I was playing with family yesterday and I was on Phase 9 and I wasn’t close to going completing my phase after 12 turns (a bunch of doubles).

My wife (who I’m very competitive with) has one card left and 4s and 8s down in phase 7.

I’m in first place, and the others are phase 8 but haven’t completed their phase yet. So, I discard 4 to let my wife end the round in order to prevent the others from completing phase 8 and advancing to phase 9.

Is what I did this allowed?

We are in a heated argument (like monopoly type of argument) and the other players say it's not allowed. I argue it's strategic, and allowed me to reset with minimal risk to me as she was 2 phases behind.



1 Answer 1


Intentionally discarding a useful card for the next player is legal but breaks social norms.

There is nothing in the rules that prevents you from making the tactical play you described, with a few caveats:

  • Your knowledge of the other players' cards must originate from gameplay observations and not from "table talk" or other collusion. In your scenario, the player you're helping has melded, so your play is definitely legal.
  • You should not collude with another player (like helping someone this game with an expectation that you are owed a favor in a future game).

But really the question you should ask is this: Which do you value more? Winning the game? Or enjoying playing the game with your family? Just because a move is "legal" doesn't make it "right."

Intentionally helping another player could start a slippery slope where anyone who is behind in a phase will adopt your strategy so that the other opponents will have less time to complete the phase. This could make the game last much longer because people are playing defensively. It can also feel like "kingmaking" because you have starting playing not to win the round, but to sabotage other players so they lose instead. And sabotage feels a lot more personal and makes people angry much faster.

Ask your family what their expectations of the game are. Are they looking for a good time or a cutthroat competition? If they feel strongly that intentionally helping an opponent is wrong (even if tactically viable), consider making a house rule for it and write it into the rulebook of the family copy of the game.

  • 1
    Or tl;dr: this is part of the social contract, not part of the game rules. Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 15:13

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