Texas 42

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Here is a trick taking game played with dominos instead of cards. 42 is the official state domino game of Texas and has a strong following of players all over the United States.

Players 4 players playing in teams of two

Equipment
Double six set of dominos
Score pad

How to play

The dominos are shuffled and each player takes seven

The player who has the 1:0 domino begins the biding. Each player in turn has one chance to bid or pass. The lowest bid is 30 points the highest is 42 points. Each bid must be higher than the the preceding bid.

The winner of the bid names the trump suit for the hand. Trump is like a suit in card games. A domino from the trump suit beats any other domino from a non trump suit. The trump suit can be blanks, 1,2,3,4,5,6, or doubles.

The player who won the bid leads the first trick. The player may choses to lead a domino from the trumps or another suit. If the domino is not from the trump suit, the suit of the led domino is the higher of it’s two numbers . The other players must play a domino that has at least one number from the suit of the led domino if possible. If they are unable to follow suit they may play any domino they chose including a trump.

The trick is won by the highest ranking trump domino played. If a trump has not been played the trick is won by the highest ranking domino of the suit that was led.

Dominos are ranked from highest to lowest: double, 6,5,4,3,2,1, blank. If doubles have been called trumps the doubles are a separate suit and ranked from 6 down to blank.

The winner of the trick collects the dominos leaving them face up. The winner of the last trick leads the next trick.

After all seven tricks have been played the partners count the points they have scored. The team gets 1 point for every trick they won. The 5:0, 4:1, and the 3:2 dominos are worth an extra five points if collected in a trick. The 5:5 and 6:4 dominos are worth an extra 10 points if collected in a trick. This makes the total number of possible points in a hand to be 42.

If the team that won the bid has a score that is equal to or greater than the bid they made , they win a mark. If the team that won bid has a score lower than their bid, the opposing team wins a mark.

The first team to get seven marks wins the game. Some players score marks by writing the word ALL on the score sheet. Each straight line in the word is a mark.

Variations

Some people play that the points collected in the tricks become part of the team’s overall game score. However,if the partnership that won the bid did not collect as many points or more than the bid ,they collect no points. The opposing team collects a bonus of the amount bid as well as the points they collected when their opponent fails to make the bid. The first team to 250 points wins the game.

Some people play that the winner of the bid may call no trump suit. This is called “follow me”.

Ten Penny Knock

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Here is a Dominos game I learned about from the Arthur R. Taylor’s book Pub Games. A variation on block dominos, it gives a bonus to the player who can force the other players to pass.

I would be very interested to hear from any readers who know if this game is still played in English pubs.

Player 2 or more
Equipment
Double six or double nine dominos
Plenty of dimes and nickels
How to play

The players are playing for themselves. The players shuffle the dominos face down on the table, and each player draws seven.

The player with the highest double leads the hand.

Players in turn add dominos to the lay out that have a matching number to one end or the other.

If player can not play a matching number it is a pass . The passing player pays ten cents to the player who played the last domino.

Play continues till a player runs out of dominos. This player is the winner, and collects from each player 5 cents for each pip on the dominos remaining in their hand.

If the game becomes blocked and no one can play on the layout, the player with the lowest pips is paid the difference between his or her and the others player’s dominos.

Draw Dominoes

 

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Draw Dominos is a popular variation where you need to be lucky and skillfull.

Players  2-4
Equipment double six set of dominoes in score pad
How to play

• Depending on house rules players draw three, four, five dominoes to start.

• On the first round the person with the highest double plays first.

• On his or her turn a player must match the number on either end of the dominoes layout with one of the numbers from their dominoes.

• If the player cannot play he or she takes a domino from the “bone yard” which is the leftover dominoes in the set. If a player can not play and only two dominos remain in the bone yard he or she loses a turn.

• Players continue to take turns until, a player plays all of their dominoes . This player is the winner.

• The winner gets the points left over in his opponent’s hands. If no one can play with the layout is blocked, the player with the lowest amount of points in his hand wins the round gets the difference between the points left in his hand in his opponents.

Fives and Threes Dominos

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Fives and Threes is a pub game that will put your math skills to the test. Unlike most domino games players do not earn points by the left over pips on the opponents dominos. In this game players earn points when the ends of the layout equal a multiple of five or three. To make it even more challenging in order to win you must score exactly 61 points. If you go over 61 you bust and return to your original score. So if you are up for a challenge, grab your dominos and try Fives and Threes

Players 2-4
Equipment
Double six set of dominos
Score pad or Cribbage board
How to play

The players pick a domino from the face down pack. The player who picks the dominos with the most pips leads the first hand. The next hand is lead by the player to the left of who lead the last hand.

Players then pick their dominos

If there are 2 players they pick 7 Dominos
If there are 3 or 4 players pick 5 dominos
The remaining Dominos are not used during the hand

The first player may lead with any domino they chose.The play moves clockwise. On the players turn he or she places a domino with a matching numbered spots on either end of the domino layout. If a player cannot play, he or she knocks on table and loses their turn. A player may not knock if he or she is able to play a tile.

