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Phase 10 is a rummy style card game that pits players against each other in a race to complete ten phases of the game. Each phase requires a different type of card set in order to complete, and then you have to play the remaining cards to finish out the hand.
Any player that is able to complete their phase before a player plays all ten of their cards gets to move on to their next phase on the next hand. Players that are unable to complete a phase before a player goes out has to restart the phase they are on in the next round.
There are ten phases in Phase 10, and each player receives ten cards for each phase. As the game progresses the phases become harder to complete, which should allow players to stay close to each other in the phase they are working on.
Any cards left in your hand when a player goes out on a round are counted up as points, and these points are used as a tie breaker if two players complete the final phase at the same time.
In order to increase your chances of winning at Phase 10, we are going to explore a few strategies that you can implement in order to increase your odds of winning.
These strategies will look at when to lay down your phase, what to pay attention to, and how to use cards like wilds and skips.
One of the biggest mistakes players make is laying down your phase as soon as it is complete.
The reason this is such a big issue is players know what cards you need to get closer to playing your last card. The longer you can keep this a mystery the better.
If you are on a run of 7, it is a better idea to wait until you have a run of 8 or run of 9 to lay your cards down.
The reason this strategy is successful is it can allow you to go out of the round while other players think they still have time to complete their set. This means you could catch players off guard and make them not only take on a lot of points, but also miss completing a phase.
The next strategy is to make sure you are watching what other players are picking up and putting down. If you know your opponent is on a run and they picked up a 3, you can confidently discard more 3s, as they don’t help the player. Alternatively, if they are on a phase that requires a set, you will know not to discard 3s, as that would help them complete that set.
The other thing to watch for is what they discard. If they discard a number, you know you are safe to discard it to them.
The last thing to pay attention to is when to use skips and wilds.
Skips should be used later in the game when you need to buy time to finish a phase. If a player is close to going out, it is important to have a way to keep them in the game.
With wilds, you only want to use them on your initial set when you are at risk of not finishing your phase or when doing so lets you go out.
If you implement these strategies, it will help you stay a step (or phase) ahead of the competition.
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Is Phase 10 A Strategy Game?
When playing most card games there is always a sense of luck over skill to win.
Games like Skip-Bo, Uno, Monopoly Deal, and Phase 10 all require payable cards to win. Because of this surface information, these games aren’t usually considered strategy games.
Looking at Phase 10 in particular, there are a lot of moving parts to winning.
You need to complete phases, you need to minimize the number of points you take in, and you need to ensure other players don’t complete phases and do take on points.
The only way to ensure these four things happen is to implement some strategy.
Whether your strategy is to create friends by passing on cards you know someone might need, or being more cut-throat and surprising everyone by playing all 10 of your cards when no one else has finished a phase, there is definitely plenty of strategy needed to play Phase 10.
With some simple strategies and a little luck, you can really impress your friends with how well you play Phase 10. And if it doesn’t impress them, it might frustrate them when you finish the final phase when they are still working on a run of 7.
Can You Go Out On Your First Turn in Phase 10?
There are two portions to playing your hand in Phase 10. The first is completing your phase and the second is playing all ten cards in your hand.
You can’t do the latter until you complete your phase.
Once you play your phase you can begin laying cards on other player’s phases if they are completed. This is known as hitting.
There will come rare occasions when you are dealt a hand that allows you to complete your phase and go out on your first turn. This is most likely to happen when you have multiple wilds.
There is nothing that prevents a player from going out on their first hand in Phase 10. If this happens, all other players only have one more chance to complete their phase.
Although this won’t happen every game, seeing the look on your opponents faces when you lay down your whole hand is priceless.
Not only is going out on the first turn a great way to separate yourself from the competition, it also forces your opponents to take on a lot of points. This gives you an advantage throughout the game, as you know if you tie, there is a high likelihood that this round will tip the score in your favor.
Do Colors Matter In Phase 10?
A Phase 10 deck consists of cards in four different colors. While playing the game, you might feel there should be some significance to this, but for the most part the colors don’t matter too much.
Some Phase 10 decks have only the number cards represented by the four colors. Other decks will have the wild cards in the four colors as well. This can be confusing, as it makes it seem like the wild cards can’t be used as other colors.
In Phase 10, there is only one phase, phase 8, that color matters. In this phase you have to collect seven cards of one color to complete the phase. No matter what printing your Phase 10 comes in, the wild cards can count as any color.
Although most phases don’t require you to worry about color, be sure to pay attention if someone is on phase 8. It is very easy to forget about colors while discarding, and you could help someone go out without realizing it.
Phase 10 is a great game that most anyone can enjoy. It is a simple game to understand, and if you implement a few strategies it can help you dominate the competition.
When you are playing, be sure to pay attention to others’ actions, hold on to your wild and skip cards, and try to go out entirely instead of just completing your phase.