Uno & Friends

Uno and Friends: Tips and Tricks

Uno & Friends - Current Level
Uno & Friends – Current Level

Uno and Friends will be ceasing in-app purchases June 30th and will be discontinued July 30th. Feel free to vent your frustrations on my post The Decline of Uno and Friends.

Uno & Friends has released a new update, and I wrote an update to include Companions, Team Uno, and Uno Journey

My article on Update 17 is out as well.

Uno was a card game I had never attempted until one fateful day. I had never played either the card game or the online version of Uno until a friend convinced me to download the game. The game was fun, and it was easy for me to get hooked on it within a few days.

Is Uno and Friends Free?

The game advertises itself as free, but, no, the game isn’t free by a long shot. Ronald Huereca wrote a post about how Uno and Friends is evil, and I have to agree with his totally correct argument that Uno & Friends is not a free game (see the “Freemium” episode from Season 18 of South Park).

If you are reasonably adept at Uno and Friends and follow a few tips, the game is a lot fun; it’s a great escape and a much less costly and time-consuming alternative than trying to keep 3 or more farms going in Farmville.

If you want to become an Uno Guru, you will need tokens, coins, card sense, and luck. To get started, be willing to cough up $30-$40 dollars, and be willing to walk away from a win-streak, which will eat up a lot of tokens if you happen to lose.

Uno and Friends Tokens

You need tokens to play games (2 tokens for regular play, 2 to 50 for tournaments, and 2 to 30 to extend a win streak).

Here are some ways to get free tokens:

Tokens when you first install the app

You get some tokens when you install the app and create an account (I don’t recall how many, it’s been a while). You will run out of these very quickly.

Tokens from watching advertisements

You can watch commercials and get up to 4 free tokens per day (big whoop, that’s only 2 fucking regular games).


Uno & Friends Scratchers
Uno & Friends Scratchers

Scratchers are a cost-effective way to get tokens especially when there is a scratcher sale. Percentage-wise, you get more tokens with scratchers than from a sale on tokens themselves, but it is still basically gambling.

You will also get a variable number of free tokens from free scratchers available 3 times a day provided you don’t have too many tokens (at a certain point, you don’t get scratchers anymore).

Leveling Up

You get 1 free token for “leveling up” (but the number of games you have to win to get 1 token makes this another big whoop).

Win streaks and Contests

Uno and Friends - Broken Win Streak
Uno and Friends – Broken Win Streak

You also get tokens at intervals for increasing your win streak. If you place in a daily or weekly contest (based on wins or points), you may get a maximum of ten tokens and some coins, but the outlay far exceeds the return.

The bottom line on tokens

Uno and Friends - Tokens
Uno and Friends – Tokens

Unless you are both an astute player and incredibly lucky, obtain an amulet from a witch, or sell you soul to satan, you will never, never, ever recover the tokens you spend in regular play. This means that if you watch commercials and scratch scratchers for a few weeks saving up tokens, quit after a few games each day, it will take you at least a year to reach my current level of 170 (highest level is 200).

The other and nasty alternative is: wait for sales and shell out some cash for tokens! Wait, this game is supposed to be free, right?


You need coins to buy boosts and to save your win streak, although saving your win streak also requires tokens on occasion.

Boosts (aka, “cheats“) give you an advantage when you play. You can play and win without them, but may the odds be never in your favor. If you really want to compete, you really, really need boosts (and the coins to buy them).

You get a few coins when you download the app, but only enough to whet your appetite. Coins are much easier to obtain than tokens. You don’t have to deal with commercials or scratchers. Play a game, and you get coins based on some enigmatic formula that is somehow related to points.

When you send a free gift to your friends, you will get coins. I have about 100 UNO Friends, and I receive at least 8,000 coins a day even if I don’t log in and play. If you receive a gift from another player in a game, you get coins. Increase your win streak, and you get coins. Win a weekly or daily contest, and you get coins.


Uno and Friends - Boosts
Uno and Friends – Boosts

So what are the boosts and what do they do?


Reshuffle allows you to get a different hand before you play your first card. The Reshuffle boost is a crap shoot: the new hand may be better, worse or pretty much the same, but if you are dealt only two suits with no special cards, you definitely want another shot.

50% Points

You should definitely want the 50% points boost since it is cheap, increases both points and coins, and lets me level up quicker resulting in a few more free tokens.

Dampen and Spy

If I could only buy one boost, it would be Dampen, which is purely a defensive boost. This boost cuts the number of cards you have to draw when hit with a Draw 2 or Draw 4.

I also like Spy, which allows me to see other players’ hands and allows me to manipulate the play a bit. The Spy boost doesn’t help much when a player decides to draw rather than play, with newbies who seem to have no particular strategy of getting rid of certain cards, or when you are holding 4 yellow 3’s and no one has a yellow or a 3.


Mirror is a pretty evil boost. If your next opponent has mirror and you play a Draw 2 or Draw 4 on them, you will draw cards when they do (and your opponent will draw half the cards if he has Dampen). It is also an expensive boost to buy.

The Mirror boost serves as both an offensive and defensive weapon. Once players figure out you have Mirror, they will usually draw when it’s their turn rather than using a Draw 2 or Draw 4 on you.

The best option if the next player has Mirror is to wait for a reverse, and then pray to the gods that the other player doesn’t have Mirror also. Then you can unleash your Draw 2 and Draw 4 fury on the poor bastard.

If you are playing against Bots (players provided to fill out the foursome), they have no boosts, so you don’t have to worry slaughtering them. It’s really easy to determine if a player is a bot. Can you give them a gift in game or add them as a friend? No? Then, they’re a bot.

Evil, Evil, Overdraw

The most annoying and expensive boost is Overdraw. Overdraw forces players to draw two cards instead of one when they are unable to play with their given hand.

I admit that I do buy Overdraw, but I will only turn it on if some other douchebag player has it on (I do this to level the field in a sort of passive-aggressive payback). Occasionally, I will forget to turn Overdraw off before I start a game, and I feel horrible for the other players. Since I can’t turn the boost off, I send nice gifts during the game.

Tips and Tricks

Uno and Friends - Main Screen
Uno and Friends – Main Screen

Here are some tips and tricks I have learned throughout the many Uno & Friends games I have played. These tips and tricks will allow you to make the most of your tokens and coins. I haven’t spent any real money on the game in about 9 months.

Win Streaks

Uno and Friends - Win Streak
Uno and Friends – Win Streak

Multiple consecutive wins results in a points multiplier: 2x for 3 wins, 3x for 6 wins, 4x for 9 wins, etc. The highest multiplier you can reach is 10x points. More points means more coins for winning, which allows you to buy more boosts, thus increasing your chance of winning even more. The 50% boost in points is also subject to the multiplier, hence the reason I buy it.

Ah, the rub on win streaks. Once you start a win streak, you have a finite amount of time before you have to play and win again (or place 2nd twice in a row) in order to maintain your streak. After your first win, you have 12 hours. The more you win, the less time you have until you have to play and win. It gets down to having to play and win every 30 minutes. If you fail to play or you come in 3rd or 4th, you are prompted to pay tokens or coins to keep the streak alive, and the price goes up the higher the win streak: up to 30 tokens (the cost of 15 regular games!) or 1500 coins. The point here? Know when to walk away.

Send and accept friend requests

Uno and Friends - Coins from Friends
Uno and Friends – Coins from Friends

Okay, I hate game requests from Facebook friends for games on Facebook that I don’t play, but if you are playing Uno using the Apple or Android App, you can avoid becoming the Jehovah’s Witness of games by friending those you are playing and accepting requests from everyone who sends you one.

Friends equate to coins, which equate to boosts, which equate to better opportunities to win.

Join a League to Win a Weekly Contest

Uno and Friends Leagues
Uno and Friends Leagues

Once you have won a game, you will be asked to compete in League play. There are four leagues with four levels each. The highest league is the Masters League.

When you win a game or place 2nd, you get bonus coins based on your league and level in the league. The bonus gets larger with each league and level. These are in addition to coins earned for the game. The higher the league, the higher the number of points you need to level up in the league.

Play Tournaments

Uno and Friends - Tournament Win
Uno and Friends – Tournament Win

You must, absolutely must, play tournaments.

I am really good at tournaments, but just because you excel in regular play does not assure that you are a good tournament player.

Tournament wins do not increase your win streak. Strategy for tournaments is not the same as for regular games. Tournaments are three rounds of 2 minutes each, and since rarely is anyone able to Uno during a round, the key is to get rid of all your special cards before the timer hits 15-20 seconds. The time you have to play a card speeds up the closer the timer gets to zero, so you have to think and play fast.

You have to place either 1st or 2nd in the first and second rounds to get to the final round. If you make it to the final round (and your game hasn’t crashed at this point), you can place 3rd or 4th to get your entry tokens back. If you are 2nd, you get double your tokens back (usually). If you win (hooray!), you get three times what you used for entry.

I advise buying all boosts for tournaments. The boosts are not the same as for regular play. You do have Reshuffle, 50% points, and Dampener boosts. There is no Spy, Mirror, or (thankfully) Overdraw.

