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Simple Dominoes

Quick Guide

Proficiency Grade


Young Children & 
Elderly Adults

# of Players



Ideal # of Players




Strategy Needed


Amount of Luck


Ability to Learn


How to Play Simple Dominoes

Dominoes is a game played with rectangular tiles, called dominoes, which are usually made of wood, plastic, or ivory. The dominoes have a line dividing them into two squares, and each square is marked with a number of dots from 0 to 18 (depending on your set size, see below 'Variations' for more information).


To begin the game, the dominoes are shuffled face down on the table, and each player draws a certain number of tiles, usually seven (see 'Variations'). The remaining dominoes are left as a draw pile (aka boneyard).


The first player to move is usually the player with the highest double tile, which is a tile with the same number of dots on both squares. If no one has a double, then players draw additional tiles until someone has a double. That player then plays their double tile to start the game.

Each player takes turns adding a tile to the chain of tiles on the table, matching one of the squares on their tile with the square on the end of the chain. If a player cannot make a move, they must draw a tile from the draw pile. If there are no tiles left in the draw pile, they must pass their turn.

Round Scoring / Game Ending

The game continues until one player has played all of their tiles, or until no one can make a move. At the end of the game, the player with the fewest points in their remaining tiles wins.

Points are scored by adding up the number of dots on the tiles left in a player's hand at the end of the game. After the number of pre-determined rounds are played, the player with the lowest score wins.

Variations / House Rules


Given the simplicity of the game, you can really play it any way you would want.

Player to Domino Ratios

The larger the domino set, the more people you can play with, just adjust the number of tiles to draw by the number of players and domino set that you are using.

Choose the number of tiles to pick in Simple Dominoes based on the number of people playing, and the type of domino set:


Uno Rule

In all domino games, our family rule is that you must say "uno!" when you only have one tile left. If someone catches you not saying uno, you must draw two tiles from the boneyard as a penalty.


While I don't ever actually remember playing simple dominos as a kid, I have more recently played with aging grandparents. It's very simple and may not be the most 'fun', but it aligns dexterity and simple thought process that is great for very young children and aging adults alike.


My grandmother was always extremely competitive, especially in games. When she got older, it was tough for her to hold the cards, and play advanced games. Instead, we turned to Simple Domino's. We would normally play with a double nine set so that there were not too many pieces, and she could still easily tell the numbers apart from each other.


After my mother-in-law had a stroke, we also played Simple Domino's quite a bit. Thankfully she was cognitively fine, but domino's helped her work on building back up her dexterity of picking up each 'bone' and playing them. Although not a competitive person, this allowed for a nice group activity that also helped her recouperate.


This is a great game to start children when they are quite young. It can help them learn numbers, as well as basic gameplay. A perfect gateway into more interesting games, kids can learn quite quickly but will also likely age out quickly.

Where to Buy

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