Domino Game Ideas

We thought you'd appreciate some ideas for different games to play with your set of Dominoes, so here are some ideas for games you can play with sets of Double 6 Dominoes like the giant sets we have available.

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A good way to determine who starts any of the games is for each player to draw a tile and the player with the tile of the highest total value goes first.

All Fives


Aim of the game: To make the open ends of the game add up to 5 or multiples of 5

Number of Players:2-4

Players take 5 tiles each to start (7 tiles if there are just 2 players)
The first player places the first domino. They can play any tile of any value. Play then continues clockwise with each player adding a domino to one open end of the chain. The second player can only lay a tile with the joining half bearing the same value as the half of the tile at the end of the chain. If a player manages to lay a tile that makes the open ends of the chain add up to a multiple of 5, then they score that number of points. If a player cannot lay a domino from their hand, they have to pick up tiles from the draw pile until they draw one they can lay. If there are no dominoes left, they miss their turn.
The game ends when one player has played all their tiles or when no-one can lay any more tiles. The winner is the player with the lowest total value of dominoes left. They score the total of their opponents point left in their hands minus any points in their own hand. This number is then rounded to the nearest 5 and divided by 5. They add these points to any points scored during the game.
The winner is the first player to reach the target number of points that was agreed at the start of the game e.g. 100 or 200. If this total isn't reached on the first round, then players play a second round with the winner of the first round laying the first tile in the second round.

Chickenfoot


Aim of the game: To have the lowest score at the end of the game

Number of Players:2-4

Players take 5 tiles each. The player with the highest double goes first and lays that tile. Play proceeds clockwise with the next player laying any tile with the same value as the double on the table on one end or side of the double. The next player then also has to place a tile on another side of the double with a matching value. This continues until all four sides are filled. If a player can't lay a tile, then they pick up a tile from the draw pile and can lay that tile if they can, or play passes to the next player. When all 4 sides of the double are filled, the next player can play any tile that matches the value on the end of one of the open ends. If a player cannot play, they have to draw a tile from the draw pile. Once the draw pile is empty, players simply miss a turn if they cannot lay a tile.
If a player lays another double, 3 more tiles of that value have to be played until all sides of the double are full before play can continue on one of the open ends.
The game ends once any player plays their last domino or no players can lay another tile. Players add the total number of dots on their remaining tiles and add that to their score. The player with the lowest score at the end of an agreed number of rounds is the winner.

Tip: Lay your highest value tiles as soon as possible to give you the lowest possible score at the end of the game

Draw Dominoes


Aim of the game: To be the first to score 100 points.

Number of Players:2 - 4

Players take 7 tiles each to start if there are 2 players, 5 each if there are 3 players and 4 tiles each if there are 4 players.
The player with the highest double lays it first, followed by the player to their left, who lays a tile with a matching value on one side of the double. This leaves an open end with a different value to the double. The next player can then lay a tile joining the other side of the double, or with a value matching the open end of the second tile. Play continues in a clockwise direction with each player taking turns to lay a tile on one of the open ends. If a player can't lay a tile, they have to pick up extra dominoes from the draw pile until they can lay one. If the pile is empty, the player misses a turn.
Once one player has laid all of their tiles, or no player can lay any more tiles, the game ends.
Players add up the dots on all of their remaining dominoes and the player with the lowest number, scores the sum total of the dots on all of the other players' tiles minus the number on their own tiles. The first player to reach 100 after several turns is the winner.

