Dominoes Strategy

Welcome to Dominoes Online Strategy section! All you need to know about this classic game you can find right here. If you are looking for tips on chess, bingo, checkers or any other game we’re afraid you have come to wrong place! This is a strictly dominoes page, and we welcome all your questions and comments about this timeless activity. Enjoy!

Dominoes Strategy & Tips

  • In any domino game, the player who can count the outstanding tiles will have an advantage.
  • Novice players don’t yet think in multiples of 5. They won’t look for a combination that yields 5. Instead, they will look for arms that end in 5.
  • The highest possible score in one move is 35. A player can gain 30 points with the 6-6 tile, along with tiles that show 6 on the remaining 3 arms.
  • Try to leave the remaining total as small as possible to prevent the next player from maximizing it’s use.
  • When you’re leading in the game, play a tile that’s worth 10 points in order to score at an early stage. To control the arms, play a double tile. When other players draw tiles you can deduce what the player was missing. If that player draws a tile and uses it, you can force the situation to end in tile values that he doesn’t have, thus forcing him to draw from the boneyard.
  • You have 3 possible goals: scoring, blocking, or domino (i.e. placing the final tile). When playing to score (the most common strategy) try to get the highest score without caring which player dominoes.

When you play to block or domino, you’re playing to force a blocked game so that you will get the lowest negative score. This is a more sophisticated way to play and requires counting suites to make sure that there are no tiles with the suite on the arms of the tableau. Dominoing doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get the highest score in a hand. Try to control the tiles in the game and get a specific suit on the arms of the table to guarantee that you can play on your next turn.

Draw Game

Draw Game, also called Double Six, is also played with a double six set or a double nine set. The dominoes are shuffled face down and each player automatically receives the correspondent number of dominoes, placing the remaining bones in the bone yard.

Basic Rules

  • The player that is the first to play is determined by a random draw. During subsequent rounds however, the first player is the one who managed to place the last bone in the previous hand.
  • The first player places a tile on the table and the other players are required to match their half-tiles with the ends of the chains on the table.
  • Note: In the Draw Game there is no “Spinner” so, even if the first bone is a double it will be opened just in two of its sides, thus creating a two-way chain of dominoes.
  • If a player can’t play a tile he must draw a tile from the bone yard until he can match a tile or until there are no more tiles left on the boneyard.
  • As soon as a player can match a tile in his hand to a tile on the table, he must match it and his turn ends. If he still can’t play, his turn passes to the next player. The hand is played until all players are blocked or until a player finishes all his tiles.
  • Scoring happens at the end of the round and the competitor with the lightest hand (with the least number of dots on his bones), or that places the last bone, wins the total of points in all of his opponents hands.
  • In the situation of a blocked game with even scores, for example if one player has the tiles 1-2 and 2-4 and the other player has a 6-3, the round is declared even, the points are not distributed and a new round starts.

Remember that the goal of the game is to block your contender’s game while you get rid of your bones as fast as you can, accumulating as many points as you are capable to get from opponents remaining bones.

Draw Game Tips

  • Get rid of your doubles as soon as possible. It’s easy to get stuck with doubles since you don’t have many opportunities to play them.
  • Try to play your high value dominoes as soon as possible, in that way, even if your opponent wins the round, he wont score too many points.
  • Try to keep at least one of every number in your hand for as long as you can. This will keep out from getting stuck in an unplayable position.
  • When your opponent has to pass or draw from the boneyard, make a mental note of which number he doesn’t have. You can use this information to try to block him later on.
  • Take note of which dominoes have already been played and the dominoes you still have in your hand, in this way you can often determine which dominoes your opponent has in order to block him.
  • Try to control the tiles in the game and get a specific suit on the arms of the table to guarantee that you can play on your next turn.

Rake Structure

Game to / Stake $0 – $9.9 $10 – $19.9 $20 – $49.9 $50 – $99.9 $100+
100 Points 11% 10% 9% 7% 5%
250 Points 11% 10% 9% 7% 5%
500 Points 11% 10% 9% 7% 5%

For example: Diana played against Roberto for a $10 stake and 100 points game, each one of them will leave a fee of $1 and the winner will get $18 (his $9 and his opponent’s $9).
Josh played against Silvia for a $110 stake and 100 points game, each one of them will leave a fee of $5.5 and the winner will get $209 (his $104.5 and his opponent’s $104.5).

Note: In the Points Game Mode the current “Points Value” is divided by 2 (as there are 2 players on the game) and added to the “Stake” in order to catalogue it in the rake table to deduce the commission. For example: When we play a 100 points game with a regular stake of $15, a Point Price of $1 and the game ends 100-40 the rake is 9%, as the stake is $15 + $60/2 = $45. It means that each player pays a commission of $4.05.