Wondering how to play dominoes for fun family games or learning resources? These classic games of tiles can be played different ways and they’re great learning tools for kids. Dominoes is an educational game of skill, strategy AND FUN that is easy to learn for all ages and stages!
Before we get to all different dominoes games you can play, let’s cover basics for the dominoes how to play rules and dominoes for beginners.
After we learn how to play with dominoes, will give you some domino game recommendations.
Let’s start with…
What are dominoes?
Dominoes is a classic strategy game. The dominoes game is played with rectangular tile blocks. Each tile domino has a dividing line with a different number of dots (also called pips, dobs, or nips) on each side (or is blank). You match the dots to the dots other domino tiles.
How do you play the game dominoes?
In the traditional dominoes game rules, you have 2-4 players. The object of the game is to lay domino tiles end-to-end, matching the number of dots. Scoring is done by the exposed dots on the tile ends adding up to five, with 150 points considered a winning score for the domino game.
The rules for dominoes game may vary slightly and some people play to 250 points as the winning score.
Who goes first in dominoes?
When playing the dominoes game, turn the tiles over so the numbered (dots) sides are down. Then, each person selects a tile.The person with the highest double tile goes first.
What is the most common domino game?
The classic domino game, or basic trains dominoes, is played by matching the domino dots to other domino tiles by laying them end-to-end. The most common domino games are played with 28 tiles (called “double six”) or 55 tiles (called “double nine”).
What are different domino games?
There are many different ways to play dominoes and domino games available.
Different domino games include:
- Classic Dominoes / Basic Trains Dominoes
- Mexican Train
- 3s & 5s
- Chicken Foot
- And even dominoes game online!
& SO MANY MORE!
DON’T MISS OUR DOMINO GAME RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW — whether you need domino games for two or more! KEEP SCROLLING!
What are the benefits of playing dominoes?
There are many benefits of domino game for kids. They get to practice:
- Number sense
- Basic math addition
- Pattern recognition
- Fine motor skills
- Critical thinking
AND, the entire family gets to have fun with game play!
Pretty cool, right?
Now let’s cover the basic dominoes rules first and instructions for dominoes game.
How do you play the game dominoes?
How to play dominoes game:
- “Shuffle” the tiles (face-down).
- Each player draws one tile. The player who drew the highest “double” (matching numbers on both ends of one tile) goes first.
- In a 3-4 player game, each player draws five tiles for their hand. In a 2 player game, each player selects seven domino tiles. If there are remaining tiles, they go in the middle and are called “the boneyard” for players to draw from if they can’t use their tiles.
- Line your dominoes up (standing up) so that you can seem, but keep them hidden from your opponents. (Or, use these awesome domino racks.)
- The player who drew the highest domino in the beginning goes first by playing any domino they choose from their hand. This first domino is called the “spinner.” This is the only domino tile where you can play all four sides. Preceding forward, you can only play off of the ends of the dominoes.
- The next person plays a matching domino to any one of the four open sides of the starting domino.
- If at any time a player can’t match any of the domino dots on the board, they must choose dominoes from the “boneyard” (the middle extra tiles) until they find a match. If a player picks up all the dominoes in the boneyard but still can’t play, play passes to the next player.
- Scoring occurs when a player can make the exposed ends add up to multiples of 5.
- The first person to use all of their tiles wins the hand. The score of the unplayed dominoes in the other players’ hands are added to the score for the winner of the hand (rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5. Scores always end in multiples of 5!).
- Dominoes game play continues until the first person to 150 points wins the game.
How many dominoes do you start with?
In the traditional dominoes game, you start with five tiles for 2-4 players. (For 1-2 players, start with seven tiles.) If there are remaining tiles, they go in the middle (“the boneyard”) to be drawn from later.
How do you score dominoes?
Scoring dominoes may be one of the trickiest things to learn at first. Scoring happens when the exposed ends after you played your tiles add up to five. (Only multiples of 5 are scored.)
This is a great video that explains the basics of dominoes, including the scoring.
What does a blank domino mean?
There are two ways to play blank dominoes:
- Consider the blank domino tiles as “wildcards” that can be joined to any other number, or
- Blank dominoes are worth zero and can only be joined to other blank domino tiles.
Is there any skill in dominoes?
YES! Learning how to play dominoes actually takes skill and strategy. It comes with practice in helping you to determine which dominoes to play for the highest score value.
But, don’t let this discourage you from playing with kids. Just… play! The strategy and dominoes skills get better the more you play (and the older the kids get).
Domino Games Recommendations
There are many different types of domino games, but here are some of our favorites to get you started!
1. CLASSIC DOMINOES
If you’re new to dominoes, start with the classic dominoes game set.
2. MEXICAN TRAIN DOMINOES
Mexican Dominoes, also called Mexican Train Dominoes, can be played with 2-8 players. It differs from classic dominoes in that the starting dominoes come from a central hub fixture and each player also has their own personal train.
Or, grab this game which includes both Mexican Train and the Chicken Foot game!
3. SPINNER DOMINOES
Spinner is a variation on the traditional dominoes game in that it includes dominoes that are Wilds. These allow you to play the tiles anywhere as any number dot.
4. BENDOMINO GAME
Bendomino is played like regular dominoes. However, instead of straight (rectangle) domino tiles, the Bendomino tiles are bent (or curved), meaning it adds an extra layer of strategy because your play has to fit both the number and the shape!
If you’re ready for a super challenge change, try Tri-Ominos, which are triangle dominoes!
“Players score points by matching numbers on the three-sided playing pieces, and bonuses for making bridges and hexagon.”
Want to ease your little ones into dominoes? Try the LLamanoes game!
It’s a matching card game that will introduce the concept of playing like items together before graduation to the “dots” (numbers) of dominoes. It’s fun for the whole family, too!
Also, younger kids may show more interest in playing the game with these giant foam dominoes that can be used just like regular domino tiles.
They’ll be playing dominoes game the classic way in no time after those!
7. LAWN DOMINOES
Time to take your game play outside! Grab these extra large dominoes for lawn or outdoor play. What a great addition to a cookout or outdoor party!
LEARNING HOW TO PLAY DOMINOES IS PERFECT FOR GAMESCHOOL!