How to Play Dominoes: A Complete Guide for Beginners
Dominoes is one of the most popular classic games in the world. It is a simple, yet challenging game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But did you know that playing dominoes can also have numerous health benefits? In this article, we will show you how to play dominoes, the different variations of the game, and the best sites to download free dominoes games. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will find something useful and fun in this guide.
What is Dominoes?
Dominoes is a game played with rectangular tiles, also called dominoes, that have two square ends marked with a number of dots, also called pips. The tiles are usually made of wood, plastic, or bone, and come in different sizes and colors. A standard domino set consists of 28 tiles, with every possible combination of pips from zero (blank) to six on each end. Some larger sets have more tiles, with higher numbers of pips.
The History of Dominoes
The origin of dominoes is not clear, but some historians believe that it originated in China around the 12th century. The earliest known domino set was found in a tomb in China dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Chinese dominoes had different symbols and suits, and were used for gambling and fortune-telling. The game spread to Europe through trade and missionaries in the 18th century, where it was adapted to use numbers instead of symbols. The name “domino” comes from the Latin word “dominus”, meaning “lord” or “master”, possibly referring to the black tiles with white dots that resemble a hooded cloak worn by priests.
The Equipment and Terminology of Dominoes
To play dominoes, you need a set of tiles and a flat surface to place them on. You can also use a special domino table or board that has markings for the layout and scoring. Here are some common terms used in dominoes:
- A tile is a single piece of domino with two ends marked with pips.
- A double is a tile that has the same number of pips on both ends.
- A blank is a tile that has no pips on either end.
- A suit is a group of tiles that have the same number of pips on one end.
- A hand is the set of tiles that a player holds at the beginning or during the game.
- A boneyard or stock is the set of tiles that are not drawn by any player at the beginning or during the game.
- A layout or line of play is the arrangement of tiles on the table during the game.
- An end or open end is an end of a tile on the layout that can be matched by another tile.
- A spinner is a double tile that can be played on all four sides.How to Play Dominoes: The Basic Rules
The basic rules of dominoes are simple and easy to learn. Here are the steps to follow:
The Setup and Objective of Dominoes
To start the game, each player draws a certain number of tiles from the boneyard, depending on the number of players and the size of the set. For example, if there are four players and a standard 28-tile set, each player draws seven tiles. The remaining tiles are left in the boneyard, face down. The player who has the highest double tile in their hand goes first, and places it on the table. If no one has a double, the player with the highest tile goes first. The objective of the game is to get rid of all your tiles by matching them with the ends of the layout.
The Gameplay and Scoring of Dominoes
The game proceeds in a clockwise direction, with each player taking turns to place a tile on the layout. The tile must match the number of pips on one of the open ends of the layout. For example, if there is a double six on the table, you can play any tile that has a six on one end. If you cannot play any tile, you must draw a tile from the boneyard, if there are any left. If there are no tiles left in the boneyard, you must pass your turn. The game ends when one player runs out of tiles, or when no one can play any tile. The player who runs out of tiles wins the game and scores the total number of pips on the tiles left in their opponents’ hands. If no one can play any tile, the game is blocked and the player with the lowest number of pips on their tiles wins and scores the difference between their pips and their opponents’ pips.
How to Play Dominoes: The Different Variations
There are many different variations of dominoes, each with its own rules and strategies. Some of the most common ones are:
This is the most basic and common variation of dominoes. It follows the same rules as described above, except that each player draws one tile from the boneyard at the beginning of their turn, regardless of whether they can play or not. This adds an element of luck and uncertainty to the game, as you never know what tile you will get.
This is a variation of dominoes that does not involve drawing tiles from the boneyard. Each player draws a fixed number of tiles at the start of the game, and does not draw any more tiles during the game. If a player cannot play any tile, they must pass their turn. This makes the game more strategic and challenging, as you have to plan ahead and manage your tiles carefully.
