ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on January 3, 2010

Dominoes is a series of games played with rectangular tiles about 1 1/2 or 2 inches long, called dominoes or bones. The dominoes are usually black and are divided into halves marked with white dots in all the number combinations that can be rolled with two dice.

Seven additional combinations are made possible by the addition of blanks. Dominoes that have the same value in both units are called doubles or doublets. A standard set contains 28 pieces.

Photo by Ruth Livingstone
Photo by Ruth Livingstone

General Rules

At the start of a game the dominoes are first shuffled facedown on the table, and each player draws a specified number of bones at random. The remaining dominoes are called the boneyard.

The player either holds his dominoes in his hand or stands them on edge facing him. In the first play a bone is laid faceup on the table. In subsequent plays the bones played must be matched with those already down and are placed so that like ends touch.

For example, if a 3-2 is played, the next domino must have a 3 or a 2 and must be placed with the corresponding halves touching. Play is limited to open ends, or the sides of the layout on which it is legal to play. These vary with the particular game and the circumstances.

Usually the object of the game is for a player to get rid of all his dominoes first and score the number of points left in his opponent's hand.

In some games, players may score during play by making certain combinations of numbers.

Domino Games

The block game may be played by two, three, or four persons. With two players each draws seven bones, and with three or four players, each draws five bones. The player with the highest doublet sets it, or lays it down, as the first play. Each player, in turn, then adds to an open end by matching bones. The block game has two open ends, which branch out from the center of either side of the doublet. Doublets are always placed crosswise in play. A player who cannot play in turn passes. The player who first gets rid of all his dominoes wins. If both players are blocked and neither can play, the winner is the one with the fewest points left in his hand. The winner scores the total points left in the other hands. Game is usually 100.

The draw game is the same as the block game, except that a player who has no playable bone draws from the boneyard until he gets one.

Bergen is a draw game in which 2 points are scored for making both ends alike in number and 3 points are scored, if, in addition, one of the ends is a doublet. Game is 15 points.

Matador is a draw game in which touching dominoes do not match but total 7. For example, a 2 would be played on an open 5. A blank is a block except to a matador, or a domino with values of 0-0, 6-1, 5-2, 4-3. Matadors may also be played at any other stage of the game. Doublets count singly and are therefore placed endwise.

Sniff may be played by two, three, or four people. With two players, each draws seven bones, and with three or four players, each draws five. First turn is decided by lot, and the player may play any bone. Only two ends are open until the first doublet, or sniff, is played. The sniff is open on all four sides. Scoring during play is of primary importance, and getting rid of the hand is only a secondary object. Players score the total of the ends whenever their play makes the ends equal to 5 or multiples of 5. The sniff may be placed crosswise or endwise. A doublet other than the sniff must be placed crosswise, and both its ends count in the total until another play cancels them. A player who is unable to play in turn must draw from the boneyard until he can play. He may also draw even if he can play. An optional rule stipulates that the last two bones may not be drawn from the boneyard. The hand that goes out or has the lowest count in the event of a block adds to its own score the total points from the other hands, rounded off to the nearest multiple of 5. WIth two players, game is 200. With more players, game is usually 100.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)