There's more to cards than just fun. If you have played UNO, you will soon realise that it is not the same as any other card game. If you pick up the nuances and tricks it will sure help you win.

Those familiar with the card game UNO will know that it is not just fun but requires you to think as well. But did you know that the game has also spawned a championship with nine Asian countries participating?

Luck and skill

P. Raghav Reddy, a Std VIII student at Narayana E-Techno School, Hyderabad, will represent India in the finals of the UNO Asia Championship to be held in Japan. He will compete with finalists from six participating countries. Begun in 2006, the tournament is usually held among Japanese elementary and junior high school children. This year it has been scaled up by Mattel, the makers of UNO, to include six Asian countries.

“This is my first trip abroad,” says an excited Raghav who will be travelling with his parents to Japan. At the National round held in Mumbai, he played against 10 players from all over the country and across age groups — 7 to 15 years to be precise. The players had been shortlisted from the thousands who participated in the respective regional rounds. “It was tough as there were experts from many states. One of the people I met in the final rounds was a Std IV student.”

Raghav has been playing the game since he was seven years old. According to him, the game involves 40 per cent luck and 60 per cent skill. “In preparation for the championship I have been playing with my sister for about 45 minutes every day. By playing often, I was able to come up with some interesting tricks that I use in my game,” says Raghav.

Besides obviously wanting to win the Asian Championship, the avid UNO player is also looking forward to doing some sight-seeing and buying souvenirs.

Uno (from Italian and Spanish for 'one') is an American card game which is played with a specially printed deck.