Uno and Friends - Tournament Boosts
Uno and Friends – Tournament Boosts

Instead, you have Shield (allows you to play a card after someone plays a draw 2 or wild draw 4 on you), Snare (allows you to play the first time someone plays a skip or reverse on you), and Safety Net (if you have 6 or more cards when the timer hits 30 seconds, the number of cards you have is reduced to 5).

Shield is more useful than Snare, but with both, you will have to draw a card if you can’t play.

Safety Net costs the most coins, and you rarely have to use it, but it has let me come in second a number of times. I’ve noticed that other players don’t buy this boost and are shocked when I go from 8 cards to 5 when the timer hits 30 seconds. It’s a way to psyche out your opponents.

There are “regular” tournaments: Green (2 tokens), Bronze (4 tokens), Silver (5 tokens), Gold (9 tokens), Platinum (11 tokens), Ruby (19 tokens), Pearl (23 tokens), and Diamond (37 tokens).

As I said earlier, if you get to the final round, you will at least get your tokens back. You have to qualify to play each level, and competition at the lower levels is fierce since the amount at stake isn’t horrendous. I tend to play the Diamond tournament a lot since the return on investment is pretty high.

Uno and Friends - Special Tournament
Uno and Friends – Special Tournament

Nearly every weekend, there is a special tournament that lasts from 2 to 5 days that will either double your win streak bonus or double your coin bonus. Everyone can play these, and competition is fierce. The best special tournament is when the prize is to play for half price for a day or two. Entry costs anywhere from 4 to 15 tokens. For most of these, you have to win the final round to get any additional tokens. If the entry is only 4 tokens, you may want to play just so you get more coins to buy boosts for your regular games.

Uno and Friends - House Tournaments
Uno and Friends – House Tournaments

There are also House Tournaments. There are 4 Houses (green, yellow, red and blue), and like in Harry Potter, you are assigned to one. If your House wins the prior week, you’re allowed to compete. The cost to enter is 25 tokens and if you win, you get 45 tokens and a special crown. This is more an ego thing than a way to amass tokens, since if you lose in the final round you get nothing.

Loss of Server is still a major issue, particularly in tournament mode. Loss of connection with the server tends to happen most when you are playing in the final round. This is more than annoying even though the game does automatically credit your tokens back. You do not get credit for any boosts you have used throughout the tournament. That, and you have to start the tournament all the way over.


Uno and Friends Profile Screen
Uno and Friends Profile Screen

I have played Uno & Friends rather religiously since I installed the app on my phone, and have shared the lessons I have learned along the way.ย If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to get back with you.ย If you have your own tips and tricks, please leave those in the comments as well.

Uno & Friends has released a new update, and I wrote an update to include Companions, Team Uno, and Uno Journey.

176 thoughts on “Uno and Friends: Tips and Tricks”

      1. As far as I know, companion level has nothing to do with receiving free scratchers. It is tied to how many tokens you have, and no one has been able to exactly pinpoint that number.

    1. I’ve had the shield boost and had a draw 4 thrown at me and still had to draw, I seen it done with someone else that had shield and they didn’t have to draw, they took away their whole turn, how is this possible???

      1. Kristi,

        Dampen only limits the number of cards you have to draw rather than completely avoids drawing any at all. The player who did not draw any after having a Draw 4 played on her probably had the White Tiger at Level 10 and was holding at least 4 cards since that is its Ultimate Ability. This is also true for Ralph. Curtis, Dander, Bouncer and Dixon at Ultimate Ability if the player is holding 6 or more cards. There may be other companions that also accomplish this, but I do not presently have those at Ultimate Ability.

        1. Hello dear. Are there any house score things still available in uno?also, i dont get the notifications to play the games and tournaments to unlock new avatars (perhaps i dont know how to unlock them)and i want to unlock many avatars. What should i do?

          1. Pauli Loeffler


            After the update that did away with houses in 2016, if you clicked the “Houses” tab in standings, it stated these would be back bigger and better in early 2017. The tab disappeared earlier this year, so Houses are a thing of the past as is the Champion tournament (the crown with the number in it). I don’t think they will be coming back. gAs far as tournaments, they do not seem to publicize all the limited time tournaments, so you will have to check what is available on a daily basis. As far as new avatars go, those generally become available when there is a challenge event (shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, hearts for St. Valentine’s, etc.) or as part of a special Journey-style event like Ghostbusters, Barbie, etc.

        2. The purple crown win the number on it. I went through the process all the tournament’s to advance the purple crown to 2 I went through again trying to get to three and did not advance do you know why. I can’t seem to find directions. Thank you

          1. Pauli Loeffler


            Make sure you have won each of the regular tournament crowns. Open the Standard Tournaments and tap each to make sure it says “Crown already collected.” If all of them say that, then the next purple Prestige Crown for the next level should be unlocked, and you can trade for it. If you have all crowns, but the Prestige Crown for the nest level IS still locked, tale screen shots and contact Gameloft customer service. If one or more say “Place first to also earn this crown,” you cannot unlock the next level yet.

      1. Emanuel,

        It depends on what device you are using. If it iOS, then hit the home button twice on an iPhone or iPad and swipe the app to the right to close it. If it is an Android device, tap the left soft key (the one that looks like one window on top of another) and swipe right to close it, or tap the “return” soft key and it will ask if you want to exit. I don’t have a Windows phone or tablet, but I presume it is like a Windows PC and you click the “X” in the top right corner.

      1. tat,

        If you have accepted someone as a friend, you cannot remove them. You can report a player for cheating or misconduct, but I don’t of any other method for removing someone whose friend request you have accepted.

    2. Chrisna Van der Westhuizen

      My journ stopped at round 150 and 151 jyst show comming up soon it has been more than a week what muyt I do for it to continue to roun 151?

      1. Same goes to me. Even i already have enough star as required. Been waiting few weeks to go to stage 151. The stage still locked,

  1. Shield works for draw 2 and wild draw 4, and as long as you have a stock pile, it works multiple times round. Snare works on reverses and skips but only once per round. They are great if you have a playable card, but if not, you have to draw.

    1. I won a tournament and earned new badge. It says, 23hrs 100% more coins (it’s the medic badge). Then I played regular matches but didn’t get the extra 100% coins. I don’t know how badge prizes work. Please help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m in the master league and I just found out it’s as far as you can go, thanks to you. I was wondering why my house points doesn’t increase anymore. You’ve mentioned about entering league tournament for 25 coins. How can I enter it? I’m currently level 117.

  3. Thanks for the tips! I learned a lot from this entry. I just finished the Gold Tournament and it is said that “You’ve just unlocked the Platinum Tournament”. When I tried to click for the tournament button, I didn’t see the platinum tournament. The only ones there were the green, bronze, silver and the gold. Is there any way I could play for the Platinum Tournament (and so on and so forth).

  4. Nakama, the Platinum tournament is on the next screen. Swipe right, and you’ll see it and the Ruby Pearl and Diamond. Anpther swipe to the right will show the Companion Tournaments. I play Companion Tournaments occasionally, but either I haven’t discovered a winning strategy or I am just not as lucky at these as I am in the Diamond, Pearl or Ruby tournaments where I get to the final round at least 75% of the time, and place first or second 50% of the time when I reach the final.

  5. Mo Mo, You don’t get increased bonus points for games played and won any more, but you get house points for winning games and tournaments (generally equal to the number of entry tokens) and points for accomplishing “Daily Missions.” These count toward you overall rank in the 2 week total house points for your house which unlock prizes, and if your house wins, you can play in the two day league tournament. As I said, it is more an ego thing. You only double your tokens if you win, and if you lose you are out 25 tokens. The best part of league competition is that points you amass in regular and tournament play determine your over all rank. If you rank 26th -500th, you get 8 tokens every Monday (unless league play is suspended by the gods that be), 9 tokens if you rank 4th-25th and 10 tokens if you rank 1st-3rd. You don’t even have to play each week if you have enough league points. I’ve been in the top 500 for several months, and I only play 2-3 times a week but have been in the top 100 for several months (currently 78th), so I get 8 tokens every Monday.

    1. Nope. Tokens and coins are “play money” even though you may have used real $$$ to buy them. It’s like an arcade game where you put in cash and may win an extra game or turn: either use it or lose it.

  6. Hi, I am an uno junkie And find it very addictive but at the moment I have no 45 minute timer showing in the bottom left hand of my screen so unless I win a tournament my coins are disappearing fast. Do you know why this is please?

    1. I think it’s because you have to have a certain number of tokens to get a scratch ticket. If you have more than what they deem needs it, you don’t get a prescribed ticket (this is just my experience)

  7. Keri, I fully share your pain! When I started playing Uno, it used to show how long you had before your win streak expired on the start page, then they moved it to appear on the page after you clicked start or create, and now it appears absolutely nowhere! The game will send a notification that your win streak is about to expire, but as nearly as I can tell, it is sent only nano-seconds before the event! We really need to complain about this,

  8. Anonymous is correct: if you have a certain amount of tokens, you will not get free scratchers. However, if just log in daily even if you don’t actually play, you will get a reward which may be coins, tokens, boosts, scratchers or even a companion crate which is a real boon for newbies. I would have been very happy just having companions work when playing a companion tournament rather than all tournaments and regular games, but at least it gives new players a chance to get one without spending real money or having to play a companion tournament. I will bitch about companions in a future article. I log in daily, send gifts to my friends, and collect my gifts which include coins, tokens and boosts, although as far as I can tell, the gift boosts seem to be mainly re-shuffle.

