OBJECTIVE OF PHASE 10: Complete all ten phases first
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-6 Players
MATERIALS: Phase 10 deck (110 cards)
TYPE OF GAME: Rummy
OVERVIEW OF PHASE 10
Phase 10 is a card game from the company that brought us Uno, but it is played similarly to Rummy. This is a fun and challenging card game that involves some strategy. In Phase 10, there are 10 different matches or phases that must be fulfilled in order to win the game. This game was invented in 1982 by Kenneth R. Johnson and is now sold by Mattel. Like Uno, in this game, you will also try to shed all the cards in your hand, however, unlike Uno, this is done through melding cards into phases. In this article, we will dive into how to play Phase 10 and all the rules you possibly need to know to play the game.
A Phase 10 box consists of 110 cards: 2 reference cards, 24 x 4 number cards in red, blue, yellow, and green, numbering from 1-12 twice. There are also 4 Skip cards and 8 Wild cards in the deck.
Skip Card: This card forces the next player in the rotation to forfeit their turn. If it is the first card flipped over, the first player loses a turn.
Wild Card: These cards can represent any other card in a phase. However, it can not be reused.
A Phase is a set of particular cards that fulfill the criteria for a particular phase. You must reveal the cards flat on the table for others to see. If you can not complete a phase in a single hand, you must try again the next hand, you can not jump around phases. A Phase 10 hand ends when at least one player either forms a phase or discards all their cards in hand. According to the official Phase 10 rules, the phases are as follows:
- Phase 1: 2 sets of 3 cards (two 3 of a kind)
- Phase 2: 1 set of 3 card & 1 run (sequence) of 4 cards
- Phase 3: 1 set of 4 cards & 1 run of 4 cards
- Phase 4: 1 run of 7 cards
- Phase 5: 1 run of 8 cards
- Phase 6: 1 run of 9 cards
- Phase 7: 2 sets of 4 cards
- Phase 8: 7 cards of 1 color
- Phase 9: 1 set of 5 cards & 1 set of 2 cards
- Phase 10: 1 set of 5 cards & 1 set of 3 cards
Set: A set is a group of cards of the same rank (same number), color does not matter.
Run: A run is a sequential set of cards, i.e. a run of 7: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Color does not matter.
HOW TO PLAY PHASE 10
2 to 6 players can play a game of Phase 10. First, pick a dealer, who will shuffle the cards and pass each player 10 cards, face-down. The remaining cards form the draw pile. Keep your hand secret and don’t show them to any other players. Flip over the top card of the draw pile and place it down face-up, this is the discard pile. The player to the dealer’s left begins. Players all start on the same phase: Phase One. Each turn players will:
- Draw a card from either the draw pile or the discard pile. Add the card to your hand. Discard one unwanted card.
- Make a Phase. You must have all the needed cards in hand. Place the phase in front of you.
Many players may complete a phase in the same hand. Play moves clockwise until someone completes a phase and “goes out” (runs out of cards). The first player that goes out is the winner of that hand. The deal moves to the left at the beginning of a new hand. Cards are gathered, reshuffled, and hands re-dealt.
If the draw pile is exhausted before a player goes out, the discard pile is reshuffled and forms a new draw pile.
If you hit you can get rid of 2 cards in hand during a turn. If you wish to hit, discard cards in hand by adding them to your own phase or to another player’s already completed phase. This can be a strategic measure to use if you wish to be the first player to discard all your cards first that hand.
GOING OUT FIRST
Being the first player to go out in a round means you get to advance to the next phase and hand. Also, the remaining players score points for the cards remaining in their hand.
Number Cards 1-9: 5 points each
Number Cards 10-12: 10 points each
Skip Cards: 15 points each
Wild Cards: 25 points each
Gaining points is not ideal, the player in Phase 10 with the lowest score wins.
If at the end of a round there is only one player to complete phase 10, they are the winner. If multiple people complete phase 10 in the same round, then points are used to determine the winner. In this case, the player with the lower score is the winner.