Phase 10 Rules
– how to play phase 10?
On this page, you will find the ultimate guide to the Phase 10 rules, including some great guides, tips, and tricks.
If you are a fan of games like Uno or Skip-Bo, you have to try out Phase 10. Although it is similar, it is a great way to mix things up, and the best part is that it can be played by anyone from 7 and up.
Besides learning how to play phase 10, you will find a ton of useful information like how you can tweak the game, strategies, scoring, the Phase 10 rules with regular cards, why it is crucial to shuffle the deck well, the Phase 10 dice game rules, and much, much more.
Keep on reading to learn the Phase 10 rules and get an edge over your opponents!
Phase 10 rules, guides, and tricks
With a simple Phase 10 card game and a table with sitting space for at least 2 people, you are ready to start a game of Phase 10. This is a card game suitable for players that are 7 years and up. Just like Uno and Phase 10, it is one of the best family games and will keep you busy for a good hour or more.
Don’t forget that we have a great guide to the Uno rules and a guide to the Skip-bo rules as well!
How to start playing Phase 10
The objective of a Phase 10 game is to finish the 10 phases first. The way to do this is by creating certain combinations of cards and placing them on the table. We will soon look at the Phase 10 rules to guide you step by step through a Phase 10 game.
But let’s begin with the things that you need to play:
- Phase 10 game with 108 cards
- At least 2 players
- Table to play on
- Note pad or Phase 10 score sheet (Download it for free here at the site).
The objective of the game
The objective of the game is to be the first player to complete the 10 phases. They are as follows, according to the official Phase 10 rules:
- Phase 1 – 2 sets of 3
- Phase 2 – 1 set of 3 and 1 run of 4
- Phase 3 – 1 set of 4 and 1 run 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 color
- Phase 9 – 1 set of 5 and 1 set of 2
- Phase 10 – 1 set of 5 and 1 set of 3
As you can see, you will have to complete certain combinations according to number and color in order to complete a phase.
The special Phase 10 cards
There are two special cards in Phase 10:
- The Wild Card – This card can be used as any number or color.
- The Skip Card – With this card, you can choose a player that will lose his next turn.
OK, now we are ready to go through the gameplay and learn how to play a Phase 10 card game!
Step 1 – Deal
Each player should start with 10 cards. The dealer will deal the cards one by one facing down so that no one will know what cards are on hand. The remaining deck should be placed in the middle, and the top card is flipped up. This is the start of the discard pile.
Step 2 – The Play
The game starts with the first phase. Here the players will try to get 2 sets of 3 cards with the same rank. Usually, the player that sits to the left of the dealer gets to play first. If you are playing with 2 players, it is the non-dealer that starts.
- The first player draws the top card on the draw pile or the top card from the discard pile.
- Each player’s turn ends in a discard.
- As soon as a player has completed a phase, he will lay down the combination in the middle.
- After placing the combinations on the table, the player puts his discard card on the discard pile. The game continues until one player has played all the cards in his hand.
- Once a player has completed the phase, he can use leftover cards and build on the combinations on the table. This is called hitting.
- The players continue to play by hitting cards into the middle of the combinations on the table.
Step 3 – Phase 10 scoring
When you have finished one round of the Phase 10 game, you will get the Phase 10 score by counting the cards still on your hands. Remember, the round ends when one player has hit all his cards on the table.
You fill in the score on the Phase 10 score sheet, and the cards have the following values:
- Cards 1-9 – 5 points each
- Cards 10-12 – 10 points each
- Skip Card – 15 points
- Wild card – 25 points
If we have a game with 2 players and player 1 has a 10 left, he now has 10 points on the Phase 10 scoresheet. The winner of the phase is the player that completed it first.
By the way, you can download our free, printable Phase 10 score sheet here: Phase 10 score sheet, which includes the Phase 10 scoring rules, all the phases, and an example making it easier to understand how to use the score sheet.
Who wins the Phase 10 game?
The player to finish the 10 phases first wins the game. If two players finish the 10th phase in the same round, the lowest score wins.
4 crucial points to remember
- When a round is completed, only the player who completed the phase can move on to the next phase. The player or players that did not complete a phase will have to continue working on this one in the following round.
- A Wild Card that has been placed on the table cannot be moved!
- A player with a Skip Card can choose which player has to skip one turn.