    1. This isn’t exactly what this discussion is about, but i’d noticed I now have a level 10 white tiger cub. I’ve SEEN other players with companions which look like adult white tigers and react differently than cub, yet i’ve not seen the adult in ANY crate. Where are the adult white tigers coming from? I already have many, many companions and several at level 10, including the tiger cub I was referring to. Could you or anyone please advise me on where/which crate the adult tiger is from, please? Thanks bunches!

  9. My son and I play the game from 2 separate devices. He’s 7 and doesn’t have a Facebook account. Is there a way for me to add him to my friends’ list so we can play a game together?

    1. Natasha,

      If you want to add him to your friends’ list, the easiest way is for him to have a FB account where you are already friends. You can connect to your FB account under “setttings” in UNO on your mobile device to send a friend request regardless of whether both mobile devices are running on the same platform. If both of you play on mobile devices running IOS, you can add him through Game Center without him having a FB account, either by email or if he is a contact. If both mobile devices are android, add him to one of your Google+ circles, and then you can invite by connecting to Google Play Games in your UNO settings. I don’t have a Windows mobile device, so I cannot offer any advice for those.

      As long as you use the same profile on your IOS and Android devices, your data syncs. I generally play on my iPad since it has a larger screen, but I also play occasionally on my Galaxy S5 and the “freebie” android Ellipsis tablet I got when I got the phone. A year or so ago, the FB game data could no longer sync with the data on your mobile devices. I’m now at level 180 for games via mobile apps and remain at 45 for the FB game since it is pointless to play the game on FB if it doesn’t sync.

      You can download Bluestacks for your Windows computer (Mac version coming soon). The Bluestacks Windows version lets you download and run android apps. It is free if you allow it to install additional apps (which you can then uninstall) or you can pay $2 per month instead if you are lazy. Try it but be warned that it can really slow your computer down depending on its processor and RAM. Also, you can play much faster with a touch screen than if you have to use a mouse.

      Just last week, Uno & Friends did away with the “Create” button. You can still create a game by inviting online friends (with one or more “bots” filing the other slots if only 1 or 2 friends timely accept). “Create” is now found under the Team UNO button as a tab with a tab for “Team Uno.”. Team UNO was introduced last week and allows you to add a friend as your partner in a game or opponent. You can also select a random partner if none of your friends are online or accept your invitation. It is the only game where “Companions” are not involved. Each game lasts 2 minutes, you can see your partner’s hand, and it uses tournament boosts.

        1. Pauli Loeffler


          If you click the “PLAY” button on the main page, you will see the Team UNO button on on the bottom left on the next page.

  10. Thx for the info, Pauli but I have created an fb account for my son but an unable to play a game with him. I clicked on the team uno icon and sent him an invite but am unable to see the invite on his device. Tried doing it the other way around too but didn’t receive his invite either. Am I doing something wrong? Where do I find this invite to be able to play a game with him?

    1. Natasha,

      Presumably you can see each other online when the invite is sent, so keep in mind that there can be a time delay of several minutes before the other player receives the invite. When I first started playing, Ronald’s invites (iPhone 4s) would come through, but invites sent from my iPad2 or my old Droid 4 took forever or did not come through to him. Both of you should log out of the game, log back in, choose the same social network in the UNO settings and give it a couple of minutes. If the invitee does no receive the invite within 2-5 minutes, send a message to customer service for a solution.

  11. I play, win, and open the third chained crate. When I go into the tournament, it’s chained up again. Am I supposed to do something else to keep it unchained? I want to move forward, not play for the same reward. Thanks for having this posting.

    1. If you have 6 different companions, you should be able to play the Titanium tournament. I am having some serious issues with UNO right now. The game was loading but locking up once I got past the pop-ups. I tried hard and soft reboots which did nothing, followed by uninstalling and reinstalling which did take care of the game locking up. However, it reset my level from 180 to 164, reducing my points by 4 million, AND I lost all but one companion (I had 15, 3 at Ultimate), all of the avatars from UNO Dare, events, etc., I had earned. I am not playing until GAMELOFT restores everything.

  12. I figured out how to manipulate the game to keep my win streak alive. I’m currently at 48. I also win over 60% of the games I play cause I use the spy boost every single game. Even though it’s 400 coins I win about 1250 coins with a 1st place finish so it’s totally worth it. Just like the article said u have to manipulate the other players. Sometimes I draw even when I have the color just cause I can foresee a couple plays ahead. So the secret to keeping the streak alive is that the moment the game ends and I haven’t finished 1st or 2nd I shut the program down before it gets to the win streak page. When I start it again and click on play game it will still give me the message that pay 35 coins or whatever to keep the streak alive. Again I just shut the program down. Then I play a game of team uno. After that I come back and click play game. Sometimes it’s 25 or 200 coins, sometimes it’s 2 tokens and sometimes it straight lets me play but in all these scenarios my win streak stays alive. I hope this helps people. I play it on my iPad.

  13. Bill,

    Yes, existing, logging back in and playing Team UNO after losing a regular game or expiration of a win streak will keep from having to pay up to 35 tokens or 5,000 coins to keep the streak alive. I hope Gameloft doesn’t change that feature. Actually, you don’t have to pay ANYTHING if you play Team UNO and come in second (i.e., lose). BUT it does come with a price: even if you win you do not get nearly as many points or coins with Team UNO, so you have fewer coins to use for boosts in regular, Team UNO and tournaments, and you could end up running low coins for boosts while maintaining (or increasing) your tokens through regular games that provide you with significant coins (and points), particularly with win streaks of 27 or above.

    As I indicated in the post, Spy is very useful but not fool-proof. If an opponent has to draw or a “companion” requires causes a card to be drawn or discarded, luck instead of strategy intervenes.

    I have a friend who told me about shutting down the game or putting the mobile device in airplane mode when she thinks she thinks she will come in 3rd or 4th or lose a tournament Since you get your entry tokens back and double your entry tokens for placing second for regular tournaments (Green through Diamond), I don’t do this partially for ethical reasons but also if you do it too late in the game, it is ineffective and you will lose not only the boosts you played but your tokens as well since it takes at least several seconds before the game recognizes that you have lost connection.

  14. i know how to get coins for free but it only worked sometimes i leave my i pad for a little while and leave it at the main menu on uno and the ipad goes to sleep then i pressed the button to put i pad on and the main menu of uno come up but instead of the 7 coins i had i now had 1250 dont know why its happened about 6 times for me but it doesnt work all the time

  15. Terrence Jasso

    What a great blog !! Glad I found it. I love the game…especially the original UNO tournaments where the boosts are disabled. Uno Dare was confusing but these companions are driving me crazy !! Do you continue to open only the Titanium crates or continue to select the others for different level companions. I truly wish these animals had there own separate tournaments. Also, any reason why you can have infinite friends but only give 87 gifts at a time ? Just wondering…oh, and I got the privilege to play BUNDA last week…BUNDA slaughtered everyone really fast !! Happy gaming ????

  16. Thanks so much, Terrence. I agree with you about Uno Dare, but the avatar that gives you 5 coins each time you use mirror (and I always use mirror in a regular play), and the one that gives 10 coins for your first Uno call (tournaments which don’t have mirror) are useful if you remember to customize.

    Companions used to only be available in companion tournaments, but now are available in regular play, standard and limited time tournaments. They aren’t available in Team Uno. There are so many companions that it is hard to remember what each does. I use the red Frog. When you play a skip, you get to play another card. This is great if you have a long suit with a skip, skips in two suits or a skip as a singleton and a draw 4 or special, but otherwise, you will have to draw after you play the skip. It only works for the first skip you play, and I don’t know what it’s Ultimate Power is. I don’t play companion tournaments very often, but if I am on a streak, I will play Titanium.

    As far as gift giving, I have no clue how many friends I actually have. I have 37 shown for the USA and 100 under All, but I know I have more than that.

    Again, thanks for the comment and maybe we’ll meet in a game or tournament sometime.

    1. Hi, I was wondering how you managed to get that avatar as I havent been on in a while and when I camr back a year later, there were lots of updates aha. Ty :)x

      1. Sapphire,

        I won the Diva avatar playing Uno Dare. There are twelve different Uno Dare avatars. I have all except the Pirate.

    1. You can draw 4 cards. If you think the person playing the draw 4 has the color they have chosen, you can challenge it. If that person indeed has the color, you win the challenge and they must draw instead.

