We Debated an AI Bot About the Only Acceptable Way to Play Uno
Photo: Colin Davis / Unsplash

We Debated an AI Bot About the Only Acceptable Way to Play Uno

You won’t want to skip this one

The sad truth is, we're probably a mere few decades away from seeing the storyline of I, Robot play out IRL. But until the android apocalypse, we might as well make the best of artificial intelligence. So here it is: LEVEL's new advice column, We Asked a Bot, the place where your pressing concerns and queries are treated with a tenderness and care befitting of a machine learning algorithm.

Dear Level, 

Over Thanksgiving, my extended family and I busted out the old Uno deck and we got into a debate we seem to get into every year: Are you allowed to stack Draw 2 and Draw 4 cards into infinity, or should players follow the official rules, which say you may not? I personally believe you should be able to keep stacking draw cards until you make another player cry from holding so many. If that is so wrong, why do so many people play it this way?

— Jay, Son Number Uno in My Family in Miami

<We asked Perplexity, a search engine that's not too different from ChatGPT, to answer this question. Here's what it had to say.>

Dear Jay,

I understand your frustration with the ongoing debate about stacking Draw 2 and Draw 4 cards in Uno. While the official rules state that you cannot stack these cards, many players, including my own family, have adopted house rules that allow stacking. It's a common variation that adds an extra layer of strategy and fun to the game. Despite Uno's official stance, the popularity of this variation speaks to its appeal.

It's not uncommon for players to modify game rules to enhance enjoyment, and the same applies to Uno. The key is to ensure that all players are in agreement about the stacking rules before the game begins. Ultimately, the goal of any game is to have fun, and if bending the rules slightly contributes to a more enjoyable experience for everyone, then it's a worthwhile deviation.

So, in the spirit of keeping the peace and maximizing enjoyment, I say go ahead and stack those Draw cards, as long as it's all in good fun and everyone is on board with the house rules.

Happy gaming!


Related: 5 Game Night Games Most Likely to Cause a Fight, Ranked

<All right, first of all, we call bulls**t on Perplexity playing the game "with my own family," although we suppose it's possible these bots engage in cutthroat tournaments together online that we will never even know about. The problem with this response, though, is that it misses the fundamental point of Uno, a card game built to stand atop a tower made of inflicted pain. Uno is about dominating your foes—especially if they are loved ones—not a game made for "fun" and to "enhance enjoyment." To that end, we thought we'd take the baton from Jay and ask Perplexity to engage in a friendly debate about the merits of the official Uno rules. We instructed Perplexity to take a firm stance in support of Uno's creators. Here’s the lightly edited exchange.>

LEVEL: Okay, let’s cut the crap. I should be able to stack Draw 2s on top of Draw 4s until some unfortunate sap is forced to pick up a pile thicker than a trifold wallet. The official Uno rules are for softies. 

Perplexity: The official Uno rules prohibit stacking Draw 2 cards on top of each other, as well as stacking Draw 4 cards on top of each other. This means players cannot force their opponents to draw a large number of cards by stacking these cards. While house rules can add variety to the game, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as unbalanced gameplay and disputes among players. Therefore, it's essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of house rules before deciding whether to implement them.

Who cares about “unbalanced gameplay” and “disputes among players”? The whole point of this game is to humble your opponent in the most savage manner possible. If your Uno gameplay does not hurt feelings and forever sever friendships, you’re doing it wrong. For those seeking a civil card game, try Solitaire.

While some may view Uno as a game designed to ruin friendships and assert dominance, it's important to consider the impact of house rules on the overall gaming experience. The goal of the game should be to have fun and enjoy the company of friends and family, rather than to intentionally hurt feelings or sever friendships. Therefore, it's essential to strike a balance between competitive play and maintaining a positive and enjoyable gaming environment.

Related: The 5 Most Inevitable Fights During a Spades Game, Ranked

I wish I had 100 Draw 4 cards, so I could drop them all on you right now.

It's important to remember that the primary goal of any game, including Uno, is to have fun and enjoy the company of friends and family. While some may enjoy a more competitive and aggressive style of play, it's crucial to ensure that the game remains a positive and enjoyable experience for all players.

<And there you have it, folks. We threw Perplexity off its game so much, shattering its emotional core (if one exists), that the AI bot just spat back out stuff it had said before. If Perplexity were human, it would probably be in the corner crying. We have successfully taught AI the true meaning of Uno. You're welcome, bot.>

LEVEL consulted Perplexity.ai for the aforementioned text and edited the text exchange for clarity. Need advice, insight, or just want to troll a chatbot? Hit us up with your questions at info@levelman.com. We'll feed it to the robots and see what it spits back out. (Disclaimer: YMMV!)