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Double 6 Dominoes for Families

Updated on November 3, 2013

I like games that are durable, simple and compact. Board games can be a lot of fun, promoting many social and thinking skills while providing tons of fun. However, I hate the way that weak boxes can wear out quickly in the hands of youngsters. Durable storage is helpful if you have a crowd because it makes it so much easier to store a game over time. With this in mind, a case of Dominoes is perfect for the active family, making storage sensible and simple while conserving space. At the same time, the game is tons of fun, excellent for developing strategy and counting skills. Families like mine can work in pairs so that younger kids who aren't sure on number skills can work with an older sibling or parent.

The game play is simple, but the theme is timeless. I used to play Dominoes with my Grandma when I visited her in Albuquerque. Her sunroom had a beautiful round table with a cheerful cloth, and her parakeet, Ponchito, watched from the sidelines. In this context, she shared so many stories about her childhood and my Dad's early days. I loved the together time!

With our kids, it's a lot of fun to gather around the big kitchen table. At times, my husband and I play. At times, the kids initiate and enjoy on their own. Once you know how to play, it's really a great learning process. There will certainly be memories for years to come!

Up to four players or teams can play the version that we enjoy...there are numerous versions of the game, and yours may be different. Tiles are placed face down and mixed up to form the boneyard. Each player/team chooses five dominoes. The highest double plays first, and moving clockwise, succeeding players place dominoes based on matching an end. Play from the first double can also happen on either long side. Play continues in four directions based on the initial double. Inability to play results in drawing a tile from the boneyard, playing if possible. Play continues until a player is out of tiles or until no further play is possible.

Points are scored when the open ends left total a multiple of five. When a tile is played off the side of the initial double, the total of that domino's points plus the end or the newly placed domino's end are counted. This is true until the other side of the double in the middle is closed off by a domino being played.

Check out these demonstration videos for an idea of basic game play.

Our family enjoys the Fives version of the game (rules here). This involves some counting strategy in terms of trying to reach a multiple of five as the total of all open ends. It also provides some challenging thinking in terms of trying to block others from reaching those multiples and scoring. However, there are many, many game play choices. You can simply play until no further matches are possible, as in the first video displayed here. That's a great choice for young children who can handle number identification, counting and matching. You can get more complex with double nine or double 12 dominoes as well.

The set of Double Six Dominoes featured above is the set we ordered for serious family play. The tournament set is thicker than the sets found in the toy section at our local Walmart. It's great for ensuring that the pieces don't tip over when we are playing. They are easier for small hands to pick up and place as well. The set is of excellent quality, and we really enjoy full evenings of heated domino play with this easy-to-store set.

My kids will play with other sets as well. With family members in the math ed. field, we seem to accumulate many of these tins. You can consider some of those featured here.

These are great for Thanksgiving or New Year's gatherings that include kids. You'll also find that they are good for homeschooling needs or for affordable Christmas giving. This classic game is well worth the investment for promoting thinking and number skills.

Double 9 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (styles will vary)
Double 9 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (styles will vary)

Double 9 Dominoes allow for more extensive matching and play.

Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (Styles May Vary)
Cardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (Styles May Vary)

Double 12 Dominoes also enhance extended gameplay while providing some interesting patterns and attributes to consider from an educational perspective.

Domino Rally Starter Lane - Dominoes for Kids - Classic Tumbling Dominoes Set
Domino Rally Starter Lane - Dominoes for Kids - Classic Tumbling Dominoes Set

Kids and dominoes also mean lots of fun experimentation with toppling activities. This set is great for promoting that aspect of domino play, a fun extension for the kid with a bent toward building.


Did you play dominoes as a child? Share your memories in the comments section.

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What's your favorite Classic Game for family game nights or gatherings?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Dominoes was always fun but we never advanced beyond the basics. My brothers always won and somehow I always thought they collaborated.