10 Phases

Contributed by Aaron Barnhart

This game is inspired by Phase 10, a commercial version of Contract Rummy, but is played with normal playing cards.

For every 2 players you will need: 2 Standard 52 card deck +204 jokers
So for 4 players you need: 420Standard decks +208 jokers

To begin, deal each player 10 cards and flip one card face up. The object of the game is to complete each "phase". The 10 phases are:

  1. 1 Set of 3 + 1 Run of 3
  2. 1 Set of 3 + 1 Run of 4
  3. 2 Sets of 3
  4. Run of 6
  5. Run of 7
  6. Run of 8
  7. 8 Cards of one Color (Red or Black)
  8. 2 Four Card Flushes (Example is 4,5,6,9 Hearts & 2,6,10,J Spades)
  9. 5 Cards of 1 Suit + 3 of Another
  10. 5 Cards of 1 Suit + 4 of Another


  • A "set" is a collection of cards of the same rank; suits are irrelevant.
  • A "run" is a set of cards of consecutive ranks. Ace is always low, and in this game, runs can be of mixed suits.]

Everybody starts out on the first phase. On your turn you can either draw one card from the top of the deck or take the card on the top of the discard pile. Either way at the end of your turn you throw any card you would like to the discard pile, but keep in mind the next player may take it. Jokers count as wilds and can be any suit, color, or number. Once you have all the cards necessary to complete a phase (for instance on Phase 1 your hand might have 6,6,6 and 7,8,9), you may if it is your turn set them down. This is called going down. Once you are "down" you can play your remaining cards onto yours or other player's "down cards". Remember: The phases are the minimal requirements to go down. On 8 cards of one color you may have all 10 of one color.

Going Out: Once you go down you can at any time "go out" by getting rid of all the cards in your hand. This may be done with a discard or by playing all of your cards on other players. Everybody who went down that round moves on to the next phase, while anyone who did not go down stays on the same phase. All the cards remaining in player's hands are accumulated to their point totals (you do not want points). The scoring system is simple:

Cards between 1-9    5 Points
10,J,Q,K10 Points
Jokers25 Points

Ending the Game: The game is over when one player successfully goes down on the last phase, and they are declared the winner. BUT if two people both go down on the 10th phase, their score comes into play. The person with the lowest score wins. If it is a tie, all players involved in the tie play the tenth phase again, the person who goes out wins.

Determining Places: To determine who got 1st, 2nd, etc. you go by what phase they completed first, then by score. Here is an example:

Name     Last Phase Completed     Score     

In this example, the winner was Sarah. In second was Bob. Since Jack and Dillon tie in the last phase completed, Dillon finishes in 3rd due to his lower score.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I have 6 cards all the same number, can I use them as my 2 sets of three?
A: Yes.

Q: If someone goes out do the "down cards" count as any points?
A: No.

Q: Are Aces high or low?
A: They are low because in the Phase 10 card game an Ace is replaced with a one.

Q: So I can't have a run Queen, King, Ace?
A: That's basically what I just said.

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Last updated: 24th February 2004