Uno Variation: Rainbow Fish
Requirements: 1 or more Uno decks (any variety)
Players: 2+ (3-4 preferred)
Time: ~15-20 min/round
This variation is the Uno twist to the classic game of "Go Fish."
Go Fish Rules
Skip to the next section if you are already familiar with the rules for Go Fish.
Each player is dealt 7 cards and the remaining cards are placed face down in a pile. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player asks any specific player for any number card that she currently has (e.g. "Do you have any 9's?).
If the asked player has any cards of that number, he must give the asking player all of his cards of that number. The asking player then continues her turn by asking any player for another card (including the card that she just received). If the asked player does not have the requested card, he says "Go fish" and the asking player draws a card from the draw pile ("Fishing Hole") and ends her turn. In the event that a player draws the card that she just asked for, she will show that card to the other players as proof and take another turn.
If at any time during the game a player gets 4 cards of one number (a "set"), he may place the set face-up in front of him and no player can take those cards from him. Each of these sets will count as points at the end of the game (described below).
If at any time a player runs out of cards, he immediately draws 3 cards from the draw pile and continues his turn (if applicable). If a player is unable to play due to only having Skip and Reverse cards, he draws 1 card from the draw pile and ends his turn.
The game continues until the draw pile is empty and all of the number cards are on the table as sets. Once the draw pile is empty, players will simply end their turn when they are supposed to draw cards.
Each of the non-number special cards has a special effect when played. These cards are played face-up in a discard pile next to the draw pile:
- Draw 2: Immediately draw 2 cards from the draw pile and continue your turn.
- Wild: On your turn, play this card to request all cards of a specific color from a specific player's hand. That player must give all cards of that color, including Draw 2, Skip, and Reverse cards. If the asked player has no cards of that color, the asking player must "Go fish" and end her turn.
- Wild Draw 4: Immediately draw 4 cards from the draw pile and ask a specific player for all cards of a specific color (as you would with a Wild card).
- Special Wild card (if applicable): Ask all players for all cards of one specific color.
- Reverse: When someone asks you for a number card or a color, play this card to turn the tables and take all of that number card or color from the asking player instead and end his turn. This card can be played in response to a Wild or Wild Draw 4 card, but not in response to a Special Wild card.
- Skip: When someone asks you for a number card or a color, play this card to stop that action and end the asking player's turn. This card may be played in response to a Wild, Wild Draw 4, or Special Wild card. When played in response to a Special Wild card, it only blocks the action as to the player who played it.
Sets are worth 1 point each, except the set of the number "0," which is 3 points. If at the end of the game, a player has any Skip or Reverse cards left in his hand, those cards (regardless of how many he has) count as 5 points.
The player with the most points at the end of the game (or predetermined series of games) is the winner.
This game is the perfect blend of the memory elements of "Go Fish" and the strategy elements of Uno. The special cards keep the game fresh and the 5 point rule for unplayed Skip and Reverse cards usually prevents a player from claiming a victory until the very end of the game.
This game is slower moving than regular Uno and it can be extremely frustrating when a person gets a string of luck that makes their turn last a long time. This can be a big problem when playing with more than 4 people. The rules and strategy may also take players longer to learn (particularly the strategy behind saving Skip and Reverse cards).
Rainbow Fish is a great twist on both Uno and "Go Fish." It is also flexible enough that players can tweak the rules to find what works best for them. Happy fishing!
- As a slight (but interesting) variation, you can allow Reverse cards to be stacked so that the last person to play a Reverse card receives the other player's cards of the requested number/color (compare Stacking).
- For shorter games, you can take out half of the cards before playing. If you do, make sure that you keep exactly 4 cards of each number so that no number cards are left over at the end of the game.