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Dominoes for Beginners: The Quick & Easy Guide to Get Started

Dominoes its one of the easiest social games to learn and with my guide you will learn how to play in less than 5 minutes

how to play dominos

Dominoes. A classic game reborn online. This timeless favorite offers strategy, a touch of luck, and the convenience of playing from anywhere. Want to challenge friends or test your skills against the world? 

The mobile gaming craze is undeniable, but who knew it would breathe new life into classics like Dominoes? The board game market, including online versions like Domino apps and websites, is expected to reach US$9.02 billion by 2029, growing at a significant rate of 9.58% annually (CAGR 2024-2029). 

Whether you're a Domino pro or haven't touched the tiles yet, this guide is for you. I'll walk you through the basics, from setting up the game, its rules, and variations, to becoming a domino whiz or at least winning your next family game night! And for those who prefer a digital challenge, you can play dominoes online too!

How to Play Dominoes, Rules and Gameplay

Before pouring that box or tapping the app, let's get to know the basics. Each set comes with a specific number of rectangular tiles, usually made from wood, bone, or plastic.

Every tile is split in half by a line, creating two squares. These squares have little dots, called pips, similar to the dots on a die, these pips range from 0 to 6. So, a domino with two pips has one square that looks like a "one" on a die.

To begin, place all the dominoes face-down on a table and shuffle them thoroughly. 

The Basics

  • Players Needed: 2-4 players
  • Domino Set: Double six set (28 tiles)
  • Shuffling: Shuffle the dominoes facedown. Players can take turns shuffling or have one designated shuffler.
  • Seating: Decide on seating arrangement (drawing dominoes or pre-determined).
  • Drawing Hands: Each player draws a specific number of dominoes depending on the game (typically 7 for 2 players, 5 for 4 players) and hides them from other players.
  • Remaining Dominoes: Any dominoes left after dealing will form the stock, sometimes called the boneyard.

Let's get down to playing!

  • Who starts? - We can decide by drawing dominoes, playing the highest double someone has, or whoever won the last game, it's totally up to you! The first player puts a domino face-up in the middle.
  • Matching dominoes - During your turn, try to connect one of your dominoes to the open ends on the table. The dots or pips on your domino need to match the number of dots on the domino chain already there.
  • Doubles - If you have a domino with the same number of dots on both ends or called a double, you can play it sideways, this will then start a new line!

Draw or Block?

These are the two popular domino games. Both draw and block use the same basic rules of matching pips and trying to get rid of all your dominoes. The main difference is how many tiles you start with and if you can draw more during the game. 

  • Draw Dominoes- If your dominoes don't match, you can draw more dominoes from a pile until you find one that matches. But you can only play the domino you draw during that turn.
  • Block Dominoes- In the block Domino version, if you can't play anything, you just pass your turn. No drawing allowed!

Winning Dominoes

There are two ways to win in Dominoes, these are:

  • Scoring Points- In some games, you get points based on the dots left on the open ends of the domino chain or the dots left in your hand at the end of a round. Who has the most points at the end wins.
  • Empty Hand- Another winning version is, that the first person to get rid of all their dominoes wins the round! Just shout "Domino!" when you're the last one standing. 

Where to Play Dominoes Online

The fun doesn't stop when you are alone and have no one to play Dominoes with. Are you craving that classic domino experience on your PC? Online Domino Games lets you hear the satisfying click-clack of tiles clashing, even from the comfort of your computer chair. This website isn't just another online game platform - it's a haven for domino enthusiasts, offering a vast collection of variations to keep you entertained for hours.

The rules of playing dominoes online are similar to the traditional game. However, many platforms offer wider versions of domino games, including lesser-known variations. Also, you may get to play multiplayer Domino games anytime you want!

Best Dominoes Mobile Games

With just a few taps, you can pass the time playing Dominoes anywhere. Here are some of the top Domino mobile apps to get you started:

Dominos Party - Classic Domino Board Game

Dominos Party mobile app is available on iOS and Android platforms. If you feel nostalgic about your childhood, this app is your go-to game. 

Features:

  • Classic Clash- Unwind with the OG domino experience. Match tiles, strategize your moves, and reign supreme!
  • Block Buster- This fast-paced mode throws you into the deep end with no second chances so you need to think fast, play smart, and block your way to victory.
  • All Fives- If you are feeling up for a challenge, sharpen your mind with All Fives! Every tile counts as you race to dominate the board with cunning calculations and quick thinking.

It has varying difficulty modes too, play from beginner mode, head directly to intermediate, or become a domino master with advanced settings. The app's intuitive interface lets you play one-handed; ideal for multitasking or lounging on the couch. You can also set your score by deciding the winning point limit and customizing your gameplay experience.

Domino! Multiplayer Dominoes

Challenge your friends or random players worldwide to classic dominoes. Domino! offers Fives, Block, and Draw variations in a beautifully designed, easy-to-learn app.

Key Features:

  • Play Anytime, Anywhere- Take turns quickly in turn-based mode or play in real-time at your preference.
  • Multiple Domino Variations- You can choose from Fives, Block, or Draw to suit your domino mood.
  • Massive Player Pool- Connect with friends on social media, access your contacts, or play against random players online with its multiplayer option.
  • Battle On- See who's online for instant matches and keep playing multiple games simultaneously.

These games are part of a substantial surge in mobile game popularity. According to Statista, as of 2020, mobile games accounted for over 50% of the global gaming market—quite a leap since 2015 when mobile gaming only represented 39%. 

The Future of Dominoes: Clicks, Clacks, and Taps 

Online dominoes might not quite replicate that tactile experience, but it offers a whole new way to enjoy this classic game.

For me, online dominoes are a double win. It lets me reconnect with friends who are miles away for a quick, strategic game. Plus, it introduces me to a whole new community of domino enthusiasts, offering the chance to learn new variations and test my skills against players from all over the world.

Online dominoes offer something for everyone. So, why not give it a try? You might be surprised by how much fun a classic game can be in the digital age. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, check out GameChampions for more legit and licensed games.

About the author

Adan Cabal

I’ve cultivated my writing skills and learned to marry my interests by working as a gaming journalist here at Game Champions. This is a perfect way to talk about the things I’ve always loved and share my thoughts with a wider audience.

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