All Fives Dominoes
This is a variation of dominoes that involves scoring points during the game, not just at the end. The rules are similar to draw dominoes, except that each time a player plays a tile that makes the open ends of the layout add up to a multiple of five, they score that number of points. For example, if you play a five-three tile on a six-four layout, you make 15 points (6+4+5=15). The game ends when one player reaches a predetermined number of points, usually 150 or 250.
Other Popular Variations of Dominoes
Some other popular variations of dominoes are:
- Bergen: A variation that involves scoring points when playing doubles or making both ends of the layout match.
- Mexican Train: A variation that involves playing multiple lines of dominoes from a central hub.
- Chicken Foot: A variation that involves playing three tiles on each side of a double before continuing with a single line.
- Muggins: A variation that involves stealing points from your opponents when they miss scoring opportunities.
- Bingo: A variation that involves marking off numbers on a card when they appear on the layout.
How to Play Dominoes: The Benefits of Playing
Playing dominoes is not only fun and entertaining, but also beneficial for your health and well-being. Here are some of the benefits of playing dominoes:
Improves Cognitive Function and Memory
Playing dominoes requires concentration, logic, calculation, and strategy. It stimulates your brain and enhances your cognitive function and memory. It also helps prevent cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.
Increases Social Interaction and Mood
Increases Social Interaction and Mood
Playing dominoes with your friends and family is a great way to socialize and have fun. It can improve your mood and reduce loneliness and depression. It can also strengthen your relationships and foster a sense of community and belonging.
Reduces Stress and Blood Pressure
Playing dominoes can help you relax and cope with stress. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and improve your immune system. It can also release endorphins, the natural painkillers and mood boosters of your body.
Boosts Immune System and Hand-Eye Coordination
Playing dominoes can also boost your immune system and prevent infections and diseases. It can also improve your hand-eye coordination and motor skills, which are essential for daily activities and tasks.
How to Play Dominoes: The Best Sites to Download Free Dominoes Games
If you want to play dominoes online or on your mobile device, there are many sites that offer free dominoes games. Here are some of the best ones:
Dominoes: Classic Tile Game by MobilityWare
This is a free app that lets you play dominoes on your Android or iOS device. You can choose from three different modes: Draw, Block, or All Fives. You can also customize the tile design, the background, and the sound effects. You can play against the computer or with other players online. You can also track your statistics and achievements, and challenge yourself with daily goals.
Dominoes by Loop Games
This is another free app that lets you play dominoes on your Android or iOS device. You can choose from four different modes: Classic, All Fives, Block, or Loop. You can also customize the tile color, the table, and the difficulty level. You can play against the computer or with other players online. You can also join tournaments and win prizes.
Dominoes (Free) by Microsoft Store
This is a free game that lets you play dominoes on your Windows PC or tablet. You can choose from three different modes: Draw, Block, or Muggins. You can also customize the tile size, the layout, and the speed. You can play against the computer or with other players online. You can also earn achievements and badges.
Dominoes is a fun and easy game that anyone can enjoy. It is also good for your brain and your health. Whether you want to play it offline or online, there are many options to choose from. So what are you waiting for? Grab a set of tiles or download a free game, and start playing dominoes today!
- Q: How many tiles are in a standard domino set?
- A: A standard domino set has 28 tiles, with every possible combination of pips from zero to six on each end.
- Q: What is the highest double in dominoes?
- A: The highest double in dominoes is the double six, which has six pips on both ends.
- Q: What is the difference between draw and block dominoes?
- A: In draw dominoes, each player draws one tile from the boneyard at the beginning of their turn, regardless of whether they can play or not. In block dominoes, each player draws a fixed number of tiles at the start of the game, and does not draw any more tiles during the game.
- Q: What is the difference between all fives and muggins dominoes?
- A: In all fives dominoes, each time a player plays a tile that makes the open ends of the layout add up to a multiple of five, they score that number of points. In muggins dominoes, each time a player misses a scoring opportunity, their opponent can claim those points.
- Q: What are some benefits of playing dominoes?
- A: Some benefits of playing dominoes are improving cognitive function and memory, increasing social interaction and mood, reducing stress and blood pressure, boosting immune system and hand-eye coordination.