        1. Thanks, Jason for my new title. At some point (after I reach level 200 — I’m at level 197), I plan on writing about my personal strategy. In the meantime, I’ll give you one tip that helps when trying to decide whether to reshuffle for a better hand since you have no clue what you will get. My ideal hand is to have at least 1 wild card or Draw 4 card, relatively equal distribution of the 4 colors, and no duplicate numbered cards — if I have 3 or 4 “2s,” I will play the 2 rather than the 9 to give me a better chance a matching numbered cards — this drives Ronald crazy, an added benefit, LOL! If I am void in a color and playing with Spy, even if I have 3 wild cards or Draw 4s, but the other players each have 2 or 3 cards in my void color and only 1 or 2 in the colors I do have, I will reshuffle. If I am playing Team Uno, I do not want to be void in a color where my partner has three in that color UNLESS I have at least 2 wild cards or Draw 4s so I can help him. Unfortunately, a lot of noobs as well as experience players don’t understand this is a cooperative game as far as their partner is concerned and decide to compete, so often it doesn’t matter what hand you have when playing Team Uno.

          1. How do i find my uno partner i play with daily..on facebook. He isnt my facebook friend. All we do is play and send gifts lol . Is there a way to find him? We wait to play eacg day..but we cant say anything but the normal messages preset in the game. Good to go. Is there a way to add him?

    2. If you challenge the draw 4, and the player does NOT have a card in the color, you end up drawing 6 cards. If you don’t choose to draw or challenge, you will automatically draw 4 cards when the time runs out. Some players will play a draw 4 and not change the color. This is done either to get rid of wild cards or to trick you into challenging and getting more cards. Whether or not to challenge rather than draw depends on experience, intuition, and timing in the game, e.g., how close you are to Uno or a tournament round ending.

  17. Sally,

    How have you done in other tournaments? If you are doing well in the Gold, Ruby or Pearl, stick with those.

    I know players who are super awesome in regular play but fail badly when playing tournaments, particularly when they are used to having Spy which isn’t an option in tournament play.

    I have days when I can’t seem to win a tournament, any tournament. I play with all the tournament boosts, and so even if I win the tournament crown, points/coin bonus will probably not equal what I used for the boosts, so I play the regular tournaments solely for tokens. I don’t mind placing 2nd since I get double my ante back, and I get my ante back for 3rd or 4th place. If I am eliminated in the first or second round 4 or 5 times, I figure the Uno gods are not with me and go back to regular play unless I am having losses there as well. At that point, you have to know when to walk away and know when to run.

  18. Hey there,

    Love your article Pauli Loeffler! Brilliantly written.
    When a ‘Draw 4’ is play to you and you tend to challenge it. How does the rule works?
    PS: Is there a way of getting scratch cards fast?

    Thank you in advance! <3

    1. Andres,

      Thanks for the kudos! I always use the Spy, Mirror and Dampen boosts in regular games, so I know when to challenge a “Draw 4.” The Dampen boost means I will only end up drawing 2 cards rather than 4, and the Mirror boost means the person playing the “Draw 4” will get 4 cards, so I only challenge a bluff. But there are times when I may challenge a “Draw 4” that is valid if I have very few cards left as compared to the other players, and the person playing the “Draw 4” called Uno. In that case, I will only draw 3 cards and he will get 6 cards which opens up the possibility of a win or placing 2nd.

      Tournaments have the Dampen boost but don’t have Spy or Mirror, so most of the time, I don’t challenge unless the player is a novice or a Bot, and I have no cards in that color. I also know from using Mirror in regular games when experienced players will play a Draw 4 and select the same color as the prior card just to cause a “failed” challenge. In other words, there are several factors you have to consider in deciding whether to challenge a “Draw 4.”

      I have no idea how to get scratchers quickly. I know if you have a minimum number of tokens, you will get free scratchers one or more times each day, but I don’t know what that minimum number is. Scratchers are bonuses about every other day for completing the 3 required league goals. They also show up as the bonus for playing on consecutive days and as a bonus for a 3-win streak in Team Uno and for the 5-win streak if you already have the crown for the next level.

  19. This is an INCREDIBLY WELL WRITTEN article. I’m pretty new to the Uno app and this was VERY HELPFUL! However, I have a question for you. When I am playing in a tournament, I have played a draw four and intentionally chosen a color that wasn’t in my hand (just to get rid of the draw four card). But I end up having to draw six cards because of a “challenge fail”. This happens to me frequently. How is this possible when I don’t have any of the color? I’ve also had the reverse where I challenged someone’s draw four and lost the challenge but on the very next go round they play the color without having drawn a card from the pile. Am I missing something (e.g. a boost, a companion, etc.)? Do you know why this happens? I know about mirrors (thanks to you-LoL) in regular games, but I’m confused since these are tournament games. Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. Regular uno friends player

      If any of your cards, when you play the draw 4 card, is playable you will get your 4 cards back when challenged. Exceptions are if you happen to have a “color switch card” or more of them (color switch/ draw4) in your hand, this rule doesn’t work. Example: your hand, 2 draw4 s / bunch of green, blue and red cards. Last card played is yellow, that doesn’t match any numbered card you have. Then you can play draw4 card. If any numbered card you happen to have in your hand matches, then you will get your 4 cards back if you have played it.

      1. Pauli Loeffler

        You are incorrect. If you play a Draw 4 when you have a card of the color in your hand, you will draw 4 cards if the Draw 4 is challenged. If you do not have a playable card of the color in your hand, even if you have a playable card in another color that matches the number of the card, you can still play the Draw 4 and succeed without drawing cards when challenged UNLESS the challenger happens to be using Mirror In that case, you will end up drawing 4 cards anyway.

  20. Chameleon,

    It may be a technical issue, but my best guess is it may be a “Shiny Companion” with Utlimate Ability.

  21. I have a question about the houses… We can’t choose them? At first I was on a red house, but then I connected through facebook and then the house changed to yellow… I wanted to be on a red one… Are houses change time to time or I did something wrong?

  22. lahys echemendia

    Hello, I love your sense of humor! but i been looking all over the internet on how to change your avatar, i mean i see all these players with nice looking avatars and special items and i cant seem to get mine looking like that, do you have to buy that?, because I’ve looked everywhere and i cant seem to find that option.

    1. Thanks! You “win” avatars playing Uno Dare and when there are special collection events. Uno Dare avatars (there are 12 of these) give points depending on which you use such as 10 points for your first Uno or 5 points each time Mirror is used. The avatars from special collection events (4 leaf clovers, birthday cake, etc.). These also give you points such as 5 points for playing a blue 2. For a custom avatar, you can choose a photo for your profile in Game Center for IOS devices and Play Games for android devices, then just click your profile at the top of the main page. You can choose your avatar, and a crown from tournaments you have won. You can also choose the rosette for your “house” (it changes as your level increases) or a rosette from a tournament you have one.

  23. I have one question…. I often see people pull a card and throw out a card in the same play? what is that? I have never been able to do that. Although I dont know why you would since the object of the game is to get rid of your cards.

    1. Maybe that’s when you draw a card and it can be played, so the dealer automatically plays itfor you.

    2. Terrence is correct. If you draw a card that is the same color or number, it will automatically be played, and that is what you see happen with opponents. If it is a wild card or a draw 4, they decide whether to play or pass. Depending on the companion, if the opponent draws a card of certain color, they may get to discard that card or discard the lowest card in their hand, but that does not result in a card being played.

  24. How do you send other players gifts during a game? Someone sent me a milkshake and I don’t know how to send gifts back

    1. You can also give yourself a gift by clicking your own avatar while in the game (not the one at the top left corner — that exits you from the game). I’m not sure what this accomplishes, but I have seen players do it. I’ve done it a couple of times, but I have never received a gift from myself. The only way I know to do that is when I go into rankings, click “friends” and click the gift box next to my avatar.

  25. Hi there, great site ๐Ÿ™‚ Uno is my favorite mobile app game!

    I have a question, is there any way or glitch to change the house you’re in? I’m in house blue, and it’s dead last every time. I usually play Uno every day and not once has that house won, which is very frustrating because I want to get the crown.. ๐Ÿ™

    Also, would it perhaps be possible for you to make a list of all the companions and their abilities? Unfortunately, you cannot see the ultimate ability of a companion in game until it hits lvl 10, and I’m curious what all the ultimates for each companion are.
    And one last question, do you think it is worth it to level up the new unicorn companions? Since the tournaments for them cost so many coins.
    My favorite companion is the sea horse btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep up the great work!
    Many greetings

    1. Teresa,

      As far as I know, you are simply assigned to a house when you agree to participate in league play. I am in green house which does seem to win most of the time, and I get the opportunity to play in the league tournaments. You really aren’t missing much. I have won 390 tournaments as of this writing, which includes 12 league championships. IMHO this a stupendously crappy tournament. Why do I say that? Two reasons: 1) The vast majority of the time you will be playing against Bots who have no ascertainable strategy, and quite often they beat out live players, both in the prelims and in the final round. 2) Unlike the standard tournaments where you get your ante back if you make it to the final round, triple your ante for winning the tournament, and double your ante for second place, or the companion and limited tournaments where winning in the final also gets triple your ante for the win, and your ante back if you place, in the championship tournament, you ONLY get double your tokens if you win, but you get zero, zip, nothing, nada if you merely place in the final round. As I said in the article: this is simply an ego tournament, and I have a crown with a “12” which my avatar rarely wears.

