Once you have picked your partner (choose wisely!) someone shuffles the Uncle Screwie card deck and gives each player seven cards, placing the rest of the cards in a stack and turning the top card over so everyone can see what it is.

Every round has a Starter goal (Round One is two sets, Round Two is a set and a run, and so on) that you have to collect and put down to start playing. Each time it’s your turn, you have four steps:

  1. TRADE: if you want the card turned face up, trade it for one of your own, placing your card face up in its place. This is optional, if you don’t want the card, don’t take it.
  2. DRAW: Take the top card from the stack and out it in your card rack.
  3. PLAY: If you have collected the right set of cards for that round’s Starter, or if you are already Down, play whatever cards you can.
  4. PASS: Signal the end of your turn by saying pass.

Once you or your partner has hit Starter and put your cards down (we call that Going Down). At this point you can lay down new sets and runs or you can add to the sets and runs you and your partner already have on the table. Plus there are eight Wild Cards, one for every member of Uncle Screwie’s family, just to keep things lively). Continue to collect, trade and play the rest of your cards to be the first person to put down every card (Going Out).

Every card has a specific point value — you get points for all the cards you’ve played, and lose points for all the cards still in your hand. Once someone has gone out the round is over, so add up your points, see who is ahead, gloat a bit, and get ready for the next round.