Domino Rules

Two to four players may play, but two players make the best game.

The object of the game is to get rid of all your dominoes.

Dominoes are rectangular tiles of wood or plastic. Each piece is divided into two halves by a center line, and each half has one or more spots on it, or is blank.

The most common Domino set is the "double-six" set of twenty-eight pieces, where the highest number of spots on any domino half is six. The pieces range from the lowest, with two blank halves (0-0), to the highest, with six spots on each half (6-6). Between these two pieces are all possible combinations of spots from none to six, such as 5-3, 0-2, 4-4. Pieces with a greater total number of spots are said to be "heavier" than those with fewer spots.

For longer Domino games, or to accommodate many players, there are the larger "double-nine" sets of fifty-five pieces, and the "double-twelve" sets of ninety-one pieces.

All Domino games share a common pattern. Players take turns building a pattern of dominoes laid end to end, each adding one domino to the pattern in his turn. This pattern, which is laid face up on a flat surface, in called the "layout." Two dominoes can follow one another if the number of spots on their touching ends match.

In most games "doublet" dominoes (ones with the same number of spots on each half) are placed crosswise against the matching end of the layout. The next domino is simply laid on the further side of the doublet, giving the layout something of the look of a totem pole. To keep the layout within the playing space you may form corners.

Players sit opposite one another, or in a circle. Turn all the dominoes face down and mix them up. Choose the first player, by having each draw from the face down dominoes. The one who gets the highest (or heaviest) domino goes first. Put the dominoes back in the pile and mix them in.

Each player then draws his hand. With two players in the game, each takes seven dominoes; three or more players take five each. The dominoes can be held in a player's hand or lined up on edge in front of him, so he can see them but his opponents can't.

The dominoes left over after each player draws his hand are called the "boneyard." Keep the boneyard over to one side. It is used to draw from during the rest of the game.

The first player puts down any domino he chooses. His opponent can then place one of his dominoes against either end of the first domino, provided the numbers of spots on the touching ends match. This begins the layout, to either end of which the players alternately add matching dominoes.

Doublets are placed crosswise rather than end to end. When a player doesn't have a domino that matches either end of the layout, he must draw dominoes from the boneyard until he has found one he can use.

The first player to use all the dominoes from his hand yells, "Domino!" and wins the game. If the boneyard is used up before any player has won, the player with the lowest number of spots in his hand wins.

Very often, Dominoes is played for points, the winner scoring an number of points equal to the total spots left in his opponents' hands. The first player to score fifty or one-hundred points after several games of Dominoes is the winner of the bout.


Federacion International de Domino