      I might play the Unicorn Tournament once a day when it is available, but I have a ton of companions already. I play the regular tournaments to get tokens. I play limited tournaments until I win to get the double points or double win streak bonus in order to level up more quickly and amass coins for boosts and gifts. I’m at level 193 with over 2 million coins and a 431 win streak. By the way, once you have a very high win streak, the game does not require you pay tokens to keep it; it only costs coins: 5000. This isn’t a big deal if you have several hundred thousand coins and a win streak bonus of 10x. As mentioned in other comments, you can also pay less in coins or tokens to keep your win streak if, after a loss, you log out and log back in after a loss and play Team Uno before you play a regular game,If you happen to lose the Team Uno game, be happy: it will cost you nothing to keep your winstreak and play a regular game after the loss.

      I, too, would love to know the Ultimate Ability for ALL companions. According to the FAQs on the Customer Care page, there are 26. I have 25 companions, but have reached level 10 and Ultimate Ability for only 7 of those which I am listing below. Keep in mind that your companion’s power increases at levels 5 and 10. For example, if the companion makes a random player draw a card when a specified card is played, this power will be available once per game for levels 1-4, twice for levels 5-9, and 3 times at level 10. You retain the basic power, and at level 10 get Ultimate Ability.

      Tree Frog (my personal fav because at level 10 I can get rid of 3 cards on a single play with 2 skips or 4 cards if I have 3 skips. It also means I can Uno if my remaining 2 cards are a skip and either a card of the same color, a wild card, a Draw 4 or another skip): If you draw a skip, you discard the lowest-valued card in your hand.

      Chimpanzee: When you play a green Draw 2, the target player draws an additional card.

      Cardinal: As long as you have a red odd numbered card in your hand, you draw one less card when a Draw 4 is played on you.

      Gecko: When you have a reverse in your hand, ignore reverse effects against you (not very useful if you are using the Snare boost in a tournament).

      Golden Retriever: When you play a yellow Draw 2, the target player draws an additional card.

      Russian Blue: When a Draw 2 is played on you, a random opponent draws a card.

      Sea Horse: When you have a yellow even numbered card in your hand, Draw one less card from any Draw 4 played on you.

      I would love readers to add the Ultimate Ability of the 19 other companions.

  26. What i want to know is how a player can block you from taking your turn and make you draw a card ! Its annoying and has made me lose everytime. Even beginners do it ?

  27. I just received a companion and it is called level 1 EN. It has no animal with it and it gives no description as to what it does. I have played it in several matches but it has yet to do anything that I can tell. Can anyone explain to me what it is and what it does? I would really appreciate this. It’s bugging me! Thank you.

    1. I came here to ask the same question! I’m guessing it’s a bug or glitch, but hoping someone knows the answer to this.

      1. Eugene and Sarah,

        It is definitely a bug/glitch with the update. I checked the Gameloft Uno Forum, and others are reporting the same issue only since the update. The issue I have had since the update is that while my actual points when I click my avatar increase with each game, the points are not syncing for the leader boards other than for leagues. Gameloft customer support gave me some folderol that it was due to my router, someone using a playstation on my network, etc. and suggested restarting the router, closing all other apps, trying other wifi spots, etc. I did restart my router, but I always close all other apps to avoid being disconnected, and I played on three different wifi networks since the update. At random, I checked leader board scores for three people I have as friends and saw their leader board points were also lower than the one shown when I clicked the avatar. I don’t think it is due to coincidence, so I am 99% sure, this is due to problem with the update. Note, leveling up does NOT seem to be an issue since I have leveled up since installing the update.

  28. Hi! Thanks for the great article!

    I log in daily and always get my daily log in prize but I keep getting reset to day one on the consecutive log in. (That’s one where you win the secret avatar on day 15, right?). Is this a known issue?

    1. April,

      I don’t see it posted as a “known issue,” but it may be part of the plethora of problems others are encountering with the update. I have a failure to progress in the leader boards (showing 800K points less than I have although these show if you click my avatar). I also am not “collecting” any items in the current Mega event. The upside of the update is that I have fewer “lost server” issues.

  29. Hi Pauli,

    Thanks for this excellent article. It seems to be the only one but that does not lessen its merit. I have read many games tips and tricks and you really did a terrific job.

    I would like to know your experience with cheating. I have a growing sense of being cheated over the last couple of weeks. Yesterday I played a tournament (I think it was steel crate) against Migle and Dinha, who had the same picture. I also wonder if some top players can “stop the clock”. The game just freezes in the worst possible time when I’m about to hand them their ass.

    I wanted to contact support and found out that the form is unusable on my Android Motorola G2. I have had a Samsung and a Sony before (also Android) and unusable forms are pretty common, so I think this is an issue that will concern most if not all Android users. It makes Gameloft look bad, both from a product and customer service point of view.

    1. Thomas,

      Thanks for the kind words. and yes, I have also encountered identical custom player avatars in both regular games and tournaments and thought this was very odd. I don’t think this is a result of players cheating but rather a malfunction in the game. It seemed to occur for 2 or 3 days last week, and during that same period, I found myself playing against at least 1 Bot in every regular game (unusual), and 1 Bot in the first round, 2 Bots in the second round and 3 Bots in the Final in every tournament I played. On July 12, 2015, I rarely had a live “player” in any game, and I hate playing against Bots, particularly in tournaments (one of several subjects I am covering in a sequel to this article).

      I absolutely share your annoyance when the game freezes in the last 30 seconds of the final round of a tournament, especially after you have called Uno! If it then shows the “our server has lost contact” message, you do get your tokens back (which you would anyway simply by making it to the final round in regular, time limited and companion tournaments), but boosts used don’t get recredited, and you have lost the opportunity to gain a companion or additional tokens as the winner. But it is even worse when it freezes for a second and then you are logged out of the game! My companion of choice is the Tree Frog with ultimate power, and every time I played a skip in a tournament, this would happen, costing me tokens, boosts and the opportunity to win. Customer support gave their usual advice to close all other apps, hard and soft reboots, etc. These did nothing, but the problem eventually resolved itself (meaning Gameloft fixed the issue). If you are experiencing lags rather than actual freezes, I do find it helps to do either a hard or soft reboot of the device which is easier on my iPad than on my Samsung Galaxy S5. I am not familiar with the Motorola G2, so I don’t know if “restart” is one of the options when you press the power button, but if it isn’t, you will find it by doing a start up in safe mode. You’ll need to search online on how to enter safe mode for your device. The other and easier option is to simply remove the battery, put it back in and power up.

      Filling in the contact forms for Gameloft is a horrible experience whether you are on an Android device or iOS! It is easier if you do it on the website using your computer.

      1. Aha, I was in fact wondering if seeing two people with the same photo could be a graphics glitch but I opted for the more devious and spectacular cheat explanation. I think you’re probably right, it makes more sense that way.
        Other than that I think we will have to accept if not already done so, that the game is horribly designed and prone to do all kinds of things the designers did not intend it to do.

        1. I honestly think their whole in-app-purchases model needs a re-think.

          I would GLADLY pay a monthly subscription (say $9 a month) to get VIP status, unlimited tokens, customization, chats, all that stuff. GLADLY.

          Coins will always be a bonus that require a separate in-app-purchase.

          Then GameLoft can reward coins for loyalty. Six month subscription get x many coins. 12 month, x many coins.

          In a game and a subscriber? Automatic bonus coins.


          1. I noticed one time that an opponent had custom texts, not available to me. I looked through all the chat options and could not find the responses they were posting. I wondered how this was possible. I enjoy chatting with my opponents on YAHTZEE.
            UNO is a timed game, unlike YAHTZEE, but it would be a nice feature before or after the game, with your favorite opponents or friends. ?

          2. Terrence,

            I have only seen a custom text in one game out of the 5,000 plus I’ve played, and I was envious. I cannot account for it, but maybe it was permitted when the game first came out and saved in chat just like you can save your custom avatars, but there were too many complaints about expletives and name calling, and it was discontinued. I would give almost anything to be able to say: “Slow learner?” after a player hits me with a Draw 2 for the 3rd time in a row when I am using Mirror and Dampen, “You do know we are partners?” in Team Uno, or just being able to say: “I HATE Bots!” particularly when a player times out and is removed from the game, and you have to wait forever for him to play.

        2. Thomas,

          My first thought was “cheat” as well, either two people playing together or one person with two profiles simultaneously on two devices, but that would means the site was hacked since only create a game and Team Uno allow you to pick your opponents/partners, and this was occurring for regular games and tournaments. Plus in tournaments, Spy isn’t available, so unless the player had a companion and the right card was played to reveal my hand, there was no way to know what cards I held.

  30. Hi Pauli!

    I have a beginners question, and perhaps you can answer it. I can’t find any Team UNO button? I have only played a couple of games. Do I have to reach a certain level or be a VIP or something to be able to get this function?

    Thanks in advance.


    1. Thomaz,

      Click the Play button on main screen. The blue Team Uno button should be in the left bottom corner for you to access Team Uno. There is also a tab on the page that opens if you want to play invite a friend to play a regular game (Team Uno games are limited to 2 minutes). In Team Uno, the team with the hand with the lowest value wins, e.g., one of you could have several wild cards, skips, reverses, Draw 2s or Draw 4s, but if your partner’s hand is the lower than either of the opponents, you BOTH win. Most noobs and a lot of seasoned players don’t get this and will sabotage their partner. I curse a lot when playing Team Uno when that happens.