- Should the game dealer turn up a Skip Card as the first card of the discard pile, the player sitting to the dealer’s left will be skipped for one turn.
- You have to complete one phase in order to start putting hit cards in the middle.
Make sure to give the Phase 10 instructions to everyone joining the game. The Phase 10 rules must be clear from the start!
Playing Phase 10 online
If you don’t have at least one friend who would like to join you by your kitchen table for a round of Phase 10, you can play Phase 10 online. The online Phase 10 games are easy to find, and they are usually free. You might have to sign up as a member of a board game site to get access to the games, but you should not have to pay for it.
When you choose to play Phase 10 online, you will be playing alone against software. That means that you don’t have to deal and that the software will pick your opponent’s moves. Make sure that you are aware of the rules for Phase 10 online.
There are slight variations, and you might find some Phase 10 twist you didn’t know about previously. Click the information button and check out things like:
- Phase 10 skip rules
- Rules for scores
- Rules for who starts the game
If you can see a short game presentation as a video, it can be a great help. This is many times possible with the online Phase 10 games.
You can play Phase 10 online free with no download. But you might also find a free Phase 10 online game that has to be downloaded. Make sure that it will work on PC, Linux, or iOS, depending on the system you are using.
Use a Phase 10 app
If you want to play Phase 10 on your smartphone, you don’t have to use the browser to find the game. In fact, you can download a Phase 10 app and play it at your leisure, wherever you are. Phase 10 apps are also available to use as Phase 10 scorekeepers when you are playing with friends at home.
If you decide to use a Phase 10 app, remember to check out the reviews. Especially if you pick a free Phase 10 game that might include ads. Make sure it will work smoothly so that you won’t be distracted by ads in the middle of a game.
The Phase 10 rules with regular cards
It is possible to play Phase 10 using regular cards. If you don’t have a Phase 10 game, you can use several traditional card decks. You will need at least 2 decks with jokers to use as Wild Cards for 2 players.
Basically, you are free to set the rules for Phase 10 with regular cards. Normally cards 1-9 will be worth 5 points, 10 to King 10 points, and jokers 25 points. You can choose to play without the Skip Card or simply create a Skip card using an extra card in the deck if there is one.
Remember that Phase 10 with regular cards will be a bit different since you don’t have the same color variations to pick from. It is essential to set the rules before starting and not assume that everyone gets just how you will adjust the rules for Phase 10 to fit the decks with regular cards.
Phase 10 dice game
Today, you can find Phase 10 dice games, so we should have a look at the rules for these as well.
Objective of game
Just like regular Phase 10, the dice version is about getting a series of colors and numbers. Here you will roll 10 dice to reach the goal. The idea is to be the first to finish off all the phases, just like in regular Phase 10 games.
What do you need to play?
To play a Phase 10 dice game, you need 10 dice, Phase 10 scoring sheets, and a good table to play on. If you opt for a Phase 10 app, you will only need a smartphone or tablet to play the game!
How to play
Each player gets to roll all the 10 dice each turn. Try to complete the objective of the phase with the 10 dice. There are dice with lower numbers and Wild symbols as well as dice with higher numbers.
- Roll the dice once and keep what you want to keep.
- Roll the dice two more times, doing the same.
Each die’s value is the point you will get with it. The Wild is equal to zero points.
Who wins the game?
The one with the most points at the end of the game. Because of this, you need to pick your numbers carefully. You want to build series and matching numbers and colors with high numbers to increase your chances of winning.
When you get to phase 5, and you have at least 220 points, you will get another 40 points as a bonus. So, it is essential to aim for high scores with the dice from the start.
This is the opposite of the standard Phase 10 game, where you want to keep the point score at a minimum.
Variants of Phase 10 games
The structure of Phase 10 is such that there are many possibilities for variations. You will find everything from Phase 10 with more Phases to Phase 10 drinking games. In fact, if you can think of a Phase 10 twist, you can pull it off!
Phase 10 games with extra phases
You can build on it with groups of phases. For example, you can make it a 3 x 10 Phase 10 game. You simply add two more groups of 10 and continue playing after completing the first and second rounds of 10.
This type of Phase 10 game will take a long time to finish. It is a good choice when you have many hours to kill, and all players find it stimulating enough to play Phase 10 for many hours. Alternatively, you can leave the game table and come back after breaks. This way, this type of game can go on for many days.
