Phase 10


OBJECTIVE OF PHASE 10: Complete all 10 phases first

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-6 Players

MATERIALS: Phase 10 deck (110 cards)

TYPE OF GAME: Rummy

AUDIENCE: 13+


INTRODUCTION TO PHASE 10

Phase 10 is somewhat like Uno but is more closely related to Liverpool Rummy. 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, you are trying to shed all the cards in your hand, however, unlike Uno, this is done through melding cards into phases.

THE CARDS

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.

PHASES

Phase is a set of particular cards that fulfill the criteria for a particular phase. The cards must be revealed 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. The hand is finished 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 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.

THE PLAY

The game can accommodate 2 to 6 players. Pick a dealer, they shuffle and pass each player 10 cards, face-down. Keep your hand secret. The cards that remain form the draw pile. The top card is flipped over beside it, face-up, this is the discard pile. The player to the dealer’s left begins.

  • Draw a card from the draw pile or discard. Add the card to your hand. Discard an unwanted card.
  • Make a Phase. You must have all the needed cards in hand. Place the phase in front of you.

Play moves clockwise until someone completes a phase and goes out. 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 exghausted before a player goes out, the discard pile is reshuffled and forms a new draw pile. 

HITTING

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 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, players who had cards remaining in their hand must add them up.

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.

WINNING

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, then points are used to determine the winner. In this case, the player with the lower score is the winner. 

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48 thoughts on “Phase 10”

    • Hi Sandy, unfortunately not. In Phase 10 cards must be played in ascending order and the order does not revert back to 1 after the 12.

    • Hi Sharon, Unfortunately, I have never heard of a partner variation of Phase 10. I did some digging and could not find any official, or unofficial rule system either.

        • Hi Travis, in a 2 player game if you use your turn to skip the other player then yes your new turn starts and you must draw a new card for the turn. I hope this helps.

  1. The first player to complete Phase 10 wins, they will always have the lowest score. If multiple players reach Phase 10, the player with the lowest score is the winner. If the scores happen to be tied, replay the last hand an attempt to Phase 10 again. The first player that goes out wins the game.

    This rule doesn’t make sense to me. I’m guessing but I think this is what is meant. If you have completed phase 10 and gone out you win except if other players have already completed phase 10. If that is the case you add up all the points from this hand and all previous hands and the player with the lowest number wins. If there is a tie here than those that tied play another hand at the phase 10 level and the first out wins.

    Am I close?

    • Hi Landis, I will edit the rules for clarity, thank you for pointing out this issue. What is meant is, if multiple people complete phase 10 within the same round then points come into play. If a player is the only one to complete phase 10 when the round ends (aka when someone emptied their hand), then they are the sole winner, and points are not used. If multiple people have finished phase 10 then points are compared, and the player with the lowest score wins. I hope this helps!

  2. How do the discard rules work? I’m a bit confused about that. If I’ve completed a phase and have three cards left in my hand do I need to hit on phases to go out? Or can I just discard all my cards at once? Or is it that I have to discard one at a time and not pick up any other cards?

    • Hi Rhahkeem, So in phase 10, you end your turn by discarding a card. After you have gone out, you may start playing cards onto other players and your own melds but you will only ever discard one card a turn.

      • I’m sorry but I believe this to be incorrect.

        Though it is true that one must play/lay down their own hand before they may attempt to play/hit on others. Waiting to do so is untrue, it’s encouraged to do it immediately.
        (But if your house rules are that you have to wait… to each their own)

        Even the official site states:
        What is Hitting?

        Hitting is the only way to get rid of 2 or more cards in hand during a player’s turn (immediately after laying down their Phase)

        • Hi Layla, Thank you so much for the information. You are absolutely correct, and I have updated the comment to show the correct information. Thank you again.

  3. Please clarify for me – I read one can put down more than the basic requirement, can one also hit on others at the same time as one meets the basic requirement. or does one have to wait for their next turn before “hitting”?

    • Hi Hilary, players may play or hit on their turn, but not both. To play on another player’s melds you must wait for your next turn.

    • Hi Junior, unfortunately, Phase 10 is only designed for 2 to 6 players. If you have a group of 7 may I suggest 2 playgroups of 3 and 4 or a player who could switch out between games?

  4. My question when playing I have laid down my phase on board. The person that discards to me discards a card that will will play on my phase but he has not laid down a phase yet can I pick up his discard and play on my phase or not?

    Also when playing and several players have laid down their phases when it is my turn can I play more than one card on other phases or should I just be able to only onle card on a phases and a discard?

    • Hi Charles, So a player cannot play a card to a phase until they have played one out themselves. You can not take a card from the discard pile unless it is the start of your turn, during your draw phase. Once you have played your phase out, you may now play onto other players’, as well as your own phases, and may play as many cards in a turn as you wish. Just make sure to keep a card to discard. I hope this helps.

