Looking for a fun way to stay entertained this wintery season? Put your phones and tablets down and and gather around the table for a fun game of dominoes! It’s a classic that is sure to keep you entertained while the snow comes down outside! Here’s how to play:
Dominoes is a fun game that uses tiles, which were created to represent all the possible roll outcomes of a pair of six-sided dice. It dates back to 12th century China, with the addition of blank tiles added from its European players. It’s a game that has stood the test of time, and once you start playing, you’ll see why!
In a standard game, there are 28 tiles, which are also referred to as “bones,” that display two different sets of pips (dots) with a line in the middle to separate them. Number combinations range from double zeros (or “blanks”), which have the lightest value, to double sixes, which have the heaviest, with every number combination in between. Dominoes are referred to by the number of pips it has, with the smallest number first. For example, a domino with three dots on one side and four on the other would be called a 3-4!
- Shuffle the dominoes by flipping them face down and scrambling them to mix them up.
- To determine who goes first, players can either draw a random domino and whoever has the highest or heaviest (highest combined number) tile wins, with doubles having more weight than non-doubles. You can also deal out seven tiles per person and whoever has the heaviest domino in their hand gets to start.
- Each player draws seven tiles if you are playing with two players, or five dominoes each if playing with more than two players. Keep your dominoes hidden from other players!
- Whoever won the draw goes first by playing a double. This is called the “spinner,” as it is the only tile that can be played off of all four sides.
- From there, gameplay moves clockwise. Each player must place a number that matches one of the outermost numbers, with matching numbers touching. For example, if a double six was played as the spinner, the next player must lay down a domino with a six on it, on a side of their choosing. Let’s say that person plays a 2-6 domino. The next player must play a domino with either a six (from the spinner) or a two (from the new tile). If that person lays down a 4-6 tile off the spinner, the next player will have to put down a four or a two for their next turn.
- If a player does not have a domino with a corresponding number, they must draw a domino from the pile of extra dominoes, which is referred to as the “boneyard.” They must keep drawing from the boneyard until they find a matching number. If there is not one available, their turn is skipped.
- This continues until a player has run out of dominoes in their hand, designating them as the winner. They must signify their last turn by saying “domino” to signal to the other players that it is their last turn. Game play can also end when the board is blocked, when no players are able to play a turn.
- Basic scoring dictates that the winner of the hand receives their score by adding up all the pips of the leftover dominoes in their opponent’s hand. There are many variations in scoring, but this is the easiest and most basic! Continue playing until a player reaches your predetermined score!
Now that you know how to play a basic game of dominoes, you and your friends and family can enjoy playing this classic game the whole winter through! It’s easy enough for kids to learn, and will help them with counting and matching skills! Leave us a comment to let us know your best dominoes strategy tips, or other fun variations to learn!