The Game of Domino

DSCN4535.JPGDomino refers to the individual or collective gaming pieces making up a domino set. Standard domino sets consist of 28 pieces called cards or dominos. Each card is a rectangular tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number of black dots or is blank. The dots are generally arranged as they are on six-sided dice. Standard domino sets have ends ranging from zero dots to six dots (double six set). There are a total of seven of each numbers (zero to six) in the pack.

Shuffling the Dominoes

Before a game can begin the dominoes must be shuffled.  Turn the dominoes face down on the table and moved them around in a random motion.  Be careful not to flip any over.

                          BegiDSCN4539.JPGnning the Game

Each player draws 7 dominoes and the common way to start is the player with the highest double (double six) goes first by placing their card face up in the middle of the table.

Playing the Game

Hold your domino in your hands or place them on the table facing you, so you can see what you have, but no other player can. Only the two open ends of the layout of dominoes can be used.  An end is open when it has no other tile connected to it. When playing a double, it can be placed crossways. The next player to your right should lay a domino of like value to match the domino on the table. A domino can only be placed if you have one in your hand that corresponds to one of the open ends on the table. If a player cannot make a move, then they must pass to allow the other players to go.

Ending the Game

A game ends in one of two ways, either when a player has played all their cards or the game is blocked. A block occurs when none of the 4 players can play because all seven of one card is already on the table.  If there is a block, then the player with the least number of black dots on their DSCN4541.JPGdomino is the winner.

Suggested Winning Strategies

  1. Keep track of how many of each card is on the table versus how many are in your hand. Remember, there are seven of each card.
  2. Play your doubles whenever you get the chance.
  3. If you are playing a partner game (meaning the person sitting across from you is your partner), pay attention to which card that person plays, and which cards they avoid matching. If he/she continue to avoid matching a certain card, it could me he/she don't have that card.
    1. Keep track of the cards that the person who plays after you passes on (the person to your right). If you can, continue to pass that person by playing that same card.
      If your partner start the game by playing a certain card, eg. double five, and continue to play five at both ends, it could mean he/she have several of that card, so do not play at the end that your partner plays, if possible. Also, if you have a five in your hand, do not match your partner's end, play the opposite end if possible.  If you have the ability to block the game, make sure all the cards which are lower than the ones you have in your hand are already on the table. Start by looking for the lowest card (double blank) and increase the numbers by one.


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