      1. Thank you for your reply. Now I am able to play Team games and invite friends. I guess I had to reach a certain level. But now I have another question for you;
        Are you only able to invite friends via Facebook, and not via GameCenter?


        1. /Thomaz,

          I’m normally connected to both on my iPad, When you hit “invite friends” or “request gifts,” FB pops up. In order to add friends through Game Center, you have to do it through the Game Center app rather than the Uno.

  31. Are the champion tournaments the tournament that pops up on your screen when opening the uno game? I’ve won so many of those and still have not achieve that “medal.” What am I doing wrong?

    1. Lily,

      The Championship Tournament is a tournament limited to the members of the winning house after competition among the four houses ends every couple of weeks. It is available for 2-3 days. It is not a fav of mine for various reasons I have stated in replies to other comments. When you see an avatar with a gold crown set within golden laurels with a number inside, it means the player has won that number of Championship Tournaments. I rarely wear that crown, but apparently I have won it 14 times.

        1. Lily,

          For what it’s worth, Uno and Friends acknowledges that Green House wins almost all the time (Red House used to) and is taking steps to rectify the problem per the the customer service page. Yes, I am a Green House member, but as I said, the Championship Tournament does not draw me in although I do play it occasionally. The Companion Championship Tournament is just as bad but costs less than half the tokens to enter (I have only played it maybe 5 times and have won it once). If you are average or good at playing tournaments and need tokens, play the regular tournaments (green through diamond). Play the time-limited tournaments (daily, weekend) to run up your points, coins and level up faster. I play the time-limited tournaments every day and have more than 2 million coins.

  32. When choosing a companion, depending on the companion level, there is a coin or token value listed in the square. Is this something you can win if the companion is played or what does it mean?

  33. bottlerockets92,
    When you win or puchase a companion crate, you get coins with each companion for the first 5 levels for that companion, and for the next 5 levels, you get the companion plus tokens. Note that if you are already at the Ultimate Power (level 10) for all companions available from the particular crate, I have found you get 18 tokens which is kind of awesome.

    1. Playing consecutive skips or another card following a skip is the special ability of the frog companion, which you get from the titanium crate.

  34. Elloo uno,

    If the player’s Companion is the Tree Frog, when he plays a skip, he gets to play an additional card. The downside is if he has no playable card for his to play, he has to draw. Level 10 Tree Frog allows the player to do this 3 times per game and could be done in a single turn by playing three skips and then a final card which I have done several times (the Tree Frog is my Companion of choice). The Ultimate Power for the Tree Frog is that if you draw a skip, the lowest value card is discarded. This only works if you have more than 2 cards.

    In a prior comment, I have provided information on Companions I have that have reached Level 10 and Ultimate Power.

  35. I’d noticed I now have a level 10 white tiger cub. Iโ€™ve SEEN other players with companions which look like adult white tigers and react differently than cub, yet iโ€™ve not seen the adult in ANY crate. Where are the adult white tigers coming from? I already have many, many companions and several at level 10, including the tiger cub I was referring to. Could you or anyone please advise me on where/which crate the adult tiger is from, please?
    Thanks bunches.

    1. Becky,

      There is no “adult” white tiger. I recently reached Level 10 white tiger cub (if you play a Draw 2, all other opponents draw a card up to 3 times per game. Ultimate ability: as long as you have 4 cards in your hand, if a Draw 2 or Draw 4 is played on you, it has no effect, i.e., you draw no cards). This is an awesome companion, and while I use it occasionally, I still prefer the red tree frog with Ultimate ability (see my prior comments) since having 4 cards in your hand for Ultimate ability isn’t useful if you hare holding special cards.

  36. Hey, I love to play physical Uno (3 years of addiction) and yesterday I want to try the iOS App for the iPad. I want to play with a Facebook friend who also have Uno on his iPad but I don’t have the “create game” feature on the main screen. I don’t know If that restriction will unlock when i level up or something (Im currently at level 2). I was looking for a solution but i didn’t find it. Please help. Thanks

    1. Alonso,

      It is no longer on the main screen. Click the Play button, and you will see the blue Team UNO button on the bottom left. Click it, and you will find a tab to click for Create Game.

  37. Hi, how do I see when the win streak timer is going to be reset? I can’t see it anywhere. After I win 1st or 2nd place, it doesn’t show the time I should win the next game by. Each time, I come back to play, it keeps saying to pay 4 tokens to save win streak as the timer hit zero. I am at lvl 23. Please help. Thanks.

    1. Nur,

      The win streak timer no longer exists other than for a bonus for tournament wins (double win-streak, double points or double coins). These show on the home screen. For regular games, the maximum time is 12 hours if you have won a single game, and it drops to 30 minutes when you have a win streak of 12 or 15 as I recall.

      Obviously, no one can play around the clock, so everyone will lose his win streak. But you don’t have to cough up a ton of tokens. If you lose your win streak either through a loss or the timer, simply exit the game. When you restart, choose to play the green level of Team UNO for 2 tokens. If you lose that game, you keep your win streak for the regular game and pay nothing to play the next regular game during whatever the time limits are for your win streak level. If you win, the cost to play regular games depends on your Team UNO win streak: 25 coins for a win streak of 1, 200 coins for 2, 2 tokens for a win streak of 3 or 4. This is considerably cheaper than the paying 35 tokens or 5000 coins when you have a 27 or more game win streak. Note that once you have a win streak 5 for the green level you get a green crown, and your green win streak drops to 0. After winning the green crown, and the game defaults to the next level (orange) which costs 4 tokens to play, followed by the blue level (6 tokens) and finally the gold (8 tokens). The cost to play a regular game after you play a Team UNO game is the same based on the Team UNO win streak for the Team UNO level played before starting a regular game. I do have crowns for all four levels of Team UNO, but I am very tight-fisted with my tokens, so I only play the green level to retain my win streak.

  38. Hey some people have little gold crowns on top of there avatar with numbers in it I was just wondering what that was and how can I get one by chance?. Help please

  39. Hey some people have little gold crowns on top of there avatar with numbers in it I was just wondering what that was and how can I get one by chance?. Help pleaseReport

    1. Murphs girl,

      The winning house gets to compete in a champion tournament. If you win, you get a the gold crown which shows the number of times you have won that tournament.

  40. Do u get to keep it like forever or is it just that one time thing cuz there is a person that is yellow house just as I am I’m level 125 and there level 62 and they have one that is why I asked also thank u for answering my question.

    1. Murphs girl,

      Once you win the crown, you keep it forever. This is also true for rosettes, avatars and companions. If your house wins, you are eligible to play the Championship tournament regardless of your level.

      I’ve had my profile reset to a lower level a couple of times and lost all those items won since then, which is extremely frustrating, but once customer service restored me to my current level, the crowns, etc. all were there.

    1. msreesy,

      As I recall, the red tree frog can be won in the steel crate and the titanium crate tournments. If you buy crates, he is in both the titanium crate and gold crate.

    2. The frog companion is in the titanium crate, which can be acquired through levelling up, winning the titanium crate tournament, and/or buying titanium crates.

  41. I have been playing a few months, but k can’t seem to figure out what points are versus coins? It says you win points per finishing position, but I don’t see them totaled any where?

    1. Points count towards your overall level. Coins count towards what you can spend on various boosts and extending win streaks. And tokens are what you can spend on playing games and tournaments.

  42. Just for info:

    My wife has an Android Samsung Tab and gets unlimited 45 minute scratch cards,
    I have an Ipad and 45 minute scratch cards terminate @10 tokens

    1. True Timber,

      I have an android-phone, and unlimited scratches, and a friend has an iPhone, and there it is limit till 10…
      Very strange…

  43. Hello everyone,

    I think I have found the secret to this game and have been addicted lately. I have a couple of questions:

    How do you level up special companions like Unicorns? I leveled up all my wood, silver and titanium companions including White Tiger. I replayed the master tournament which I already beat and didn’t get crates. I also replayed one of the crates in which I leveled up the companions and only got game tokens.

    I am really a novice when it comes to the league stuff, I literally just don’t know how to go about it, including the crown for the league. Please give me as detailed information as possible about to participate in leagues, and House tournaments and stuff.


    1. Chris,

      You may want to read my update to this article found on this blog: Uno and Friends – Tips – Companions, Tem Uno & Journey

      The only way to upgrade Uno-corns is by winning Uno-corn tournaments. The companion tournament only earns you tokens (provided you win it), not companions. If you have all the companion at level 10 from the particular tournament crate, you get tokens.

      As far as leagues go, you earn league points by playing Uno Journey or giving league gifts. The higher you rank in the league, the more tokens and coins you receive weekly. You can view your league rank by clicking the “Social” icon on the main page and then clicking the Leader boards. If your House wins during the 2 week contest, you will be eligible to play the special tournament. See prior comments on why I am not a fan of this tournament despite having won it some 14 times.

    2. Unicorns can be levelled up only during the specific color unicorn tournaments, which occur time to time. Master tournament gets you nothing, not even a wood crate. Personally, I find the unicorns inferior to the white tiger cub at ultimate ability. The tree frog is the next best alternative to the cub.

