Uncle Screwie Tips and Tricks
Wild Cards are your best friend! Remember that Wild Cards can be replaced and reused endlessly – they’re the gift that keeps on giving! So always pay attention any Wild Cards either you or your partner has down on the table (but not the other team, you can only trade out your team’s Wild Cards). If you can trade out for a Wild Card, you can either use it right away or keep it for future use.
Wild Cards are your worst enemy! Suppose the other team has a Wild Card won on the board with a pair of Kings, making three of a kind. If you discard a King they can pick it up, use it to replace the Wild Card and re-use the Wild Card somewhere else. Basically, you’ve just given them the equivalent of another Wild card. Which brings us to…
Look at the board. Has the other team played a set of Jacks? Don’t trade away a Jack! The last thing you want to do is make it easier for them to trade a card they don’t want for one they can use right away.
Watch for the Red 3s! When you play a red 3, it’s worth 50 points, the most of any card by far. So never trade away your red 3s (or, really, any 3s since the black ones will help you play the red ones) unless you want to watch your partner have a myocardial infarction.
Play your high-value cards first. Remember, whatever is left in your hand at the end of the round counts against you. So get those aces, face cards and wild cards down on the board!
Pay attention to what the other team is doing when they Trade. Are they collecting Queens? Don’t help them by throwing Queens. Are they discarding Eights? Chances are they will throw some more.
Once you’re down, break up your runs. This is a little more advanced. If you’ve been collecting runs to Go Down and your partner gets there first, start reorganizing the incomplete runs into sets. Runs may be fun to lay down but sets are a whole lot easier to complete!
When playing with 2 or 3 people, simply use a coin of your choosing as a special steal token. Since there is no partner to exchange wild cards with, you can use the special token to steal a wild card from an opponent each round and only once you qualify and your cards are in play. Put your token in the center, once used till the next round. Remember you have to have the right card to steal and can only do once per round. Also once you steal the wildcard, you cannot put it in your rack. The wildcard has to stay in play.