Summary Phase 10 is a specialist card game based on a form of rummy -- it's the second best selling card game in the world.
Description Type: Card Game
Age: 8+ (could be difficult for younger players)
Game Time: Varies
Developer or Designer: Kenneth Johnson
Challenging card game that requires a bit of thought
Variation between phases
Can be played by groups big and small
The game can sometimes be time consuming
Losing a phase can be incredibly frustrating
Requires specific cards
My nan introduced me to Phase 10 when I was a kid. I won my first game; a case of beginners luck. Since then I've battled my way through countless rounds of Phase 10.
Phase 10 is a bit like golf--the player with the lowest score wins. There are 10 'phases' through the game and you need to complete them all to win. There are a few rules:
The phases must be completed in order
You can only complete one phase per round
To move onto the next phase you must complete the one before
These rules can get incredibly frustrating, especially if you get stuck on one phase for a few rounds--at the same time it's all part of the fun. Two sets of three is a pretty easy phase to complete, but you can guarantee you'll have to play at least one phase more than once.
You start with 10 cards in your hand. Each turn you need to pick up a card, and discard one. The game combines strategy with luck. You need to plan your moves well: work out which cards you're going to start collecting, keep a watch on which cards other players are picking up from the discard pile, and make sure you don't get caught out with a large amount of high scoring cards in your hand. At the same time luck is very important, especially when you're lucky enough to be dealt a full run of 10 first go.
Phase 10 features cards 1-12 as well as skip and wild cards. Unfortunately this makes it difficult to replicate the game with regular cards. Skip cards give you the power to hamper other players who might be ahead of you, but they can also be the fuel for plenty of arguments. Some of my favourite games of Phase 10 have been filled with plenty of angry words. It's one of those games where nothing ever goes completely to plan.
The rules are fairly easy to understand, but the game can be difficult for younger players. It's a great addition to add to your family game cupboard, especially if you're after a card game that involves a little more thinking than Uno.
Have you played Phase 10? Do you love it or loathe it?