OverviewPhase 10 has been around for a while and my family has had a set since some time in the early 90s. Being avid card players, this was not much of a stretch for any of us to learn. The game is based on Rummy and requires players to complete a specific objective (or “Phase”) during each round. A player opens by playing his Phase and can then add his remaining hand cards to it or to Phases already played by other players. The deck contains “wild” cards to help you complete your Phases, as well as “skip” cards, which you use to force an opponent to lose a turn. As with most Rummy games, round ends when a player gets rid of all of his cards. If you complete your Phase, you can move on to the next during the ensuing hand, otherwise you must retry to complete the same Phase again in the next round.The 10 Phases are as follows:Phase 1 - 2 sets of 3Phase 2 - 1 set of 3 + 1 run of 4Phase 3 - 1 set of 4 + 1 run of 4Phase 4 - 1 run of 7Phase 5 - 1 run of 8Phase 6 - 1 run of 9Phase 7 - 2 sets of 4Phase 8 - 7 cards of the same colorPhase 9 - 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 2Phase 10 - 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 3 How to win?The first player to complete the 10 Phases is the winner. In the event that one or several players complete the 10th Phase on the same turn, ties are broken by the player having the lowest total score being declared winner (scores are tabulated at the end of each round based on cards remaining in hand, with wilds scoring 25 pts, skip cards are 15 pts, 10-12 are 10 pts, and 1-9 is 5 pts). In our games though, ties where two or more players complete the 10th Phase on the same turn are actually pretty rare.Skip cards and the “screwing others” mechanicThat’s pretty much what skip cards are for. It’s essentially a mechanic to screw the leader out of a turn, thereby making it more difficult to complete his phase. Or, for especially vengeful types, which frankly our family seems to be at times, skip cards are good to screw another player that’s been especially irking you. It’s all fun and games until the skip card is played on you and you don’t feel you deserved it…Length of the gameThis game tends to be quite long. We’ve had sessions go on for well over 2 hours, which is way too long for what is a fairly low strategy, high luck game. This is especially problematic if you end up being stuck on a Phase for a while or if your luck is just bad that night. Number of playersWe tend to play this when we have 5 or 6 players and it works fine. I’m not certain if the game would be a little quicker with less players, but it would be easy to assume so. You could play this with two standard card decksIf you wish to try before buying, you could easily play this with 2 full decks of cards and the 2 jokers that come with each. Kings would be “wild”, Jokers would be “skips”, and Aces are “1” (i.e. can only be played at the bottom of a run). In other words, there isn’t really anything special that you get by buying this game. The advantage of owning a proper set would be that the colored suits are potentially easier to tell apart for players that don’t regularly play standard cards and the “wilds” and “skips” stand out a little more. The newer deluxe set might be better to buy if you’re into this sort of game, since it also gives you “Phase Cards” to facilitate playing the variant where you can select at the beginning of each round which of your currently uncompleted Phases you wish to attempt finishing. But then again, you could track that on the same piece of paper you are using to tally the score. Concluding remarksThis is not a great game, it’s long, doesn’t involve a lot of strategy other than good pattern matching and some “screw the leader” mechanic with the "skip" card, and it’s mostly all luck. In terms of value, you don’t get much out of a Phase 10 set other than a branded double card deck. But for whatever reason, it seems to come back to the family gaming table once a year or so - and that for more than 10 years! In fact it was back a few weeks ago when my sister, her husband, my lady and myself were reunited at my parents’ place for the weekend. I must say I had an amazingly lucky streak that night, but the game still went about 2.5 hours. I give this game a 5.5/10 mainly because it seems to defy the test of time for us, despite all its flaws. In the end though, if you want something to titillate your Rummy neurons, a game like Rummikub is much better and above all much shorter (although you could argue Phase 10 is more portable). . A player opens by playing his Phase and can then add his remaining hand cards to it or to Phases already played by other players. The deck contains “wild” cards to help you complete your Phases, as well as “skip” cards, which you use to force an opponent to lose a turn.. How to Play Phase 10 Without Phase 10 Cards By Lynne Vanders ; Updated April 12, 2017 The game is designed for two or more players, and can be played by the entire family for a family game night..