How to Play Phase 10

By Joe Andrews

Phase 10 is a progressive multi-level card game which was invented by Kenneth Johnson in 1982. It is similar to another game called "Liverpool Rummy." Phase 10 is one of the modern card games adapted from traditional predecessors such as Uno and Wizard. It is a very easy game to learn and will provide many hours of entertainment and challenge for both children and adults. More than 30 million units (manufactured by Fundex Games, Inc.) have been sold during the past 25 years! Here is how to play Phase 10.


The object of the game is to be the first player to complete all 10 "Phases." In the standard packaged game there are printed cards which outline the various phases and a deck of 108 cards (24 each of red, blue, yellow and green) numbered 1 to 12, (4) blue "Skip" cards and (8) "Wild" cards (2 of each color).


One player is chosen as the "Dealer." After a shuffle and "cut" of the deck, 10 cards are dealt to each player. Cards are concealed by each participant. The remainder of the deck becomes the "stock" or draw "pile." The top card of the stock is turned and placed next to a separate "discard" pile. The person to the left of the dealer plays first. Each turn consists of drawing one card from the draw pile or one card from the discard pile (not both). This card is added to the player's hand and one card is discarded accordingly. Then the turn rotates to the next player, clockwise. * Note: some groups allow more than one card to be taken from the discard pile.


There is a progression to the game, which must be followed in order. The "levels" are as follows: (1) 2 "sets" of 3 of a kind, the same number or rank, such as 3 eights or 3 sevens (2) 1 set of 3 and 1 "run" of 4 consecutive numbered cards of any color (3) 1 set of 4 and 1 run of 4 (4) 1 run of 7 (5) 1 run of 8 (6) 1 run of 9 (7) 2 sets of 4 (8) 7 cards of the same color (9) 1 set of 5 and 1 set of 2 (10) 1 set of 5 and 1 set of 3


A "Wild" card may be used in place of a number or as any designated color. A Wild card can be part of a required Phase. More than one Wild card can be used in any given hand.


"Skip" cards are not Wild Cards and have no value as part of a run or set. They do serve one purpose--and that is to cause a person to lose his/her turn. A Skip card cannot be picked up from the discard pile. There are variations regarding other uses of the Skip card.


During your turn you may complete a Phase. If you are working on a run or set and you finish either one, you may lay these cards down on the table. Only completed runs and/or sets may be tabled.


You may discard any leftover cards in your hand on another player's tabled set or run. Before you can make a hit your own Phase must be on the table.


After a Phase is tabled, players try to "go out" ASAP! A player must deplete all of his cards by competing the designated Phase and "hitting" any other player's sets or runs. If anyone goes out, and you have not completed your Phase, you are required to complete that Phase before moving on to the next Phase.


The scorekeeper will need to tally point totals for each player. The winner of the hand (with a completed Phase) scores zero. All other players will have points assessed against them based on the value of the cards remaining in their hands.

THE WINNER, all 10 Phases, the game winner, a tie


The first player to complete all 10 Phases is the game winner. If there is a tie, then the total (negative) points from previous hands will break the tie. There are numerous variations, and any changing of the Rules must be by mutual consent.