domino-play How to play...  



This Block-type game is played with a Double-Six domino set and some chips or alternatively a score sheet, by four players only.  It is a British member of the Trains family of domino games. The name of the game is derived from the word "slosh" which refers to liquids spilling over the edge of their container, which is reflected in the manner of the playing of tiles during the course of the game.


The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, then each player draws six tiles that only they can look at. The four remaining dominoes are set aside and not used in further play.

The lead player sets down the first domino (known as the "engine") which differs with each round played. In the first round the first set tile is the double-four, then the double-five, then the double-six, then the double-one, then the double-two, and lastly the double-three for each subsequent round played. If no player holds the initial "engine" double the dominoes are re-shuffled and players draw again until a player holds and sets it.

Players then in turn lay tiles onto their own personal train of tiles, forming part of the layout, with same-number adjacent to same-number (doubles placed horizontally onto ends, but not allowing play to branch four ways). Each of the four player's trains is traditionally made by playing their tiles off one of the four corners of the initially set double (or "engine") and not off its four sides. If a player is unable to play a tile, then he must pass and the next player in turn has the option of playing a tile onto the previous passing player's train and then play one onto their own train. Playing onto a previous payer's train is known as "sloshing". If the previous player has played a tile onto their own train, then the next player is not allowed to make the extra play on it.

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 (or receives a number of chips totalling) the total number of pips on all the other players' dominoes, minus the total number of pips on any remaining tiles in their hand.

Six rounds are played and the player with the highest score (or number of chips) at the end, wins the game.

The four undrawn tiles make the game more difficult than you would expect because players never know which tiles are in play.

Players should develop strategies and make plays based on the tiles already played onto the layout. Players could count the number of tiles bearing the different suits and try and end their train defensively with a tile bearing the most played suit which would be the less likely to be held by the previous player, who could "slosh" them. However, if a player is running short of available plays on their own train, then he may want to encourage a "slosh" to give themselves an opening, by playing a tile bearing the least played suit on the layout.




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