How to Play Phase 10 Without Phase 10 Cards

By Lynne Vanders ; Updated April 12, 2017
A collection of cards in sequential order is a run in Phase 10.

Phase 10 is a version of contract rummy, in which players complete increasingly difficult phases, or contracts, consisting of combinations of runs and sets. The game is designed for two or more players, and can be played by the entire family for a family game night. Replace the Phase 10 retail card game set with two standard decks of cards to save money and space on your shelves while spending some quality family time together.

Write down ten phases for players to complete in order on four ruled index cards measuring 3 inches by 5 inches. Include a combination of sets and runs in each phase, such as one set of three and one run of four for the first phase. Set phase cards in places on the table where players can view them during game play.

Shuffle card decks together, including jokers. Deal ten cards facedown to each player. Place remaining cards facedown in a stack in the center of the table and turn over the top card to begin a discard pile beside it.

Begin play with the person to the left of the dealer and travel counterclockwise. Take one card from either the draw pile or the discard pile on your turn and place it in your hand.

Study your cards and determine if you can meet all requirements for the phase you are on currently. Complete the phase by laying down all necessary cards faceup in front of you. Review all faceup cards in front of other players and add your own cards by continuing a completed run or matching a set.

Use Kings as wild cards to replace any needed card in a run or set. An Ace can only be used as the number 1. Count jacks as the number 11 in a run. Queens replace the number 12.

Discard a card from your hand at the end of every turn, whether or not you complete a phase. Discard a joker to skip a player of your choosing on their next turn. Continue play with the person to your left.

End the round when one person is out of cards. Count the points for players still holding cards and note them on a piece of paper. Count five points each card from Ace to 9, 10 points for each card 10 through Queen, 15 points for each Joker, and 25 points for each King still in the hand.

Continue onto the next phase if you complete your phase before anyone goes out. Repeat the same phase if you do not complete it before someone lays down all of their cards.

Win the game by being the first person to complete the 10th phase. If two players complete the last phase in the same round the person with the fewest accumulated points wins.

Things Needed

  • 4 ruled index cards, 3-by-5 inches
  • 2 standard 52-card decks with jokers

Tip

A run is a group of consecutive numbers of any suit. A set is a group of cards of the same number, regardless of suit.

Jokers cannot be picked up from the discard pile. If the top card of the discard pile is a joker, you must take the top card of the draw pile.

Cards of the same suit count as cards of the same color when using standard cards for a game of Phase 10.

About the Author

Lynne Vanders has been writing professionally since 2010. Previously an insurance agent, she has guest written several blogs and been published in "Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine." Vanders holds a Bachelor of Science in English from Iowa State University.