Mixing in more cards
Another possibility is to mix in other cards in the game. Some like to bring in certain Uno cards. This way, you could actually play Phase 10 with Uno cards. You make the rules for the extra cards added. They could be positive, like getting another turn, or negative, like giving you more points on your Phase 10 scorecard.
For example, use the Uno Skip Card to give an extra turn or not get a die into the picture. Perhaps by adding that, you need to roll the dice when a particular card comes up. The possibilities are endless…
The advantages of Phase 10 games
Why should you play Phase 10 when you could pick another less engaging game on your computer or smartphone? There are many reasons for making sure that you always have a deck of Phase 10 at home.
Some advantages of this game are:
- Phase 10 is easy enough to understand but demands some logic and structural thinking. This is very good gymnastics for your brain.
- You will always have an excellent activity for a group of people looking for something nice to do together.
- Phase 10 cards are easy to handle. Bring the game along on your trip for some beneficial activity when in transit.
- You do not need a screen if you have the board game, which makes it possible to play even if you have no access to the Internet or a computer or phone.
- Rules of Phase 10 are easy to understand, and therefore, it doesn’t take a lot of time to get going with the game.
- You can play Phase 10 with minor changes to make it perfect for the people who are playing.
- Thanks to the Phase 10 online versions and the Phase 10 apps, it is also possible to play the game when no one near you wants to play it with you!
Where can you find the rules for Phase 10?
What do you do if you suddenly realize that you can’t remember the rules for Phase 10 and now you are about to launch a new game? You can always read this Phase 10 guide and go through the official rules at the top of this page.
But there are also a few awesome videos online that will take you through the gameplay fast. Use a Phase 10 rules video to make sure that everyone understands how you are playing. This is especially useful when you have younger children around the table. But everyone can reap the advantage of just watching a video of Phase 10 to remember the rules.
When you are playing Phase 10 online, you should find the rules of the game with a button for more information. When you buy different Phase 10 sets as board games with cards or dice, you will find a booklet with the rules.
If you are looking to play Phase 10 with phases 11-20 and onward, you might need to check a forum online where people share unique Phase 10 twists and more. For regular Phase 10 with phases 1 to 10, it is easy enough to find the rules in the booklet or through an online video.
Phase 10 strategy
If you want to win the game, you will need some Phase 10 strategy. There are a few things you can do to get the upper hand in the game.
Remember the following:
- Skip Cards are important. They are not some funny and childish ingredient. When you get a Skip Card, you should hold on to it. Later on, it will come in handy when you need to get an extra turn or fewer turns ahead of yours. The Skip card could very well be your ticket out of the game.
- Don’t collect the high cards. Remember that you don’t want to collect high cards to bring you down with their high points at the end of the game. If you can get rid of a 12 or a 2, it is 12 that goes!
- Bluff, just like you do in poker. You need to play Phase 10 with a poker face. If you have a solid hand with many possibilities, you don’t want to show this with your body language. Stay calm, and don’t make faces!
- Keep an eye on your opponents. Learn to see what is happening with your opponent’s cards by what he discards. You might gain clues that could help you exit the game before he does.
- Play a lot! This is a crucial Phase 10 strategy. The more you play, the better you get at seeing what you should do when. In fact, you might want to use a Phase 10 app or play Phase 10 games online just to practice and get better at strategy for the game.
Plan well for your Phase 10 game!
Usually, a regular Phase 10 game should be over within the hour or after 90 minutes. This depends a bit on how fast you play the game and who is in it. It is important to play well for a session.
One hour might not sound like all that much, but make sure you don’t have urgent errands to take care of before you start playing. If you play with children, it is also essential to plan well timewise. Otherwise, you might end up disappointing the other players by cutting the game short.
Remember that it is quite possible to take breaks and come back to play on later. You have your Phase 10 scorecard, and it is possible to have the cards on hand for later play. That is precisely why this game is such an excellent fit for vacations and slow summer days at home.
Different ways to keep score in Phase 10
You can always make your own score sheet if you don’t have the original scorepad for Phase 10. Print it from the Internet or take a regular piece of paper to draw up a table. You will need one column with the different phases.
Consider if you will play a regular game or perhaps Phase 10 with phases 11 to 20 and more. Make sure there is room enough on the scorepad. Then you give each player his own column where you can note the score for each phase.
