Posted on Mar 12 2014 - 7:32pm by Tito




If you’ve never played Dominoes, you are seriously missing out. The game itself is not

complicated. You start out with 28 dominoes. If you have never even seen a domino before,

they are white, rectangular pieces with a line drawn in the middle and dots on either side of the

line. The dots represent the numerical value of that side of the domino. The way you play the

game varies on the region you are borrowing instructions from, but typically you connect the

pieces based upon their ends matching. For example, a piece with four dots on one end would

be able to connect with another piece with four dots on one end, but only the end that had four

dots. Both ends are not always the same. Sometimes they are, and these special pieces often

get you bonus points or are used to start the game.


The earliest recorded game of dominoes was performed in the Song Dynasty in China, which

existed between 960 and 1279. It is thought that this ancient version was brought to Europe via

the Silk Road, where it gained in popularity and evolved into the worldwide phenomenon that

it is today. The material that the dominoes are made out of varies depending on the region as

well. Most American dominoes are made of synthetic materials. Traditional European pieces

tend to be made of bone or ivory, though they are sometimes constructed out of dark woods.

When the pieces are dark, the dots are white. When the pieces are white, the dots tend to

be dark. Specialty sets may be made out of jade or other precious materials. The make of the

dominoes does not really affect the game play, it is merely a cosmetic preference that some

people choose.


As previously stated, dominoes is traditionally played with 28 pieces. This means that,

traditionally speaking, the highest doubled-piece would be a double six. When the game was

first conceived it was typically played between one, two, or three persons. Four people rarely

played with the same set, and games involving more people were unheard of. Over time the

game evolved to incorporate more players. Modern dominoes games frequently have four or

more players competing at one time, especially now that it has become such a family oriented

game. To accommodate the increase in players, many manufacturers of the game provide

more pieces with a higher number count. Some go as high as twelve dots on each side, making

the highest doubled-piece a double twelve. This makes it easier for larger groups of players to

participate, because you do not have to worry as much about running out of pieces halfway

through a good game.


The way we play the game has also evolved over time, partially due to the increase in pieces.

One of the most popular forms of the game, especially for families, is called Mexican Train

Dominoes. In this game you have your domino pieces, but you also have little trains. Typically,

a set comes with enough trains for up to 8 players. The trains come in different colors so each

player can identify his or her train. The game also comes with a “train hub.” This is a piece of

plastic that stays in the center of the chain and is typically where the game begins from. After

drawing their pieces, each player must assess what their highest double-piece value is. Players

take turns announcing if they have a certain double piece, from the highest potential double

down. (For example, if you were playing with a set that had double twelve, you would ask who

has the double twelve. If no one does, you would move on to double-elevens, and so on and so

forth.) If they hold the piece that has the highest value, they place it in the center. Each person

can then play from the spokes leading to the center, OR from the new pieces played. When a

player can no longer play they must place a train on the chain. This means that no one else can

play on that chain until they are able to place another piece. In some variations you can use the

train to block your opponent’s moves, making this game very popular with families with young



Whether you enjoy the traditional form of dominoes or are more interested in the family

oriented modern variations, there is no doubt that this game is easily enjoyed by all. One round

and you will be coming back for more! Don’t forget to invite the family, we’re sure they would

love to play just as much as you do!


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