How to play ‘Double six dominoes’?

Sabina Nisioi
Sabina Nisioi
Double six dominoes

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Did you know that dominoes is one of the most popular games played in the UK? They say there’s no pub or club across the country that doesn’t have a set of dominoes resting somewhere, waiting to be mixed up and drawn by cheerful customers.

What is ‘Double six dominoes’?

‘Double six dominoes’ is just one of the many variations of games you could play with these tiles. You might have heard of it under a different name – ‘Muggins’ or ‘The five game’. The thing with ‘Double six dominoes’ is that it’s limited to 2-4 players. 

Since it’s cheap and easy to organize, this activity is great both indoors and outdoors, when you’re in a team building, camp, on holiday with your family, or in your backyard with some of your friends. It’s a great option for the moments when you want to take a step back from all the fuss. *Spoiler alert: It also challenges your brain a bit, and – of course – your luck.

Materials and equipment

  • A set of dominoes

What do you need to know about dominoes?

  • A tile is also known as ‘a bone’.
  • The dots on the dominoes are also known as ‘pips’.
  • On tiles, numbers can vary from double 0 to double 6.
  • Dominoes are referred to by the number of dots/pips on each end, with the lower number listed first. 

For example, a tile with a 1 and a 5 is referred to as a ‘1-5’. A tile with the same number on both sides is referred to as a ‘double’. 2 sixes are called ‘double six’, and this is the ‘heaviest’ domino value you could get. At the opposite end, there’s the ‘double blank’, which is the ‘lightest’ domino value.

How many dominoes are in a set of double six?

There are 28 tiles in a set of double six. All tiles, except the doubles, belong to 2 suits. The rule is not to count them twice. The tiles are as it follows: 0-0, 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1-6, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 2-5, 2-6, 3-3, 3-4, 3-5, 3-6, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 5-5, 5-6, 6-6.

​​Larger sets may run up to 9-9 (58 pieces), and for some domino game variations, there can be even 12-12 (91 pieces) used.

Players and purposes

  • ‘Double six dominoes’ can be played by anyone ages 6 to adults. The game requires 2 to 4 players.
  • The goal is to be the first one to score 100 or more points.

‘Double six dominoes’: Rules

Preparing the game

  • To begin, place all the dominoes upside down and shuffle them around.
  • Next, each player has to draw 5 tiles and place them on end so they can see their domino faces, but their opponent(s) can not.
  • The rest of the bones become the draw pile and the play moves to the left. 

*Note: If there was no double drawn, all the tiles are returned to the draw pile, reshuffled, and redrawn.

How to play ‘Double six dominoes’?

  • Now, to start the game, the player with the heaviest domino places it in the center of the table.
  • Then, the next player tries to match one of his dominoes and places it on the side of the double. 

For example, if the first domino played is 5-5, the next player may add any one of his dominoes containing 5 spots on one end. 

  • The third player may play to the 5-5, or he may try to match the end of the second domino played. 

Other rules:

  1. Only one domino may be played at each turn.
  2. Blanks match other blanks. 
  3. Dominoes are placed lengthwise rather than at right angles; except in the case of a double. 
  4. Doubles are always placed crosswise to the end they match, thereby giving two new directions in which to place dominoes.
  5. If a player cannot match any of the dominoes in play, he must draw from the extra dominoes until he is able to do so. 
  6. Should he draw the last domino and still not be able to play, he passes and then tries again on his next turn. 
  7. A player must play a domino if he is able to do so. 
  • ‘Double six dominoes’ keep going until one of the players has used all their tiles or until no one can play. 
  • The rounds continue until one of the players scores 100 points. 
  • If no more moves are possible and if there are no dominoes left in the draw pile, the player with no tiles, or the one with the least number of dots/pips on their remaining dominoes, is declared the winner of the game. That player also gets to subtract the total of his points from the total of each of their opponents’ points and scores the balance of points from each (a double 4 = 8 points, a double 3 = 6 points, etc.). 

Skills and abilities

‘Double six dominoes’ challenges your:

  • Memory. Remember how many dominoes are in a set of double six. This will help you develop your own winning strategy.
  • Focus. Be sharp and must pay attention to the strategy used by the other players as well. 
  • Dexterity. Be careful to place your tiles so as the rest of the players don’t see their faces.

‘Double six dominoes’ is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon when you’re having friends over. However, if you’re looking for activities that involve more action, check out eTeamBuilding! Our recommendations would be:

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