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We are enjoying the game Phase 10 but are unsure about one rule. According to the rules, is it ok to discard a playable card allowing the next player to go out? This ends the hand and causes each other player to have remaining cards in hand scored against them.

Is this considered fair play, to lose a particular hand on purpose?

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What do you mean by "forcing the other players to count back their cards"? –  ire_and_curses Jan 21 '12 at 23:19
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Also, for reference (I've never heard this term before): Hoyle (noun) - According to plan or the rules –  ire_and_curses Jan 21 '12 at 23:21
    
Cheri, I have added clarification that I think will help people understand what I believe you to be asking. If I have misinterpreted your question, please feel free to edit again to clarify or to roll back my changes! –  Dave DuPlantis Jan 24 '12 at 17:30
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2 Answers

Yes, it is permissible ... and there are some occasions where you may find it to be advantageous. For example:

  • One person may be on the same Phase as you and well ahead of the others, but she may not have made her current Phase yet. If you feel she is close and you are not, it may be worthwhile to "end" the hand so that neither of you can advance.
  • Similarly, one person may be leading in terms of points, but he may have not laid down any sets or runs yet. It may be to your advantage to discard a card the next person can use to go out so as to (hopefully) stick the leader with a lot of points.

However, as is the case in many games, what is legal according to the rules may not necessarily be acceptable according to your group. Discarding such a card in this case may lead to cries of bias for the person to your left or against the perceived victim of your play. It may be wise to determine which is the primary concern in your group, winning or enjoying the game, before you decide how to play the hand.

Of course, this assumes that you have multiple cards to discard, and that you have not yet made your Phase. If you have made your Phase, then any card in your hand that the next person could play is also playable by you; you should play that one yourself and discard a different card.

It may be the case that no matter what you discard, the next person will pick it up and go out, particularly in the Phases that require you to lay down 8 or 9 cards. For example, you may be on Phase 6, but you only have 8 cards to your run of 9, and the other two cards are playable. You draw a playable card: all three cards are playable, so you have no choice but to discard one. In that case, it may help to explain during scoring that you had no choice.

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"Discarding such a card in this case may lead to cries of bias for the person to your left or against the perceived victim of your play" - In which case you tell them to grow a pair. It's Phase 10; the name is synonymous with "screw each other over as much as possible". –  KeithS Feb 22 '13 at 17:01
    
The bias against the perceived victim should be totally acceptable for anyone wanting to behead their opponents, in the order of the threat they pose. –  The Chaz 2.0 Mar 25 '13 at 18:18
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In addition to the two very good situations Dave mentioned to throw the player to your left a bone, there's one more:

  • You've made your Phase, and a target opponent - not the one to your left - has not. If you have laid down your Phase but cannot go out, and the player to your left has laid down their Phase and is looking for that last lucky card to go out, you can throw them a card you'd otherwise use to hit on their Phase (or yours). You take a few points for the cards left in your hand, but stick the other players for big points. Perfectly valid play when you need to gain standing in points or Phases relative to that target player, and don't mind losing a couple points relative to the player on your left.
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