil, but boy is it fun.