Dominoes Rules

By Daniel Westlake
A classic game played worldwide

Dominoes is one of the classic group games played by all ages of people worldwide. There are many different types of domino games, some with winners per game and some that keep points per game, but the basics of dominoes are pretty universal. The basic domino game is called the Block Game, which is what most beginning domino players learn first.

Pregame

Start with at least two players, then place all the dominoes face down and shuffled on the table, making a familiar clinking sound. Then each player draws 6 dominoes, like cards, and places them so that opponents can't see them. All tiles have a number of dots on each half "face" of them, ranging from zero to six. There are double tiles, with matching numbers on each half face.

Game Time

The start of the game begins with whomever has the highest double tile, starting with the six-six,. If no one has drawn that tile, then whoever has drawn five-five begins, and so on. Off the starting tile, someone would have to place a tile with at least one side of numbered dots to match the tile that is on the board. If they can't place a tile, they must draw a tile from the undrawn dominoes. Once a tile has been placed or drawn, the other player must draw or place a tile. This creates a long chain of dominoes. Double tiles can be placed against a single tile, which changes the direction of the dominoes, with a perpendicular tile against the straight ones.

End Game

The object of the game is to get rid of all your tiles before any of your opponents and then count up the points (dots) on the remaining tiles yet to be played on the board. In games where no one can proceed, the remaining tiles for each player are counted individually and whoever has the fewest points (dots) wins. Full games of dominoes are often played until one player gets 100 points, or sometimes 121 points, to follow cribbage scoring.