Scoring

When a player has added a tile to the layout, the two open ends are totaled. If this total is a multiple of five, three or both, the player scores

The possible scoring totals are:

3 is 1 point
5 is 1 point
6 is 2 points
9 is 3 points
10 is 2 points
12 is 4 points
15 is 8 points (because it is divisible by five and three)
18 is 6 points
20 is 4 points

Doubles count the total of their pips when they are at an open end of the layout. So in the photo above the double five and the blank score 10 for 2 points

The player who plays their last domino earns 1 point. When playing teams both players on the team must must play all their Dominos to earn the point.

A blocked game earns no score.

The game is played to 61 points exactly. If the player scores more than 61 the score is returned to what it was before the last play was scored.

Variations

Games can be played to 31 or 121 points rather than 61.

Some play with no score for playing all your dominos

Some play that the first tile played in a hand cannot be used to win a game.

Some play a player scores 1 point per pip when the total number of pips on the exposed ends of the tiles in the layout is a multiple of 3 or a multiple of 5. So if the ends add up to ten the player scores ten points. If the ends are a multiple of three and five score double. The winner of the hand also earns a score from the total number of pips left in his opponents’ hands (1 point per 1 pip). This variation is usually played to 251 points. And the score does not have to be exact.

Some play that if players can not play they must draw a domino from the remaining dominos.

Six Love Dominos

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Here is a game from Jamaica to really test your skills as a domino player. In six love dominos the winner of the match is not the team that accumulates the most points left over in the opponent’s hand. In this game a team must win six games in a row to win the match. That means, when the other team breaks the winning streak by winning a hand all the scores rest to zero.

Players

Four players playing in teams of two

Equipment
A set of double six dominoes
Score pad

How to play

Teammates sit across from each other. The game starts by shuffling the dominos face down.

Each player picks seven for their hand.

The player with double six domino starts the hand. The lay out has only two ends that can be played on. Each player in turn plays a domino whose number matches either end of the layout on the table. The matching numbers are placed on the lay out so that they touch. Doubles are often placed crossways to help keep track of doubles played.

If a player cannot play on either end of the layout they are skipped. Players can signal this by tapping the table or just saying pass.

The first player to have played all their dominoes wins the hand for their team

If no player can play on the layout the player with the lowest number of points left on their dominos wins the hand for their team. In the event of a tie between the players with the lowest dominos, the hand is replayed and is worth two hands rather than one. If the tie breaker is a tie it is replayed and is worth three. Each tie breaker continues to accumulate games until a team wins the hand.

The team that won the last hand leads the next one

Each hand won is worth one point. A team can add new points to their score only if the opposing team’s score is zero. If a team wins a hand after the opposing team has scored any points, the opposing team’s score goes to zero. The first team to win six points while the opposing teams score is zero wins the match.

Variations
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For a faster game try playing Straight Six. In this variation the team who is the first to win six hands wins the match. Unlike six love, when the opposing team wins a hand the scores are not reset.

Another variation is called Cut Throat. There are four players and no teams. The player who wins six hands with at least one player at the table that had won no hands is the winner of the match. If all the players at the table have won at least one hand all the scores reset to zero.

Cuban dominoes

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You say that traditional dominos is not mentally challenging enough for you. No problem! Try your hand at Cuban dominos. The perfect game to play in the park while sipping a cafecito.

Players 2 teams of 2 players
Equipment Double nine set
of dominoes and a score pad
How to play

The set of 55 dominoes is put facedown on the table and shuffled.

Each player takes 10 dominoes, and the remaining 15 are set aside and not used for that hand.

The player with the highest double starts the round.

On the players turn he or she places a domino with a matching numbered spots on either end of the domino layout. If a player cannot play, he or she knock on table an lose there turn.

The first player to play all their dominoes wins the hand and collects the points that the opposing team has on their dominoes. Points are determined by how many dots are on the domino.

If no player can play on the layout the game is blocked. In this case the player with the lowest number of points in his hand wins.

The winning team starts the next hand.

Games can be played to 100 ,150,or 200 points.

Variations

Some people play that person who picks the highest domino from the fifteen left over dominos leads the first hand.

Partnership Dominoes

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Grab a partner and try this favorite of Latin America.

Players

Four players playing in teams of two

Equipment
A set of double six dominoes
Score pad

How to play

Teammates sit across from each other. The game starts by shuffling the dominos face down.

All the players pick one domino from the facedown pile. The player who has most dots on their domino leads the first hand.

A player reshuffles the dominoes and then each player picks seven for their hand.

The lead player puts down any domino they like to start the layout. The lay out has only two ends that can be played on. Each player in turn plays a domino whose number matches either end of the layout on the table. The matching numbers are placed on the lay out so that they touch. Doubles are often placed crossways to help keep track of doubles played.

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If a player cannot play on either end of the layout they are skipped. Players can signal this by tapping the table or just saying pass.

The first player to have played all their dominoes wins the hand and is awarded the points left over in the opposing team’s dominoes. Each domino is worth the number of dots it has.

If no player can play on the layout the team with the lowest number of points left in their hand wins all the points in opposing team’s unplayed dominoes.

The player to the right of the person who went out leads the next hand.

The first team to wins 100 points wins the match.

Variations

Some people play the holder the double six leads the first domino the match.

You can also play the winner of the hand wins the points from all the unplayed dominoes including the ones held by their partner. The first team to win 200 points wins the match. In this variation your partner may decide to hold onto high point dominoes if they are confident you will win the hand.

Another variation is person who who won the hand leads the next hand.