DOS Rules: A New Take on UNO!

Here are the rules for a descendant of a popular card game UNO. Learn how to play DOS, its setup and strategy. Have fun!
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Last updatedLast updated: June 21, 2021
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Card games are a popular pastime for many people. There are so many different card games to choose from, from plain card decks to more specialized card games. One of the most popular games that comes to mind when most people think of card games is UNO. It was originally released in 1971 and has been a family favorite for people across the world.

In 2018, DOS was released and is considered a new take on the classic UNO. Despite similarities, DOS rules differ quite a bit from UNO. Follow along with us to learn how to play DOS!

The goal of the game is to play cards from your hand that match either the number or color of the last played card. DOS does not have different themes like UNO, so you play with a generic deck of numbered cards in different colors. Like UNO, DOS requires you to match numbers and make simple additions to be the first to discard all your cards. Score points based on the cards your opponents have left in their hands at the end of each round.

Are you ready to learn a new game? Let’s get started and look at how to play the DOS card game.

DOS Overview

DOS Rules: A New Take on UNO!

DOS offers a new challenge along with the nostalgia of the classic UNO brand. A similar system of numbered and colored cards is used by DOS but now players have two card piles to choose from. To play the DOS card game, you need to know the basic set-up of the cards:

  • 108 cards in the game: 96 numbered cards in four colors (red, blue, green, yellow) and 12 wild cards.
  • There are three cards of each color with the numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, and two cards of the numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
  • For each of the four colors, there are also two wild cards.

You will notice that the number 2 cards for each color are gone, but instead, they have been replaced with wild DOS cards.

As you’re discarding your cards, keep an eye on what’s left in your hand. When you have two cards left, you must call out “DOS!” to alert the other players you have almost gotten rid of all your cards.

Main Objective

Each round, you have to be the first player to get rid of your cards by matching them with the center row and earning points from the cards left in the other players’ hands. Numbers must be matched first, then only color is noted. Color matches earn only a bonus called the color match bonus. In order to win, a player must score 200 points.

Number of players

DOS can be played by 2-4 players, which is less than UNO. With more players, the gameplay is a little better.

Recommended age

The manufacturer recommends DOS for ages 7 and up, but you can introduce it to children as young as 4 too. There are lots of excellent games for this age group, and DOS is one of them. DOS is good for learning and allows kids to practice the skills of color recognition, number recognition and matching, simple addition as well as probability. We know that play is so important for a child’s development, so teaching them the DOS card game rules early is a great idea.

Setup

DOS Rules: A New Take on UNO! 2-4 players draw cards, and the player with the highest number is the dealer (count any card with a symbol as zero). Afterwards, the dealer deals everyone seven cards each. The dealer now pulls two cards from the deck and places them face up next to each other to form the “center row”.

How to Play

Okay, so you’ve set up the cards and you’re wondering how to play the DOS card game! First, the player to the left of the dealer starts the game and can do several things with their hand and the center row. The players can place down a card that matches one of the center row cards’ numbers, called a “single match.”

If a player places down two cards that are equal to one of the cards in the center row, you are doing a double match. Cards can be placed only once in each row.

Here are some of the DOS card game rules to keep in mind:

  1. Color Match Bonus: When playing cards, the player does not have to match the color, but if they do so, they will receive a bonus as per DOS rules. You receive a color match bonus when your card(s) also match the one you are matching in the center row.
  2. Draw A Card: If a player cannot or does not want to match one of the face-up cards, they will draw a card from the draw pile. A card that is drawn can be used to make a match with one of the face up cards. In the case there are no matches on the table, the player will play one card from their hand face up. There will be a new pile of cards to play with.
  3. Calling “DOS”: Whenever a player has only two cards left in their hand, they must call out “DOS!” If another player catches you not saying DOS, you will have to add two cards from the draw pile. The two cards will be drawn at the end of your turn if you are called out during your turn.
  4. End of Round: The round ends when one of the players gets rid of their last card. As per the DOS rules, the first person to reach 200 points wins.

