Updated: Apr 19
People use dominoes to create long lines of tiles so they can watch them fall over, right? Well, yes and no. While creating crazy lines can be fun, Domino games have a much more interesting history.
There are actually many different types of domino games. They vary depending on where it comes from and what the set looks like. In this guide, we’re going to explore some of these games and unpack the basic domino rules for each. Spoiler alert, but there’s also a free domino game that you can play to earn real cash!
3 Types Of Domino Games
Dominoes have been around for literally hundreds of years. It began in China and spread all over the world. Over time the game has evolved, changed, and split so that there are now loads of different types of domino games. For each new version of the game, there are also updated domino rules that change the complexity or speed of the game. Let’s compare some of the most popular versions and dive into the different domino game rules.
1. Double 6
This is probably the most well-known version of the dominoes. The set has 28 tiles starting from double blank and featuring each combination of blank and the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 all the way to double 6. The aim of the game is to match at least one side of a tile in your hand with an end tile on the table. You also need to be smart about matching your tiles because you want to score points. You earn points in two ways:
Points are awarded every time the numbers at the end of the tile strings add up to multiples of 5.
You get points for all the tiles your opponent has left when the game is finished.
The game lasts a few rounds, but the first person to 150 points wins!
2. Chinese Dominoes
Most versions of the game and the basic domino rules were created in China. The best way to see how Chinese dominoes differ from double 6 is by looking at the tiles and the domino game rules. In Chinese dominoes:
There are 21 tiles
The dots are red and white rather than black and white
Some versions don’t feature blanks
A fascinating aspect of Chinese dominoes is the use of ‘suits’. Each tile with its black and red dots belongs to ‘suits’ called ‘military’ and ‘civilian’. Civilian tiles are valued according to cultural significance (like Heaven, Earth, or Man). The military tiles are named and valued according to the total points on the tiles.
3. Larger Domino Sets
While most domino sets feature dot numbers from 1 - 6, there are bigger sets that allow for more players. One size bigger is Double 9 which has tiles going from 1 - 9 rather than 1 - 6. Bigger sizes include double twelve, double fifteen, double eighteen, and even double twenty-one dominoes, which has 253 tiles!
With all your newfound domino knowledge, are you ready to start playing?
The Best Free Mobile Domino Game
So far, we’ve looked at Dominoes in their traditional, physical form. Now we’re going to kick it up a notch by exploring the best free domino game! Dominoes is just one of the casual app mini-games by Pocket7Games and it takes all the basic domino rules to the next level. With the addition of a timer, each game is super fast. You can also earn as you play because the game allows you to make real money as you win!
So here’s how it works. It’s just like Double 6 except that you are playing against the computer and there are time limits. At the beginning of each round, you are given 7 tiles. Once the first tile has been placed, you will have three minutes per turn to match a number on the table with a number on your 7 tiles. Remember, you earn points every time you put down a tile that causes the numbers at the end of the tile strings to add up to multiples of five. If you cannot make a match from the tiles in your hand, you’ll pick up a new tile from the ‘boneyard’ until you can make a match. The first person to 80 points or the person with the highest points when the time runs out is the winner.
A great way to start playing this free dominoes game is by honing your skills in practice mode. You may be surprised to know that there are some elite gaming mothers out there who are battling it out on the leaderboards so it’s a good idea to create some winning strategies. When you are ready to start playing for real, there are a few tips and tricks you may want to keep in mind:
1. No need to rush it
Although you have three minutes to play each turn, make sure you take the time you need to put down the highest-scoring match. A little-known secret is that sometimes it can pay to play a little more slowly so that you can run down the clock and ensure a win when the game is close.
2. Use your 5’s
As we’ve discussed, being able to create multiples of 5 at the end of your lines can get you easy points. So be strategic about how you match your numbers without spending too much time on calculations. Pay extra attention to your 5s, especially your double 5s, because they are like a superpower for earning fast points.
3. Keep moving
When it’s your turn, you’ll see that some of your tiles are highlighted. These are the tiles that you can play. In most cases, you’ll have a few options so don’t be afraid to test them out in different places. The highest-scoring match may not be that easy to spot right away so the more you move your tiles, the more options you’ll discover.
Time to start playing!
You are now a master of domino rules. There is nothing left to do but play! No need to carry around a set because you can simply download the free Domino game by Pocket7Games and start earning real money today!