The Game Rules for Double Six Dominoes

By Alan Kirk ; Updated April 12, 2017
Dominoes are played by matching pieces used earlier.

The game of dominoes was created in China in the 12th century, according to domino-games.com. The website indicates earlier versions may have been played in Egyptian and Arabian societies before that date, but it is not confirmed. A standard set of double-six dominoes includes all the combinations that can be rolled with a pair of six-sided dice.

Number of Players

The game of double six dominoes requires at least two players. According to the boltbait.com website it can be played by as many players as you wish, but head-to-head games between two players are the most common versions of the game.

Starting the Game

Players pick their dominoes at random to start the game. All of the dominoes are placed in a draw area, face down. Each player starts the game by choosing seven dominoes. He should not reveal these dominoes to his opponent until they are played during the game. The player with the domino that has the highest set of matching numbers plays that domino first. If neither player has a domino with the same number on each side, the player with a six and the highest number on it plays first;. If two have the same number, the player with the highest total number of dots on that domino plays first. If there remains a tie, a coin toss determines who plays first.

Playing a Domino

A domino may be played when one end of the domino matches the end of another domino on the playing field. Matches of doubles can be played with a piece that matches one of the two numbers on the double, placed touching either the end of the double or in the middle of the two, perpendicular to the domino (with the end half on one side of the domino and half on the other side to crate a "T"). Blank ends of dominoes are "wild" and can be played to match any other end of a domino.

Scoring During the Game

During the game of double six dominoes, players score points if the total of the uncovered dominoes on the outside total a multiple of five. Add up the total of any outside edges of the dominoes on the playing area and divide by five. If this results in a whole number without a fraction left after the division, the player scores the number revealed by that division.

Drawing Tiles

A player must draw a tile from the remaining unclaimed face-down tiles known as the "bone yard" if she can not play one of the dominoes in her hand on her turn. The player must continue to draw until he can play or no tiles remain in the bone yard. If she cannot play and there are now tiles remaining in the bone yard, she must pass for her opponent to play. If neither player can play, the round of double six dominoes ends.

Scoring at The End and Winning

If a player plays all of the dominoes in her hand, the round ends. She is awarded five points for each domino remaining in her opponent's hand. If neither player can play and no dominoes remain in the boneyard, the player with the least number of dominoes scores points. He receives five points for each domino his opponent has more than his total of dominoes. If either player exceeds 250 points at the end of the round, that player is the winner. Otherwise, another round is played until 250 points are exceeded.

About the Author

Alan Kirk has been writing for online publications since 2006. He has more than 15 years' experience in catering, management and government relations. Kirk has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Maryland.