Texas 42


Aim of the game: To be the first to score 250 points

Number of Players:2 - 7

This game is played more like a card game than a standard domino game. Each player draws 7 dominoes. Players then bid a number between 30 and 42, with the player holding the 0:1 tile bidding first. Bids reflect the number of points a player thinks they will score in that hand. Each bidder must raise the previous bid or they can't bid on that hand. Once the bid reaches 42, it can be doubled to 84, then doubled again to 168. Bids of 42 or more are only made by taking all 42 points available in the hand.
The highest bidder gets to name the trump suit, selecting from either 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 or doubles. They lay first. Each player must then follow the suit if they can. If not, they can lay any tile. The trick is won by the player laying the highest trump tile with a double being the highest available.
The winner of the first trick lays the first tile of the next trick and can lead with any tile. If they lead with a trump again, then the other players must also lay a trump tile if they can. If they lay a non-trump tile, the suit for that trick is the highest value end of the lead domino. i.e. if they lay a 4:5 domino, the suit is 5. The other players must lay tiles containing a 5 or a trump. The winner of the trick is the player laying the highest value tile of the lead suit, or the highest value tile with a trump.
Scoring
Each trick is worth 1 point.
In addition points are scored for dominoes in a trick a player has won whose dots add up to 5 or a multiple of 5
The 0:5 tile, 1:4 tile and 2:3 tiles score 5 points each,
The 4:6 and 5:5 tiles score 10 points each.
There are therefore a potential of 42 points in each hand: one for each of the 7 tricks and 35 for the special tiles.
If the highest bidder's score exceeds the value of their bid, then players all score their totals. If the highest bidder fails to reach their bid, they score nothing and all other players score their own totals plus the bid. If the bid was 42 or more, then the highest bidder scores 42. If they bid 84 points and made 42 points, then he scores 84 points, but if they fail, the opponents score 84 each.
The winner is the first player to score 250 points

Muggins


Aim of the game: To make the open ends of the layout add up to 5 or multiples of 5

Number of Players:2 - 4

Players draw tiles with the player drawing the highest value tile going first. Players then draw the following number of tiles depending on the number of players:
7 tiles each if there are 2 players, 5 each if there are 3 or 4 players.
The first player can lay any tile. The player to their left then has to lay a tile with a value matching one end of the tile on the table. If the open ends of the layout add up to 5 or a multiple of 5, the player scores points to that value. If they can't lay a tile, then they have to draw dominoes from the spare pile until they can lay one. If there are no more dominoes left, the player misses their turn.
Play continues clockwise, with points scored during play being called "muggins points". If a player fails to spot they have scored, an opponent can call out "Muggins" and steal the points.
When a double is laid, all of its dots count towards the score.
A hand ends when one player lays their last tile or when no players can lay another tile. The player with the lowest number of dots on their remaining tiles scores a bonus score of the total of their opponents' points minus any points left in their own hand rounded to the nearest 5.
The winner is the first player to reach a total score agreed before the start of the game, generally 100 or 200 points.

Bergen


Aim of the game: To make the numbers at the open ends of the layout match

Number of Players:2 - 4

Players draw 6 tiles each. If there are 4 players, they only draw 5 tiles each.
Play commences in the same way as Draw Dominoes with the player with the highest double, laying it first. Each player then adds a domino to one open end of the layout if they can, or draws tiles from the pile until they can lay one or misses a turn if there are no dominoes left to draw.
Players score 2 points if they lay a tile that makes both ends of the layout match. The first double laid also scores 2 points, as both of its ends match. If a subsequent double is laid whose value on each end matches the value at the other end of the layout, then 3 points are scored.
As usual, once one player has laid all their tiles, or no-one can lay any more tiles, the hand ends. The player with the lowest total number of dots on their remaining tiles scores an extra point.
The game is won by the first player to reach a total score of 5 points.

Solitaire Dominoes


Aim of the game: To end up with just one tile remaining

Number of Players:1

Shuffle all of the tiles face down. Take 3 tiles from the pile and place them face up in a row. If the first and third tiles carry the same number, then you can remove the middle tile. Then draw another tile and place it on the right hand end of the row. Keep repeating the process. If all 3 tiles carry the same number you can choose to either just remove the middle tile or to remove all 3 tiles. If there is no match, you keep adding tiles to the right hand end of the row until there is a match, which allows you to remove a middle tile.