If you don’t have a pen and paper, you can mark the points using pebbles or other small items. In fact, if you play outdoors, you could even mark out the score sheet in the sand or by using sticks and straw.
There are also intelligent apps that will help you keep track of the score in Phase 10. These can equally be used when you are without the original score sheets or don’t have access to pen and paper. For games in a car, train, or airplane, this might be the best method.
Where can you buy Phase 10 games?
If you are looking for an original Phase 10 game or Phase 10 dice, you should be able to find it in a regular toy store. Today, it is easy to order this game online. You will find the game in all the big online stores selling toys and games.
You can also check online forums where it is possible to buy used Phase 10 games. Just be aware that they are rarely new and that the card games get quite worn quickly. Since this is not an expensive game, it might be wiser to buy it new.
Sometimes, you can get excellent deals on packages with Phase 10 and Uno. Considering that these games are a great match and that you can involve Uno cards in the Phase 10 game, this could be a good idea. This could also give you a better Phase 10 price.
You can also choose to play Phase 10 online for free. There are also free Phase 10 apps that you can download to your phone.
Phase 10 price and availability
You can find Phase 10 games from around $5 to $10. The price depends on things like edition and condition. New conditions cost more than used games. You should also consider if shipping is included when you buy the game from more prominent international platforms like eBay.
Play with or without Skip
Something that might be relevant is whether you should play with or without the Skip Card. This card can make the game more exciting since you can stop others from having a turn with it. But it is pretty common to feel that the Skip Card is superfluous.
The game takes a lot of time as it is. You might not feel the need to make people skip their turns. A good habit is to check with the other players if they want to play Phase 10 with or without Skip. Many might opt for without Skip right away!
Don’t forget to shuffle well!
Before you start dealing with the Phase 10 cards, you need to shuffle. This is important because you don’t want the sets to be too easy to put together. This is also relevant between the rounds. Shuffle really well to ensure that the game won’t be over in a few minutes.
10 questions and answers about Phase 10
1. Can I play Phase 10 online with friends?
Yes, it might be possible. It depends on the version that you choose. But understand that playing Phase 10 online with friends that are not physically present where you are is not the same as the original board game experience. This is a very social game, and many would agree it is best to play when you sit around the same table with your friends to share the tension, laughs, and more.
2. Can you play Phase 10 games for money?
OOf course, you can play Phase 10 for money! But Phase 10 official rules are without odds and bets. This is a board game and not a casino game. But if you want to include a prize to the winner, that is possible. It can be a bar of chocolate as well as a small sum of money. It all depends on who is playing and what would make for the best type of prize.
Consider runner-up prizes if you are playing with children. And perhaps also some prizes for the losers…
3. How many cards are in a Phase 10 deck?
How many cards do you get in the Phase 10 card game? The original game is played with 108 cards. 24 red, 24 yellow, 24 green, 24 blue, 4 Skip Cards, and 8 Wild Cards. Check that you have all the cards before you start playing!
4. What are the phases in Phase 10?
In the original game, you have Phase 10 phases from 1 to 10. You can check above the exact phases that demand to create sets of different kinds. The idea is to complete each phase as fast as possible to make it to the tenth phase and finish it first.
5. How many cards does each player get in Phase 10?
Each player will get 10 cards each, to begin with. After that, you have to pick up a new card and discard one for each turn. If you don’t manage to create any sets with the cards on your hand, you could end up with many cards and thereby get a very high score which in the end means that you might lose.
6. Can you play Phase 10 with Uno cards?
No Uno cards are different. It won’t work to play Phase 10 with Uno cards. What you can do, is to involve Uno cards as a spice to the original Phase 10 game. You can read more about this above.
7. Can you play Phase 10 with dice?
Yes, this is possible. But you might want to buy a ready-to-go Phase 10 dice game where the dice is marked in numbers and colors. If you use regular dice, you will only have one color and no Wild or Skip dice.
8. From what age can you play Phase 10?
7 is the recommended age for the regular board game, but this is just a recommendation. Phase 10 with dice might be more suitable from the age of 9. But some children understand the game at a younger age, so you can always try. As long as they are not below the age of 3 when the dice will pose a choking hazard, there should be no danger in giving it a go.
9. Is Phase 10 a skill game?
ou can call Phase 10 a skill game since you need to make the right decisions to advance as fast as possible with your card. But it also has an element of luck in that you can’t control what cards you get. Not the first 10 cards and not the cards you take from the remaining deck.
