Phase 10 Rules


To be the first player to complete all 10 Phases. In case of a tie, the player with the lowest score is the winner. 


one deck of 108 cards; 24 each of red, blue, yellow and green cards numbered "1" through "12," four "Skip" cards, and eight "Wild" cards. 


Choose one player to be dealer. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals 10 cards, face down, one at a time, to each player. Players hold their 10 cards in hand, so that the other players cannot see them. Place the remaining deck face down in the center of the play area to become the draw pile. Turn the top card of the draw pile over and place it next to the draw pile, to become the discard pile. 


The player to the left of the dealer plays first. Play continues in a clockwise direction. On your turn, draw one card, either the top card from the draw pile or the top card from the discard pile, and add it to your hand. End your turn by discarding any one of your cards onto the top of the discard pile. During the play of the firsthand, each player tries to complete Phase 1. A Phase is a combination of cards. Phases are made of sets, runs, cards of all one color, or a combination of sets and runs.

These are the ten Phases:

1. 2 sets of 3
2. 1 set of 3 & 1 run of 4
3. 1 set of 4 & 1 run of 4
4. 1 set of 4 & 1 run of 4
5. 1 run of 7
6. 1 run of 8
7. 1 run of 9
8. 7 cards of 1 color
9. 1 set of 5 & 1 set of 2
10. 1 set of 5 & 1 set of 3

Each player can make only one Phase during each hand. 



A set is made of two or more cards with the same number. EXAMPLE: Phase 1 is two sets of three, which could be three "7s" and three "10s. • The two sets could also be the same number, e.g., three "10s" and three more "10s." The cards may be in any combination of colors. 


A run is made of four or more cards numbered in order. EXAMPLE: Part of Phase 2 requires a run of four, which could be "3, • "4, • "5," "6. • The cards may be in any combination of colors. 


The cards are all the same color. EXAMPLE: Phase 8 requires seven cards of one color, which could be seven red cards or seven green cards, etc. The cards do not need to be in numerical order. 


A 'Wild" card may be used in place of a number card, or may be used as any color, in order to complete a Phase. EXAMPLES: A player wants to make a run of four, but only has cards "3, • "4," and "6." The player uses a "Wild" card as a "5" to complete the run. Or, a player has 6 green cards, and uses a "Wild" card as a green card, to complete Phase 8. 

• More than one 'Wild" card may be used in completing a Phase. Players can use as many 'Wild" cards as they want as long as they use one (1) natural card.
• Once a "Wild" card has been played in a Phase, it cannot be replaced by the intended card and used elsewhere, but must remain as that card until the hand is over.
• If the dealer starts the discard pile with a "Wild" card, the card may be picked up by the first player.


Skip cards have only one purpose: to cause another player to lose a turn. To use, simply discard the "Skip" card on your turn, then choose the player who will lose a tum. 

• When you draw a "Skip" card, you may discard it immediately or save it for a later tum.
• A "Skip" card may never be used in making a Phase.

• A "Skip" card may never be picked up from the discard pile.
• Only one "Skip" card against each player per "round" may be used.
• When someone is skipped, a "round" is once around the table.
• If the dealer starts the discard pile with a "Skip" card, the first player's first tum is automatically skipped.


If, during your tum, you are able to make a Phase with the cards in your hand, lay the Phase down, face-up on the table before discarding. For example, you are trying to make Phase 1. You have 3 "5s" and 2 "7s" and you draw another "7." You now have 2 sets of 3, and you may lay them down. In the next hand, you will be working on Phase 2. 

• You must have the whole Phase in hand before laying it down.
• You may lay down more than the minimum requirements of a Phase, but only if the additional cards can be directly added to the cards already in the Phase.


You lay down 3 "5s"and 3 7s"to make Phase 1. You have two more •5s• in hand and can immediately lay them down with the 3 "5s, • all in the same tum. Another player making Phase 1 lays down 3 "6s" and 3 "8s. •
The player also has 3 "1 Os" in hand, but cannot lay them down because Phase 1 requires exactly 2 sets. Thus, the player can only add more "6s" and "Bs" to the Phase made of "6s" and "Bs. •

Only one Phase can be made per hand.

• If you successfully make a Phase, then you try to make the next Phase in the next hand. If you fail to make a Phase, you must try to make the same Phase again in the next hand. As a result, players may not all be working on the same Phase in the same hand.
• Phases must be made IN ORDER, from 1 to 10. For example, a player trying to make Phase 4 (1 run of 7) lays down a run of 9 cards. This qualifies as 1 run of 7 for Phase 4, but cannot be used as credit for either Phase 5 (1 run of 6) or Phase 6 (1 run of 9).
• You receive credit for making a Phase as soon as you lay it down. You do not need to win the hand in order to receive credit for the Phase. Several players will often complete a Phase In the same hand.


Hitting Is the way to get rid of leftover cards after making a Phase. You make a hit by putting a card directly on a Phase already laid down. The card must properly fit with the cards already down. EXAMPLES: You may add one or more "4s" to a player's existing set of "4s. • You may add a •2• to a player's existing run of "3", •4•, ·s·, "6". You may also add a 7" and an ·a· to this run, if you have them. You may add one or more green cards to a player's seven green cards in Phase 8. You may also add a "Wild" card of any color to any of these card situations. 

Before you can make a hit, your own Phase must already be laid down. You may hit only during your turn. You may hit your own cards, another player's cards, or both. 


After laying down a Phase, players try to "go out'' as soon as possible. To go out, you must get rid of all of your cards, by discarding or hitting on an existing Phase. The player to go out first wins the hand. The winner of the hand, and any other players who also complete their Phase, will advance to the next Phase for the next hand. Players total the cards left in their hands. (The fewer cards left in your hand, the better!) All the cards are then shuffled and a new hand begins. (Remember, if you did not complete the Phase before another player went out, you must work on the same Phase again in the next hand.)


You will need paper and pencil to keep a running total for each player. The winner of the hand scores zero. All remaining players score points against them, for cards still in their hands, as follow:

• 5 points for each card numbered 1-9
• 10 points for each card numbered 10-12
• 15 points for each "Skip" card
• 25 points for each 'Wild" card

Only the cards in a player's hand are scored, not cards already laid down. After the scores are recorded, the player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer. All cards are gathered and shuffled, and a new hand is dealt.
THE WINNER: The first player to complete Phase 10 at the end of a hand is the winner. If two or more players complete Phase 10 in the same hand, then the player with the fewest total points is the winner. In the event of a tie, the players that tied replay Phase number 10. The first one to go out is the winner.


1. The players play 1 O hands. All players advance to the next Phase each time, whether they complete the current Phase or not. Thus, in hand one players try for Phase 1, then in hand two they all try for Phase 2, etc. After ten hands, the player with the lowest total score is the winner.
2. Players decide how many Phases must be completed in order to win (e.g., 5 Phases or 7 Phases). The number of Phases to be completed must be decided before play starts. All other rules remain the same. This variation allows for a shorter version.
3. Players decide to play only the even Phases (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) instead of all the Phases. All other rules remain the same.


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© Kenneth R. Johnson 1982. All rights reserved.
Phase 10 is a registered trademark of Kenneth R. Johnson.