Phase 10 Card Game Rules
The object of Phase 10 is for the players to complete all 10 phases of the game. The game is challenging, and each phase increases in difficulty.
As you complete each phase, you can go to the next one, but if you get stuck on a phase, you must remain on it until you can solve it. The winner is the first one to solve all 10 phases, but if there is a tie, the player with the lowest score wins.
Dealing the Cards
A dealer is chosen amongst the players and then shuffles the deck. They distribute the cards to each player, one at a time face down. The players hold their cards in their hands so the others cannot see them.
The remaining cards are put face down in the middle of the table, called the draw pile. The dealer takes the first card from the draw pile and places it face-up next to it, which then becomes the discard pile.
Play begins when the player to the left of the dealer takes a card from either the discard or draw pile and puts it in their hand. They then place a card from their hand on top of the discard pile to end their turn.
What are the Phases?
Each player tries to complete phases, each of which is a combination of cards. The combinations are runs, sets, cards of all one color, or a combination of runs and sets. The 10 phases are:
- Two sets of three cards.
- One set of three and one run of four cards.
- One set of four and one run of four.
- One run of seven cards.
- One run of eight.
- One run of nine.
- Two sets of four cards.
- Seven cards of one color.
- One set of five and one set of two.
- One set of five and one set of three.
Players can only make one phase during their turn.
Definitions of Phase 10 Plays
Sets: A set is two or more cards of the same number. So, a set of three cards would be three fives or three sevens. If you needed two sets of three, they could be all the same card, such as three sevens and another set of three sevens. The sets can be a combination of colors.
Runs: If you need a run, then you need four or more cards in numbered order. For instance, a run would consist of a two, three, four, and five. They can be any combination of colors.
All of One Color: If you need cards of all one color, you can use red cards, green cards, or yellow, etc. The cards come in green, red, blue, and yellow. The cards do not need to be sequential.
There are both “Wild” and “Skip” cards in a deck for the Phase 10 card game. The wild card can be used in place of a numbered card or card color to complete a set. So, if you have a run of two, three, four, the wild card can complete the run by using it as a five. If you need a set of sevens and only have two, the wild card can become the third one.
More than one wild card can be used to complete a phase, but one of the cards in the phase needs to be natural. Players cannot replace wild cards with natural cards once they’ve been played. If the dealer turns over a wild card, the first player can pick it up and put it in their hand to complete a phase.
The only use for a skip card is to make a player lose a turn. If a skip card is in the discard pile, it cannot be picked up, but a player may draw a skip card from the draw pile and use it or put it in their hand. If they use it, then they name the player who will lose a turn.
Only one skip per player can be used per round. If the dealer turns over a skip card, the first player is skipped.
Scoring the Game
Each player should keep a running tally as each hand concludes. The winner of a hand will get zero points. The leftover cards scores are:
- Numerical cards one through nine equal five points.
- Cards 10 to 12 score 10 points each.
- Skip cards are 15 points.
- Wild cards are 25 points.
Only the cards left in a player’s hand are scored, not the ones they’ve already laid down.
The winner of the overall game is the first one who completes the tenth phase of the game. If more than one player has completed it, then the one with the lowest score wins. However, if there is a tie, then the 10th phase is replayed, and the winner of the hand is the winner of the game.