A phase is a combination of cards. Phases are usually made of sets, runs, or a combination of the two (there is one exception). As the name suggests, there are ten phases:
- 2 sets of 3
- 1 set of 3 + 1 run of 4
- 1 set of 4 + 1 run of 4
- 1 run of 7
- 1 run of 8
- 1 run of 9
- 2 sets of 4
- 7 cards of one color
- 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 2
- 1 set of 5 + 1 set of 3
Each player can make only one phase per hand. For instance, a run of 9 when the player is on Phase 4 cannot also count as Phase 5 and/or 6. The phases must also be completed in order.
When discarded, a "Skip " card causes another player to lose their next turn. The player who discards the "Skip " card chooses the player who loses their turn. When a player draws a "Skip " card, the player may discard it immediately or save it for a later turn. A "Skip " card may never be used in making Phase 8, or any other Phase. A "Skip " card may never be picked up from the discard pile. A player may only be skipped once per round. If player one skips player two, then player two can not be skipped until player one plays again. A "Skip " card can never be picked up from the discard pile.
- Phase 10
- If a "Skip" card is turned over on the initial discard pile then the player to the immediate left is skipped.
- Phase 10 Twist
- If a "Skip" card is turned over on the initial discard pile then another card is turned over to cover that card.
A "Wild " card may be used in place of a number card in order to complete a Phase. A "Wild " card also maybe used as any color, to complete Phase 8. A "Wild" card cannot be used as a "Skip" card.
One player is chosen to be dealer (alternately, the deal can rotate to the left after each hand). 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. The remaining deck is placed face-down in the center of the play area to become the draw pile. The dealer then turns the top card of the draw pile over and places it next to the draw pile, to become the discard pile. The person to the left of the dealer begins play, and can take either this upturned card or the top card of the draw pile. The player then chooses a card that will not help make the Phase, or a Skip, and discards it. Players then take similar turns in clockwise fashion, drawing and discarding to attempt to acquire the cards required by their current Phase.
During the first hand, all players try to complete Phase 1.
If, during a player's turn, they are able to make their current Phase with the cards in their hand, they lay the Phase down, face-up on the table before discarding.
- Phases must be made in order, from 1 to 10.
- A player must have the whole Phase in hand before laying it down.
- A player 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. For instance, if a Phase requires a set of 3 but the player has four of that card, the player may lay down all four cards when completing the Phase.
- Only one Phase may be made per hand. For instance, a player who must make a run of 7 cards (Phase 4) cannot complete the next two Phases in the same hand by laying down a run of 9.
- If a player successfully makes a Phase, then they try to make the next Phase in the next hand. If they fail to make a Phase, they 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.
- Players receive credit for making a Phase as soon as it is laid down. A player does not need to win the hand in order to receive credit for the Phase. Several players will often complete their Phase in the same hand.
- A player may not swap out cards for a phase that was already laid down that round.