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Dominoes Set: Play fives and threes

Updated on July 4, 2015
Play dominoes, cards and more
Play dominoes, cards and more | Source

Fives and threes - educational for kids and great fun for everyone

Simple dominoes can be fun and educational? Oh yes.

When I was in my twenties I could often be found at the local pub playing fives and threes. (I have to admit that a few or more pints of good Yorkshire beer adds to the fun, but never mind that - at least, not for the kids).

A recently re-discovered game

Now that I have granddaughters I often despair of finding games for them that are educational, stylish and good fun all at the same time so fives and threes have re-entered my life.

You know how to play dominoes

And it's an easy game to teach to children. Fives and threes just adds another twist which helps them enormously with mental arithmetic. It's no more difficult than a regular game, it's just the scoring that's different. It keeps the brain working. The aim is to have the end two dominoes' value adding to a number that is divisible by either three or five.

Does that sound complicated? It isn't

In fact, look at the image above. You'll see at one end it a tile with 5. At the other is a double 5. So the exposed ends add up to 15, there perfect score. Why? The magic number 15 is scored as follows:

  • 15 is 3 x FIVE and this gets a score of 3
  • 15 is 5 x THREE and this gets a score of 5
  • So this move gets 3 + 5 points. Eight

Let's look at some more scores:

  • If the result is three, then this scores one point (3/3=1)
  • If the end tiles add to to five, this also scores one point (5/5=1)
  • A sum that equals six is two points (6/3=2)

And so on. See, it's easy!

What's also well worth considering is that, if we're not careful, today's children will only know about games they can play on a screen. Reduce screen time with these simple games.

Why I love this set

It contains everything you need, plus more game options. To play fives and threes,you need a cribbage board and pegs for scoring. These are included. It also includes dice and two packs of playing cards. That means that you have a multitude of games available from this one set. Instructions for ten games are included to get you started.

There's plenty of scope for cheating too

I know that some people might disagree but in our family, cheating was always a creative way of enhancing the game :) The game is best played by four players who form one team and thinking up creative ways of letting your partner know what dominoes you have is part of the fun!

A video demonstration

In my explanation above, it probably sounds more complicated than it really is. A child of school age can quickly grasp it though. Truly, it's easy

It's easier to show you how to play than to explain it further.

The video below shows a computerized version but is shows you what an easy game it is but at the same time keeping your brain alert.

There are various variations and rule changes but there's no reason why you can't make your own - it all adds to the fun.

Dominoes Set- 28 Piece Double-Six Ivory Domino Tiles Set, Classic Numbers Table Game with Wooden Carrying/Storage Case by Hey! Play! (2-4 Players)
Dominoes Set- 28 Piece Double-Six Ivory Domino Tiles Set, Classic Numbers Table Game with Wooden Carrying/Storage Case by Hey! Play! (2-4 Players)

If you don't need the cards and dice, but are just looking for the dominoes, then this is a nice set in a good-looking wooden case.

It has the traditional stylish with a sliding lid. Like the complete set above, it's easy to pick up and take with you.


When you're keeping score as you play, do it with a traditional cribbage board.

Standard Cribbage Board - Made in USA
Standard Cribbage Board - Made in USA

Arguably, you could keep score on a sheet of paper. I say 'arguably' because coming from a family of out-and-out cheats, I prefer to actually see the scoring happen.

So unless you know that your family is as pure as the driven snow, you WILL need a cribbage board to keep score.

Oh, it's so good to play a game that doesn't involve a screen.


© 2013 Jackie Jackson


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    • PaigSr profile image


      5 years ago from State of Confusion

      Looking at the picture I see dominoes, dice and cards. I have never combined the three before.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: The simplest games are the best :)

    • sousababy profile image


      5 years ago

      I completely forgot about Dominoes - what a fabulous game for all ages.


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