Playing Dominos

Domino, Bitches!

Dominos are played religiously throughout the Caribbean and when we lived in Cayman is was exception. Usually, the locals would gather in the same spot in front of Lorna’s Texaco in Boddentown every night, and the faint sounds of laughter and the loud slap of Dominos could be heard echoing through the palms.

Want to play?

All you need is some cold beer, and a set of Dominos from your local Target.

Here are your basic rules:

  • Place the dominos face down on the table and mix them well. Next, each player draws 1 domino. The player with the highest double-numbered domino takes the first turn. If no one draws a double-numbered domino (like double six, for example) then the player with the highest total number kicks things off. Play then proceeds clockwise.
  • Players then put their dominos back on the table and mix them again. If there are only two players, each player draws 7 dominos. Same for four players. If there are more players, each draws 5 dominos. A variant for beginning the game is for every player to keep the domino they drew when establishing who goes first. The player with the highest double-numbered domino then lays his/her domino directly on the table. Now, if there are only two players in the game, each draws 6 dominos. If there are more players they each draw 4.
  • The first player lays one domino on the table. This is the key part… there is a fine art to slowly raising the Domino over your head, while cupped in your palm so the others cannot see what it is… and then “SLAMMMMN” down on the table with the domino.
  • The next player adds a domino that matches in number with one of the two ends of the first domino to create a “chain”. If the player does not have a domino to match the end of the domino chain, the next player takes a turn. Play continues until no one can add any more dominos to the chain.
  • When no more dominos can be added, each player adds together the numbers on all their remaining dominos. The player with the lowest score wins the round. In addition to the winner’s score, the score of the other players can either be added to the winner’s points, or deducted from each player’s score.
  • The first player to reach 125 points wins the game.