      You’re assigned houses, not your will. Accumulate points for your house by winning games and winning house further gains eligibility into the championship. House wins carry minor rewards of coins on reaching targets. Keep checking the Houses tab for progress.

      Journey is trash.

      PS: Orangutan is the worst IMO :()

      1. I hate it when I am playing a white tiger cub at ultimate ability, but unless the opponent also is using mirror, it isn’t terrible. You may not do them any damage as long as they are holding 4 cards, but you don’t get hurt too bad. I almost always play the tree frog. See my post on this blog from December. I covered the companions. While I have the majority of the 31 companions at Ulitmate ability, I don’t have any UNO-corns at that level. I totally agree with you with regard to the UNO-corns. I will play UNO-corn tournaments on a lark, but SERIOUSLY?!?! Why?

      2. Hussey,

        You and I are definitely on the same page. I hate Journey! Play level 14 or 16 on on Journey to get league points. The current “glitch” for the game: Even if you place 3rd or 4th, if the time hasn’t run on your win streak, just exit and log back in without having to ante up coins (or tokens if you don’t have a 100+ win streak. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. Great post and wished I read this earlier. I finally “won” the game for me, meaning I made it into the top 10000 players globally, with 1,070,000 points. Streak multipliers are the absolutely key.

    If I were starting out, set your own personal goal, make it, then delete the app ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of luck!

  45. Need help figuring out how to get past journey lvl 47 After a wild changes color, change the color back with another wild. Tried multiple ways of how I thought to do this to no avail. Any tips?

    1. Rdub,

      I remember being very frustrated playing this level, thinking I had satisfied the goal but not being able to advance. In order to reach the goal, I believe the player immediately before you must play the wild card (not a Draw 4), there can be other player between you, and you must play a wild card (not a Draw 4). Playing a Draw 2 or Skip that changes the color does not satisfy this, and if you are not the immediate next player, changing the color back won’t meet the goal either even if the player before you draws a card and does not play or plays a card in the new color. You would still have to place at least 3rd to advance to the next level.

  46. Beginner question…..I have noticed in tournaments that some players time out their cards and then at 30 seconds come back with a vengeance and win. What is this strategy?

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      It’s their strategy… and it drives me nuts! Yes, tournament play has a lot to do with timing. Mine is to get rid of as many of my cards as possible (particularly special cards which have high point values) and then drag it out when I am holding a couple of numbered cards. If you are in 1st or 2nd place, and the timer shows less 5 seconds or less when someone plays a Draw 4 on you or you will have to draw — DON’T! Coming in second will allow you to advance or double the tokens you paid to play if it is a regular tournament. This is a case where “winning” isn’t everything: you have your tokens back and get enough to play again. It is different in a “limited time” a/k/a daily or weekend tournament where you get only the amount you paid if you make it to the final round. You get nothing unless you finish 1st in the Companion and League Champion tournaments.

      Happy gaming!

  47. Do you know what the 2 presents that show up at my avatar at the beginning of a game are? They are not gifts from other players. Also, I have close to 80 friends, I give them gifts every single day…..I get maybe 2 or 3 gifts in return per week .Is this just because no one is reciprocating? You’d think with that many friends, I’d be getting more than 2 or 3 a week. When a fellow player gives me a gift during a game, where does it go? You said they are coin gifts. The choices of gifts I have to give are like pictures of food or items. Do these just correspond to a coin amount?
    One last thing, during a game there is 1, sometimes 2 paw prints under my avatar…..what are these for?

    1. Jill,

      I am not sure what the gifts are unless they were earned in a mega event or from league play. As for gifts from friends, I have over 500 friends, and I probably get 20 per day. When someone gives you a gift in game, it will show up in your mail box under the gift tab accessible from the Social link on the start page.

      I believe the items you give do provide a set number of coins based on how much you pay, and if it is a House gift which can only be given to another player in your House, the gift can be a token or a boost.

      The paw prints represent the number of times your Companion’s power is available in each game. The number is based on the Companion’s level and whether you happen to have a Shiny Companion. You can read more about that in the post I wrote covering Companions, Team Uno and Journey.

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      I ranted about this in a my second post: Uno and Friends – Tips – Companions, Team Uno & Journey. It is exactly what it says, and it is really, really hard to accomplish.

      The only tournament that does not use utilize companions is Classic Uno which seems to show up regularly on weekends, and I would guess that this tournament does not count since there are no companions to activate.

      I know this is the goal in the final level of the Arctic Journey, and in order to win the crown, you had to make it through all 3 rounds and win the tournament. I managed to reach round 2 without activating a a companion relatively easily, basically due to luck and losing in the second or third round, but I probably replayed that level once or twice a day for 3 weeks before I finally won the crown. I think this is also a goal in one of the newer Journeys, too, but fortunately not in the final level to win a crown.

      The problem is that the all companions “activate” on their own. Some activate when you play a card of a certain color or a special card, or draw or hold a particular card. Some activate when you call Uno which sucks. Other companions activate when an opponent plays a particular color, draws a particular card, calls Uno, etc.

      In order to attain the goal, you should choose a companion that is at the very lowest level AND has a very narrow power that you can control such as one that is only activated when you play an even or odd numbered card of a certain color. Luck of the draw is the main component of for this Journey goal. Of the 31 companions, I have all except the Green, Yellow and Rainbow UNO-corns at Utlimate Ability (Level 10), so I utter a string of expletives when I see this goal.

  48. Hello ! I love His blog, I follow a few months ago . I am the Yellow House and I have the level 197 and I never saw the yellow house beat , never attended No tournament of champions. I would like to have That crown. I’ve seen other Jocks of My House , with levels Very Inferior wearing a crown and I NAO . I wonder why ? And the second thing : (my points do not update). My Points NOT are present in my score, so I can not go up my position. Already I uninstalled the game and installed but NOT resolved and my good wi -fi connection is . You could help me at Least saying something ? Sorry if I write wrong , I’m from Brazil and I am using the translator . Thanks Posts BY ITS . Kisses .

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      For a long time, Green House seemed to always win, then it was Red House, and now it is back to Green House. Gameloft is aware of the problem, but it continues to happen. The ones in Yellow House with crowns may have won them a long time in the past. Or (this is just a guess without any foundation other than a couple of emails where assigned Houses mysteriously changed), Gameloft may have switched them from Green or Red House after they had won the tournaments.

      I have also had the problem of points not updating, and the only way to get this resolved is to contact customer service. Be sure and take screen shots to document your problem since customer service will probably ask for these when they respond: 1) of your profile before you play showing your points, 2) of your win after a game, and 3) of your profile after the win. Customer service will take care of the problem, but it may take some time for them to up date your points.

      Good luck.

  49. Hello,
    I have to ask if anyone knows the answer to this. Level 135 on the journey… How is it possible to achieve three stars when the task is…

    ‘Never call Uno’ AND ‘win with no cards left in your hand’


    It doesn’t make sense… Unless they are inadvertently telling players to purposefully not call Uno, on the off chance the other 3 players don’t notice the great big yellow sign the appears telling them to challenge your Uno? Which lets face it is never going to happen. So what they’re really telling you to do is lose on purpose chasing the carrot (of three stars and 15 house points etc) they dangle, which isn’t going to happen, or be sensible, win the game and close the door on achieving 3 stars. Either way they’ve made it un-winable.

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      Yes, either you play your next to last card, cross your fingers and hope no one challenges your UNO, or you rely on luck of the draw and your companion. You may want to read my second Uno article where I cover the powers and Ultimate Abilities of companions. I suggest choosing one that let’s you play two cards on the same turn or causes you to discard one from your hand. My favorite is the Frog which when you play a skip, you get to play another card immediately which gives you an advantage in playing before you are challenged, AND if you have it at Ultimate Ability and draw a skip, allows you to discard your lowest value card. For instance, the card on the pile is a green 4, and you hold a yellow two and a green skip. I play the green skip, must quickly draw, and I fortunately get another skip which both discards the yellow 2 and is automatically played when I draw it, so w00t! I win and get three stars!

      Personally, the best I only got one star for level 135. Since there is no special prize, like a companion crate, a boost or an avatar if you do get 3 stars, all that really mattered to me was being able to move on to level 136 in the Royal Revenge Journey. I am #2 for All Time in the Master League, so when I want to gain league points, I simply play level 13 over and over to amass league points.

  50. Great article, Pauli! I’ve also learned a ton just by reading the comments.

    Today my Daily Login Reward is star x 100. What is that?

    1. Rognog,

      That’s what I got, too. I am only guessing here, but I think the stars represent league points since they use stars for that in Journey.

      I’m glad you like the article!

  51. Pingback: Matching With Friends Tricks | assiduity

    1. RoseAnn,

      It isn’t a boost, rather it is due to the companion the player has. The Frog’s power allows the player to play a second card when s/he plays a skip. If the companion is at Level 5 or above, you could play two skips followed by a third card (I’ve done this several times). If you are at Level 10, you could play 3 skips and then a 4th card (I’ve done this a couple of times) or 4 skips and a 5th card all in one turn if the Frog is “Shiny” (mine is but so far, I have never held 4 skips at once plus the fifth card would have to be playable, i.e., either the same color as the final skip, a Wild or a Wild Draw 4). The Dragon companion has the same ability when a reverse is played. The Mayhem companion allows another card to be played if a yellow skip is played, and the Slimer companion does this if you play a green reverse. The only Monster High companion I have is Crescent, and playing a second card isn’t its ability, but it could be for one or more of the other 3 Monster High companions.

