domino-play How to play...  



A Point-type domino game for two to four players, usually using a Double-Six domino set and chips/counters for score keeping or alternatively a score sheet.  Larger domino sets may be used to accommodate more players.


Score keeping is usually done by giving each player a number of chips/counters at the beginning of a game which they lose each time they score a point and with the first player to lose all their chips/counters, winning the overall game. The two-player game is played to 15 points and the three- and four-player game is played to 10 points.

The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, then each player draws a number of tiles, that only they can look at, which varies according to the number of players taking part. 

  • 2 or 3 players draw 6 tiles each.
  • 4 players draw 5 tiles each.

Any remaining tiles are used as the boneyard and may be drawn upon by players during the course of play.

The lead player sets down the first domino (any double) and then players in turn lay tiles onto the open ends of the domino layout with same-number adjacent to same-number (doubles are placed horizontally onto the ends of the layout but are not played to allow play to branch four ways).  Should a player be unable to set a domino from their hand onto the layout, they must continue drawing tiles from the boneyard until they are able to play one or the boneyard is exhausted.

Players score 2 points (3 points if one tile is a double) every time they set a tile onto the layout and both ends bear the same spotted suit value.  For example, a three on both ends would score 2 points; a five on both ends would also score 2 points; however, a four on one end with a double-four on the other would score 3 points and is known as a "triple header."

Once a player has dominoed by setting their last tile, or the game is blocked with no player able to set a tile, the round is over and the player who dominoed or has the lowest total of pips left in their hand, is the winner of that round.  The winner of a round then scores 1 point in addition to their already scored points made during play.

A number of rounds are played and the first player to score 15 points when two are playing, or 10 points when three or four are playing, wins the game.


When played with a larger domino set than the usual Double-Six set, the first initially set double is played as a spinner allowing play to branch off up to four ways.

Sometimes played with the last two tiles in the boneyard not drawn when players can't make a play.




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