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How to play dominoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Step 1

Count that there are 28 dominoes, from double blank to double six.

Step 2

Place them facedown on the table and shuffle them until they're random.

Step 3

Allow your opponent to take seven dominoes, and take seven for yourself.

Step 4

Allow the player with the highest double to go first.

Step 5

Lay a domino with like value next to the first domino (it doesn't matter which end). Make sure like values are always touching.

Step 6

Pick from the pile if you don't have a domino that corresponds to the ones on the layout. Keep those dominoes concealed from your opponent(s).

Step 7

Pass if no more dominoes are left in the pile.

Step 8

Win the session if you're the first person to run out of dominoes.

Step 9

End the session if everybody passes, in which case the winner is the person with the lowest score.

Step 10

Count your score by the number of dots on the tiles remaining in your hand.

Step 11

End the game if someone reaches 50 points in a game with two players or 100 points with three or more players. The lowest score wins.

Tips

  • If you're playing with three or four players, each player should take five dominoes.
  • If more than two are playing, play rotates clockwise.
  • If no double is held by any player to determine who will go first, the domino of the highest value is counted.
  • Keep the largest assortment of different numbers in your hand as long as possible. If you have a choice of playing the 5-4 or 5-3 on an open 5, you should choose according to whether you have other 4s or 3s in your hand.
  • If you lay a double, the layout then forms a T shape and play can continue from any of the exposed ends.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencils
  • Card tables
  • Chairs
  • Scoring pads
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