Having said this, you can obviously consider things like what cards you try to discard first and when to use Wilds and Skips. This demands skill and experience.
10. Are Phase 10 dice games as good as the original?
That depends on who you ask. Many enjoy the spin-off dice type of Phase 10. It is pretty different from the original card game but builds on the same principles. If you haven’t played the original, you might want to start with it before trying Phase 10 with dice.
Phase 10 – 6 fun facts
There are many fun facts about Phase 10 that you should know about if you love this game. It is a relatively new game but has managed to become a classic much like Uno and similar card games. Let’s have a look at 6 fun facts about the game.
1. Phase 10 was invented in 1982
It is said that Kenneth Johnson created the new card game, which was to be called Phase 10, in the year 1982. He simply made a variation of the Rummy game he used to play as a child with his brothers.
When Johnson lost his job in the automotive industry, he started working on his new game and the Phase 10 rules. He made it a commercial product, and the rest is history. Today, people from all over the world want to play Phase 10!
2. The first store to sell the game
It was K-mart that started selling Mr. Johnson’s new card game. The first copies of the game were sold in their stores and the game caught on fast.
3. Different owners
Mr. Johnson sold the rights to Phase 10 to Fundex in 1987. They held the rights till 2010, when Mattel bought the game. They added it to their collection of board and card games. This brought the game to much larger audiences and to many different countries.
4. One of the biggest card games
It is said that Phase 10 comes in as number 2 after Uno as the best-selling card game in the USA. Perhaps even in the whole world. This is definitely one of the most popular games played by kids and adults alike.
5. Available through many different platforms
You can play Phase 10 as a regular card game, online, and on Blackberry, Android, and iOS phones. The game is available for free in-app stores for the different mobile systems.
6. Phase 10 against the World
If you would like to challenge players from all over the world in Phase 10, you can try out the app Phase 10: World Tour. This is an app that brings together Phase 10 enthusiasts from all over the Globe. The game is available in many different languages like Japanese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, German, Italian, Spanish, and French.
Phase 10 game reviews from players
What do people think about the Phase 10 game? There are millions of players enjoying Phase 10 worldwide, so there are plenty of authentic Phase 10 reviews out there. Not everyone loves Phase 10, but most people find it perfect as a family game.
Players from all over the world seem to agree on the following things:
The game is easy to understand
The Phase 10 rules for scoring and for the turns are not complicated. Most Phase 10 reviews call this an easy game to learn for all ages. You might need to play a few times to get the hang of it, but the learning period is also a lot of fun.
Shuffling works well
The shiny cards are not hard to shuffle by hand. You can use the standard shuffling techniques without worrying that the cards will break from it.
Fun with different objectives
Many comments that this game is unique in the sense that each phase has its own objective. This makes it interesting, and you can continue playing for a long time without getting bored.
Bringing generations together
Young and old can gather around this card game, and they do! In user reviews of Phase 10, we can see grandparents who bought the game to play with grandchildren and young adults who bought it for the camping trip.
Perfect for vacations
Whether you are going on a cruise or plan to hike in nature, Phase 10 is the perfect travel game. It takes minimal space and fits everyone.
Cards wear out
On the minus side, we should mention that the cards will wear out eventually. Players who use this game frequently and bring it along on trips all mention this. This does not mean that you can’t continue playing with the Phase 10 deck. But you might want to buy a new one when you see that the edges are starting to look a bit dodgy.
Don't Forget to check out our Uno articles!
If you enjoy this article and guide, you might be interested in other versions of Uno. If that is the case, make sure to check out some of our other articles. In our article section, you can find all our articles in one place. You can read more about the Uno attack rules and exciting Uno game with a shooter, or if you are a fan of pixels and Minecraft, the Uno Minecraft rules might be of interest.
But that is far from all our articles; we also have a bunch of other Uno versions like Uno Flip, Dos card game, Uno Stacko, and Uno Spin. But if that is not enough, make sure to check out the Super Mario Uno Rules, Uno Emoji rules, or Uno Dare rules.
You will also find a bunch of articles about different subjects related to the game, like the history of Uno, why the Uno skip card has taken on a life of its own, and about the ancestor game of Uno Crazy Eights. Last but not least don't forget to check out our articles about games similar to Uno, like Phase 10 and Skip-Bo as well. Still there is more so make sure to check out our other articles as well!