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How To Play Phase 10: Phase 10 Card Game Rules

Overview

Phase 10 is a card game for two to six players. It is another rummy-like game but the major difference is that players have to complete 10 different Phases, each with different requirements to win the game. The first player to complete all 10 Phases of the game wins. The game is played in rounds and a player is only allowed to complete one Phase per round. To learn more about how to play Phase 10, continue reading this post.

Objective

Be the first to complete Phase 10 to win the game

Phase 10 Card Game Rules

The following Phase 10 card game rules apply to a game of Phase 10.

. On each turn, a player can either pick the top card of the Draw pile or the Discard pile and must conclude the turn by discarding one card on the Discard pile.

. Players must complete all 10 Phases in numerical order. A player must complete one Phase before moving to the next one.

. A player can only complete one Phase per round. 

. If a player is unable to complete a Phase in one round, they must attempt to complete the same Phase in the next round.

. To complete a Phase that requires multiple card combinations, a player must play both combinations in the same turn by laying the card combinations face-up in front of them.

. Hitting allows a player to discard multiple cards immediately after completing a Phase.

. Players are not allowed to pick the Skip card on the Discard pile.

. If a Skip card turns up as the first card of the Discard pile, the first player must lose their turn.

. Any number of Wild cards can be played to complete a Phase provided at least one normal card is included in the combination(s). 

. Once a player completes a Phase and also manages to discard all the cards in their hand, a round of the game ends.

Number of Players Needed

2 to 6 players.

Equipment

  • 24 x Red cards (numbered 1 to 12, two cards for each number)
  • 24 x Blue cards (numbered 1 to 12, two cards for each number)
  • 24 X Green cards (numbered 1 to 12, two cards for each number)
  • 24 x Yellow cards (numbered 1 to 12, two cards for each number)
  • 4 x Blue “Skip” cards
  • 8 x “Wild” cards (two of each colour)
  • Pen and Paper for tracking scores

Setting Up

A player is chosen as a dealer. The dealer shuffles the card deck and deals 10 cards to each player. The remaining undealt cards are placed face-down on the playing surface to form the Draw pile. The top card of the Draw pile is flipped and placed face-up beside the Draw pile to start the Discard pile.

How to Play Phase 10

Before describing Phase 10 gameplay, it is important to discuss some important concepts in the game.

Run: A run consists of four or more cards in numerical order. The cards may be of different colours so far they follow one another in numerical order. A Blue 3, Yellow 4, Green 5, and a Red 6 constitute a run. Wildcards can be added to runs to complete a sequence.

Set: A set is made up of two or more cards with the same number. Colour also does not matter. A Blue 2, a Red 2, a Green 2 form a set. 

Flush: A group of cards of the same colour is called a Flush. Flushes are also called “All One Colour”. Wildcards can be included in Flushes. Cards forming a Flush are not required to be in numerical order.

Skip Card: A Skip card allows a player to force another player to lose their next turn. A player that plays a Skip card will choose any other player that they want and that player will lose their next turn. Note that a Skip card cannot be picked up from the Discard pile. It can only be picked from the Draw pile. If a Skip card turns up as the first card of the Discard pile, the first player must lose their turn.

Wild Card: A Wild card can replace any other card in the game. A player can use a Wild card to replace any card that they need to complete a Phase. Any number of Wild cards can be played provided at least one normal card is included in the Phase. 

Phase: A Phase is a combination of cards that fulfils the Phase requirement. Note that 10 Phases must be completed by a player for them to win the game. Each Phase requires different card combination(s) to complete it. A player that is unable to complete a Phase in a round, must wait until the next round to try again. A round of the game ends when one player forms a Phase and also gets rid of all the cards in their hand to “go out”. Players must complete the Phases in numerical order. This means that a player must complete one Phase before moving to the next Phase. The 10 Phases and their requirements are:

Phase Requirement

Phase 1 2 sets of 3

Phase 2 1 run of 4 & 1 set of 3

Phase 3 1 run of 4 & 1 set of 4

Phase 4 1 run of 7

Phase 5 1 run of 8

Phase 6 1 run of 9

Phase 7 2 sets of 4

Phase 8 7 cards of a colour

Phase 9 1 set of 2 and 1 set of 5

Phase 10 1 set of 3 and 1 set of 5

For Phases that require more than one combination of cards to complete, a player must have all the cards needed to form both combinations before laying them down. Both combinations must be played in the same turn. How to play Phase 10 is explained in detail below.

GamePlay

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The player to the left of the dealer opens play after which play passes to the left. On a turn, a player can take the top card of either the Draw pile or the Discard pile and add it to their hand. To conclude the turn, the player must discard one card on the Discard pile.

A Player must continue to pick and discard cards on each turn until they can complete a Phase. To complete a Phase, a player must lay the card combinations required to complete the Phase face-up in front of them when taking a turn. 

Immediately after completing a Phase, a player is allowed to make a move known as Hitting before their turn is over. Hitting allows a player to get rid of 2 or more cards from their hand. Hitting is simply discarding any suitable cards in your hand by adding them to your Phase or Phases completed by other players.

For example, if a player just completed Phase 5 which is a run of 8 by laying the following cards, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and the player has a few cards left in their hand, let’s say a Wild, a 3, and a 5. The player can add the Wild card to their Phase. If another player has completed Phase 7 that requires 2 Sets of 4 and that player had played four 5’s in one set, the player left with a 3 and a 5 card can add the 5 card to that set of four 5’s. This leaves the player with only a 3 card which they can discard on the Discard pile to conclude their turn and go out.

A round of the game is concluded once a player completes a Phase and also manages to discard all their cards. That player wins the round. Note that a player can only complete one Phase per round. After each round, the player that won the round, along with every other player that managed to complete a Phase during the round will move to the next Phase in the next round. Note that the players may not necessarily have completed the same Phase in that round, so each player must move to the Phase that follows the Phase they just completed.

Players who were unable to complete a Phase in a concluded round must try to complete the same Phase in the next round. They must keep doing this until they complete the Phase before moving to the next Phase.

Also, at the end of each round players are scored. The points don’t have much impact on the outcome of the game except in deciding ties. The player with the lowest points in the case of a tie wins. So players must try to keep their points low although this is not a priority. The players are scored as follows:

Cards numbered from 1 to 9 are worth 5 points each.

Cards numbered from 10 to 12 are worth 10 points each

Skip cards are worth 15 points each

Wild cards are worth 25 points each

The player that won the round receives a score of 0 points as the player has no cards left.

To begin a new round, the player to the left of the dealer in the last round becomes the new dealer.

Winning the Game

The first player to complete the last Phase which is Phase 10 during a round of the game wins. If two or more players complete Phase 10 in the same round, then there is a tie. The winner, in this case, will be the player with the lowest score. If the tied players cannot be separated based on score, then the tied players will be dealt new cards and a replay will take place. The players will attempt to complete the last Phase again. The first player to go out this time becomes the overall winner of the game.