*Note that there are two special cards in DOS:

  • Wild DOS: Wild DOS cards count as two of any color. You get to choose the color of the card when you play it.
  • Wild # Card: A wild card is any number between 1 and 10 of the color shown on the card. A player determines what number the card will represent when he plays it. When a wild # card is face up on the table, the player chooses what number it is when matching it.

Scoring is as follows:

  • All number cards – Face value
  • Wild DOS cards – 20 points each
  • Wild # cards – 40 points each

The previous round’s winner becomes the dealer for the next round.

Strategy

There is always some level of strategy involved in playing card games. Some players will want to develop a strategy for playing DOS, while others will just play for fun. The most important thing is to make sure you fully understand the DOS card game rules so that you can start to build your own strategy to win the game.

In DOS, you mostly have to make sure your opponents don’t go out too soon, while discarding as many cards as you can in each turn. By playing two cards of the same color, your opponent might even earn a Double Color Match bonus.

Color Match Bonus can give you a significant advantage in the game. It is a huge reward for you to be able to place an extra card face up at the end of your turn. As per the DOS rules, this will allow you to eliminate one of your cards that will be hard to get rid of and also reduce the number of cards you have in your hand.

Playing two matching cards is even better, as you can force your opponents to draw their cards. By doing this, you gain an advantage of four cards over the other players.

DOS vs. UNO: What’s Changed?

DOS Rules: A New Take on UNO!There’s no doubt that DOS is a fast-paced and somewhat more complicated game than UNO. UNO and DOS share some inspiration but are still different games. In DOS, it’s easy to get rid of cards, so rounds end too quickly as a result. DOS is a bit more difficult than UNO, but it is still a pretty straightforward card game that you can pick up and play right away without instructions. For this reason DOS is a pretty good filler card game to play when you don’t want to spend too much time thinking about it.

Compared to UNO, playing cards in DOS is a lot easier. The changes result from three DOS rules that have a significant effect on gameplay. UNO allows you to play only one card per turn. This restriction is eliminated in DOS. Every turn, you can play a card(s) to two different piles. Since you can play more cards per turn, it makes sense that getting rid of them is easier.

In UNO, you would be lucky if you got rid of one card each turn. In DOS, you are theoretically able to discard six cards in a single turn. The other players would also be forced to draw two cards in this hypothetical situation. A player can influence the outcome of a round with just one turn. Most rounds in DOS will end after a couple rounds with each round only taking a couple of minutes.

DOS also eliminates all of the special cards that you can use to make the game difficult for others. The DOS does not include skips, reverses, draw twos, etc. In DOS, the special cards are all used to benefit the player holding them, rather than punishing the other players. With these cards, you could prevent a player from leaving the game. DOS does not support this type of interaction since you are unable to force them to draw cards or lose their turn. Considering how important player interaction is in UNO, it’s obvious that it’s absent in DOS.

Although UNO lacks much strategy, DOS offers some mindless fun and energy. The DOS version is a quieter version of UNO. Basically, it is an updated version of UNO with some small changes. Most of the people thought the game might just give them a few different cards and a second play pile since it was called DOS, but after playing the game they were surprised at how different it is from UNO. There’s no harm in giving DOS a try if you’re into games that are simple to play, have some math involved, and that don’t require extensive mental activity.

Final Thoughts

DOS is a pretty easy game to get the hang of, so most people don’t need to watch an explainer or playthrough video. You may want to consult the game instructions several times to recall specific rules. It’s going to be a little more difficult for UNO fans to make a decision on DOS.

If you do not like simple filler card games, DOS is not for you. UNO offers a lot more player interaction than DOS. As for player interaction, you probably won’t see much of that in DOS. If the game’s concept sounds interesting to you and you like simple card games, it may be worth checking out DOS.

With DOS, you get a look-a-like game that’s quieter, and every true UNO fan should give it a try. It might take a while to get accustomed to DOS’ gameplay, but if you read through the DOS rules, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

If you’re looking for a new game to play with your friends and family, definitely check out DOS! We actually recommend you pick up a few games to play, so you never run out of fun activities to do with your family.

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