Rules of Dominoes

How to play Dominoes


Dominoes is a game that can be considered a continuation from dice. Although it has an ancient oriental origin, it seems that the current form was unknown in Europe until the middle of the XVIII century, when it was introduced by Italians.

It is extremely popular in Latin American countries, particularly in the Spanish speaking Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, etc.).


To play dominoes, you need 28 rectangular tiles. Each tile is divided into two equal spaces with dots from 0 to 6. The tiles cover all possible combinations with these numbers.

You can play with 2, 3, or 4 players, or in pairs.

The game objective is to place all the tiles on the table before your opponents and to add up points. The player who wins a round adds up the points that the other players have been unable to place.

The game finishes when a player or a pair reaches the number of points indicated in the game options.

How to play

Each player receives 7 tiles to start a round. If there are less than 4 players in a round, the remaining tiles stay in the set.

The starting player is the player with the highest double (if 4 people are playing, the player with double 6 will always start). If no player has a double, the player with the highest numbered tile will start. From this moment, the players start putting down tiles, in turn, going anti-clockwise.

The player starting the round gets to place the first tile. This is important as a dominoes strategy as the starting player is usually at an advantage.


On their turn, each player must place one of their tiles on either end of the domino chain, placing them so that the points on their tile are the same as the points on the end tile it is next to. The doubles are placed sideways at the end of the chain so they can be easily found.

Once the player has placed the tile, their turn finishes and moves onto the next player.

If a player can´t play, he must take a tile from the remaining tiles as necessary. If there aren´t any left, they skip that turn.

End of the round

The round continues with the players placing their tiles until one of the following situations arises.

  • A win

When a player places their last tile on the table, this player has won the round. If they are playing without a partner, the player who wins the round adds up the points of all the other players. If playing in pairs, they add up the points of all players including their partner´s.

  • Close

There are cases where no player can continue the game. This happens when the numbers at the end of the chain have already been played 7 times. At this moment, we can say that the game is closed. Players count the points on their remaining tiles; the player or pair with the least points will win and add up the other points like usual.

It could also be the case that players have the same points. In this case, the player who started the game or played first after the starting player will be the winner.

Following rounds

In the following rounds, the player who starts the game is the next person along. They can start using any tile they want, even if it is not a double tile.

End of the game

The game ends when a player or pair gets the necessary points to win.

Dominoes Rules
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