Dominoes: Classic board game for 2 players
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Nowadays, there are many options for board game lovers. The market is full of quality offers that board game geeks can choose from. So many that playing board games have become a favorite hobby to people of all ages and a significant part of cultural life.
But this is not a new phenomenon. Classic board games like Dominoes have been played literally for centuries. According to some sources, Dominoes was created around the 12th century in China. Since then, approximately 47 variations have appeared based on the original version.
Dominoes is a tile-based game meaning that the pieces have a significant role in the play. The basic version of Dominoes is played with a set called Double Six.
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Dominoes set and pieces
The classic Dominoes set includes 28 different pieces. They are usually black and white in color. The pieces have 2 equal halves (ends), each with a number between 0 and 6. Each tile has a value the same as the number of points displayed on it (sometimes referred to as dots or pips). Here are some examples: 4-3(🂂), 2-6(🁷), 5-3(🂉). All of the pieces are unique, but only 7 of them have the same value on both halves. These tiles are called doubles – double-six, double-five, and so on.
Players put the game pieces on the table in a certain way that allows the equal ends (halves) to connect. Ends can be connected if they have the same number of pips. Doubles are put 90 degrees to possibly be connected at both ends.
In general, the dominoes tiles are ranked based on their value. Exceptions are Doubles because they are with a higher rank than any regular dominoes piece. That means the double-six (🂓) tile is at the top of the ranking, followed by the double-five (🂋), etc.
How to play Dominoes with 2 players
Dominoes board game is usually played by 2 players, each drawing 7 pieces at the beginning. The rest of the pieces create the stock. As in the Rummy-type games, the objective is to be the first who is left without tiles.
One of the players starts the game by placing a tile on the table. This can be the player with the highest ranked tile in their hand. Other times the starting player is randomly selected. The opponent has to connect one of their pieces. If a player doesn’t have a matching one, they must draw from the stock until they get a tile that can be played. If a player already has a tile that can be played, they are not permitted to draw another piece from the stock.
In a so-called Block mode, players are not allowed to draw from the stock. Instead, when they don’t have a matching tile to play, they skip a turn.
The round continues until some of the players discard all of their tiles or all players pass (meaning the game can not proceed furthermore).
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The winner of the round is the player that first plays all of their pieces. But there are situations when both players have failed to do this. Then the winner is decided by the value of the game pieces left in their hand. The one with the lowest summed value wins and scores points.
When Block mode is played, the winner of the round is the player with fewer pieces in their hand. If both players have an equal number of pieces left, the winner is the player that played the last tile.
The overall game is won by the player who first reaches a certain number of points.
Frequently asked questions about Dominoes
Here are our short answers to the top 4 most asked questions about Dominoes.
1. How many pieces are in the Dominoes set?
The most common version of the Dominoes set consists of 28 pieces. This variation is called Double Six. But there are larger sets, for example with 55 pieces (called Double Nine).
2. How many people can play Dominoes?
The game is usually played by 2 to 4 people. By using larger sets, you can include more players.
3. How does the game start?
Often the game begins with the person having the highest ranked Dominoes tile. That player places one of their tiles on the table.
4. What is the difference between Draw and Block games?
In a Draw game, if a player doesn’t have any matching pieces to play, they draw from the stock. In a Block game, that player must skip their turn.
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