  5. Hi, when playing phase 10, if I finoshed phase 1 and my opponent didn’t finish his. What happens to his cards? Should I score points against him for all the 10 cards in his hands, and then in the next hand he takes 10 new cards like me and try to complet phase 1 again while I try to complete phase 2?

    • Hi Engy, yes once a player completes a phase and goes out the round is over. The cards are reshuffled and redealt by a new dealer and the player who completes a phase moves on to the next while the other player who did not, tries again to complete the last phase.

      • So does this mean that the player who failed to complete phase 1 will have a score according to all of the 10 cards he has, and then takes new 10 cards like all other players?
        And then he tries to complete phase 1 again, while tge other player complete phase 2, and whoever ends the game will win this turn?
        Am I correct?

        • The player who did not complete the phase will score for the cards remaining in his hands as will everyone who did not go out. Only the player to go out and end the round will score no points for that round.

  6. If I am on phase 1 and lay down my 2 sets of 3, can I continue to lay down cards adding to my pile like 2 sets of 4 and also add to other piles all in the same hand, possibly going out all at once? One group I play with allows you to add cards to your hand and others as mentioned earlier. Another group I play with allows you to only put down your phase, 2 sets of 3, and play cards on others but not on your own. In this case I would only be able to put down the 2 sets of 3 for me and lay other cards down on other people.

    • Hi Roy, after a little further research, and help from another commenter, I have found I was incorrect. You may finish a phase and hit within the same turn. My apologies for the misinformation. I hope this helps, and happy gaming.

      Comment edited for clarity.

  7. if a player has. Reached 10th phase some other players goes out player who reached 10th phase has one card in his hand is he the winner no one else reached 10 phase does there have to be another round

    • Hi Barb, if a player completes phase 10 and is the only player to do so at the end of a round then they are the winner. If multiple people complete the 10th phase before the end of the round then points are compared to determine one the winner. I hope this helps.

  8. Once I have laid down the phase (but have not gone out) on the next turn can I still pick up from the discard pile or am I restricted to the draw pile?

  9. If the stock pile is used up before someone goes out, do you shuffle the discard pile and keep playing, or does everyoe lose that phase?

  10. I have a semantic question.
    A set is defined as SETS: A set is made of two or more cards with the same number.
    So for phase 1 – “2 sets of 3”
    Could I place 2 ‘sets’ of 3? i.e. 3 4’s and 2 3’s or just 4 3’s separated into 2 sets?

    • Hi Eli, sorry for the confusion and I will update the rules to clarify as well. When it says 2 sets of 3 it really means 2 sets of 3 cards each. So this would mean you would need two sets, aka 3 cards for the same rank, and you need to have two of these in order to complete the phase. So for example, a legal completion would be three 4s and three 5s. I hope this helps.

  11. Thanks for your reply. I understand why people would interpret the rules the way you explained, even if the phases on the official rules could be reworded for more clarity.
    To clarify, since a set is two or more cards you’re saying that the only phase you can complete with that definition is just phase 9?

    • Hi Eli, For phase 9 you would need 1 set (or group of cards with the same rank) with 5 total cards in it, and 1 set that has 2 cards in it. For example, a successful completion of phase 9 could have 1 set of 5 cards that all have the number, 7, on them, and then a separate set of two cards both with the number 6 on them. I hope this helps.

  12. Hi, Just started playing Phase 10 with some friends and see that it is similar to a number of other types of rummy and a little of Uno also.
    One question has come up regarding a discard if you have not laid down your phase yet, but another player has. Are you able to discard a card that falls into another player’s phase, such as the player has down three 3s and three 4s and you cannot lay down your phases yet, can you discard a 3 or a 4 although it could be used to hit another player, or must you hold onto it as in various other rummy type games until you can lay down a meld?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Antoinette, a player may discard any card they wish to. the next player may choose to pick it up to lay off on the other person’s meld though. I hope this helps.

  13. My Question is, if you have completed the phase and have the ability to lay down the rest of your hand in the form of a additional set or run, can you do this.

    • Hi Michael, No when hitting, you can only lay down cards onto already formed melds, either your own or another player’s.

  14. If I complete a phase but someone else won the round do I have to complete the same phase next game or do I move on to the next phase?

    • Hi Chelsea, if you complete the phase before the round ends then next round you will move on to the next phase.

  15. On phase 1, can I hit on someone’s run to increase number like a set being 222, can I add a 3, 4, 5 to it?
    OR can I add the same number to it like a set of 3 being 222 can I add another 2?

    • Hi Chelsea, You cannot add to a set with cards of other ranks so the first example would not work. The second example is fine, however, as you may add additional cards of the same rank to a set.

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