      I hope this helps. For more information about companions, read my subsequent post on this site covering companions, Journey and Team Uno.

    1. Romnog,

      I am considering that. I am reluctant to do so until Gameloft reinstates Leagues in 2017. I really don’t understand what the “stars” in Journey accomplish other than needing to get three for any level where the “prize” is an avatar, a boost, a crown, a crate or a reward if in a Mega Event. Additionally, when the “CLUB” levels were added, I was automatically a “CLUB 5”. I presume this was because I bought VIP, was Level 200 and at the highest level in the Leagues. Since I didn’t have to deal with CLUB Tickets, my knowledge-base regarding them is near zero. I understand how you get tickets, but I am absolutely clueless as to how many you need to pay to increase your level. I know I have earned tickets, but I yet to find where on the site the number of tickets I have is indicated even if the tickets have no use. This is information I am sure others who are just starting out or who had been playing but weren’t awarded CLUB 5 with the update would like to know.

      I hate the navigation, find the new “slot” machine goals and rewards “ho-hum” and really don’t care that Team UNO no longer has has different levels or crowns, although I guess my Team UNO crowns are now collector’s items. There is a real problem the with iOS version on my ancient iPad 2 as far as giving in game gifts. It opens somewhere near the middle with gifts costing 90+ coins and takes too long to swipe back to the teddy bear, etc. before your next turn. This isn’t an issue with the Android app on my phone. The crash problems still exist, and Gameloft and I are in a continuous email discussion regarding the fact that I have a 3000+ win streak, but it only gives me a 5x rather than 10x at least half the time and fails to credit 100% more points/coins or double win streak bonuses a lot of the time after I win a limited time tournament. I do contact customer service several times a week, take and send screenshots, and they do give me some automatic credits with an on-screen pop-up, email me the issues have been escalated and forwarded to the developers, but this has been going on since Update 20 was launched. I have plenty of tokens and coins, so there isn’t an issue of having to spend real money to play, just extreme annoyance combined with the fact that not getting all points I should, my ranking dropped from 62 to 78 All Time and from 27 to 37 US. Again, this is annoying but not anywhere as upsetting as going from level 124 or 167 back to level 25 or losing a couple thousand tokens which has happened to me.

      I do play a few games each day, but my marathon sessions are mostly a thing of the past. Truthfully, if I had just downloaded the game when Update 20 came out, I would be an ex-player by now.

  52. Did you know that if you hit brower’s refresh button before the game ends, you do not loose your golden coins spent on that game or the boosts you used in the game? ๐Ÿ™‚

    If I see I am loosing the game or the tournament, I hit refresh and leave the game without spening anything ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Presley.

      I am not aware of a way to change users other than to create a new profile using a different login. You can change your profile name by clicking the pencil across from your name.

  53. Hi, quick question. When playing the ‘uno journey’, sometimes I’ll receive little random images (i.e. Coffee cup, bouquet of flowers, etc). Do those do anything or we they just for fun?

    1. They are gifts from other players to you. Even you can send them to your opponents by tapping their avatar. There will b a gift icon. Tap on it and there you go…….you can send them any gift. It costs some coins

  54. I’m confused on how players with more cards than I have will win in over time. I just had a player place first when they have 8 cards and I only had 3. Can you explain this and help me understand how the placing system works in OT?

    1. Jeremy,

      The answer is relatively simple: the player was holding a lower point value hand than you had even though he had more cards. Draw 4s and Wild cards have a point value of 50 pts. while Draw 2s, Reverses and Skips have a point value of 20 each. The point value for numbered cards is the face amount, 0 – 9, so a player with 8 numbered cards may have a lower value hand than someone holding a single Draw 4.


  55. When you are losing or even seconds after you’ve lost (be quick) disable internet connection. I do it on my iphone by swiping up and turning on airplaine mode very fast.
    You will be directed out of the game because of bad internet connection and your tokens will be remained. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Doesn’t work for the money you’ve invested in cheats because the money will be lost (so you won’t get your shield back for example) but no token-loss!
    Infinity playtime ๐Ÿ˜€

  56. How does scoring work in Quick Play? I cannot find it explained in the app or any website, but you seem to know your way around the game so I’m hoping you can help me. Other than winning by getting rid of all your cards I cannot figure out how the hell people win most games. Sometimes I’ll lose even though I have less cards left than everyone else.

    1. Brian,

      The number of cards you are holding at the end of the game doesn’t matter. It’s the point value of cards in your hand that determines your placement. The point value for Wild cards (Draw 4 and Special) are 50 points each, Draw 2, Reverse and Skip are 20 points each, and numbered card points are face value. You may only have one card left in your hand when someone wins, but if it is a Wild, you could easily come in 4th to another player with 6 or more numbered cards in his/her hand.

      This information is found by clicking the settings icon at the top of the screen on the right, then clicking Instructions.

  57. I placed 3rd in a tournament with only one card left (a draw 4) and someone else placed 2nd who had several cards. The 1st place winner won before the time ran out with a draw 4,the move I would’ve made if he hadn’t first. Anyways how is it possible that the one with more cards got through to the next round? I had always thought the two with the least cards were supposed to be the winners.

    1. Ashley,

      The number of cards in your hand does not determine placement but rather the value of the cards still held. Wild and Wild Draw 4 cards count 50 points each while Draw 2, Skip and Reverse count 20 points. Number cards count face value, so I could hold 6 or more low value number cards and easily beat someone who is holding a single Wild card.

  58. ๐Ÿ–คShadow๐Ÿ–ค

    I’m new to this website so just saying this, where do you find crates I have at least 4 wooden crates and I can’t find them!!! Please help!!

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      The big blue cat on the left side of the home screen will have a small number on its right ear indicating the number of crates available for you to open. Click it, and on the following page you will see that the Crate Shop bar (bottom right) has the same number on it. Click that and you can open your Companion Crates.



  59. Hi Pauli,

    Thank for this page-it’s helpful.

    Have you figured out how points and coins are added up at the end of the game? For example, at the end of the game, it shows how many points I’ve earned that go towards my level increasing as well as how many coins I earned, but it doesn’t explain how they are tabulated. I also haven’t figured out how many points you need to earn to level up. Any idea? Thanks

    1. Pauli Loeffler


      To answer your second question first, I don’t know the exact number of points needed to achieve each level. I just know that the number needed increases with each successive level. I hit level 200 more than a year and a half ago, and I think it took something on the order of 2 million points to get there. For a regular, quick play games points are figured as follows: x amount for your level (50 pts if you place 1st at level 200, 19 pts for 2nd, 13 pts for 3rd, and I don’t remember how many for 4th) + points for placement regardless of level (1st=80 pts, 2nd=30 pts, 3rd=20 pts, 4th=10 pts) x win streak bonus multiplier (maximum multiplier used to to be 10 but now is 5). For example, I place first so 50 (200 level) + 80 (1st place) equals 130 pts. Great, I get that. Multiply 130 by my 109 win streak bonus (5x), and I get 650 pts. I currently have a 100% bonus due to winning a limited time tournament within the last 24 hours, so I get 1300 pts. As far as how the number of coins are rewarded, I have no idea how this number is calculated.

  60. Here’s a way to keep your token and move up quickly in tournaments without spending a dime!

    Simple: just close your app if you are about to lose. You will restart will no lost token. This way, you will NEVER lower your token count. Just keep doing this until you win the tournament.

    1. Bob,
      I am aware of this, but I would point out that in most tournaments, if you place 3rd in the final round, you receive the same amount of tokens you paid, so there is no loss. Further, if you place 2nd, you get double the number of tokens you paid. I don’t use the “trick” for that reason, and I have 19,514 tokens at the moment.

    1. EMM ESS,

      There are a lot of “chat packs” you can win or buy, and I have seen custom messages only 2 or 3 times over the last three years which I assumed were hacks. I would love to be able to message in Team Play: “We’re partners, not competitors. If I win, you win.” or “I hate Bots!” when a player drops out. If I knew how to do this, I would tell you.

    1. It isn’t a rumor and was announced several months ago. I really enjoyed the game but haven’t played for at least 3 or more months even though I have enough tokens and coins amassed to never have to buy any. Ronald’s original post Uno and Friends is Evil really nailed the original issues while I offered ways to get around most of them. As the versions evolved and added Journeys, companions, teams, etc., the game became more and more complicated, less fun, and even more costly, particularly if you were just a beginner. When I get the time, I plan to write about the Rise and Fall of Uno and Friends Empire.

  61. If you wanna play for ever if you know you are going to loose the hand close the app then reopen it and you wonโ€™t loose tokens also friend everyone so you can get free tokens and specials Iโ€™ve never payed for the game and have over 27000 tokens but return the favor gift all your friends as well

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