Festive drinks for a Cinco de Mayo party.

The "Numero Uno" Drinking Game for Cinco de Mayo

If you’re planning on having a get-together this 5th of May, consider breaking out the old deck of Uno cards and using them to partake in the ultimate Cinco de Mayo drinking game - a game I’ve cleverly decided to call “Uno de Mayo.”

To play this game you’ve got to know how to play Uno. It’s an immensely complicated game, so if you’ve never played, no amount of training will have you adequately prepared before May 5th. Not really, it’s incredibly simple.

The Rules of Uno

If you are familiar with the game, you can just skip this section. If not, burn these rules into your memory. Begin by having each player draw a card and then discard it. The player with the highest number is the dealer. The player to the left of the dealer goes first. In the beginning, play should move clockwise.

  1. Each player is dealt 7 cards.
  2. The remaining cards are placed face down, forming the draw pile.
  3. The card on the top of the draw pile is turned over and placed next to the draw pile. This will be your discard pile.
  4. On their turns, each player has to match the card on top of the discard pile by number or color. [Ex: If the card is a yellow 8, the card placed on top of it can be any yellow number or any color 8.]

In Uno, there are five types of word cards in the deck, all with pretty self-explanatory names:

  1. Draw Two: after this card is used, the next person to play must draw 2 cards and forfeit their turn.
  2. Wild Card: this card can be played over any card and allows the person who played it to choose a different color (or keep it the same if they wish) to be played upon.
  3. Wild Draw Four: when this card is played, a new color is selected and the next person to play must draw 4 cards and forfeit their turn.
  4. Skip: playing this card forces the next player to forfeit their turn.
  5. Reverse: this card reverses the direction of play (between clockwise and counter-clockwise).

A player wins by playing his or her entire hand (many Uno players use points to determine the winner, but since this is a drinking game, let’s have as little math as possible). As soon as a player is left with one card remaining, that player must shout “UNO!” before another player does. If the player with one card fails to say “uno” first, he or she must take a card from the draw pile.

The Rules of Uno de Mayo

So, this drinking game is a lot like regular Uno except in this version you drink. So, play like you normally would but be prepared to drink when:

  1. A word card is played
    • “Draw four” cards require the targeted player to take four drinks.
    • “Draw two” cards require two drinks.
    • Any player that is skipped must drink.
    • Wild draw four” cards require everyone except the person who plays them to take four drinks.
    • When a player uses a reverse card, they can make one person of their choosing take a drink.
  2. The color changes:
    • If you change the playable color WITHOUT using a word card, you must take a drink.
  3. If you have more than 7 cards:
    • For every time you finish a turn and have more than 7 cards in your hand, take a drink.
  4. When someone calls Uno:
    • When someone reaches their final card and says Uno first, all other players must take an amount of drinks equal to the number of cards in their hand.
    • When someone reaches their final card and DOESN’T say Uno first, that player must take three drinks in addition to the regular penalty.

And there it is: the most epic drinking competition ever born of a children’s card game. If you’re a fan of drinking, card games, colors, competition, or shameless Spanish puns, Uno de Mayo is the game for you. So grab a cup, shuffle up, and enjoy your Cinco de Mayo!