The block game

Block is one of the easy basic games with dominoes. It is describes here in a standard format.

There is one great distinction between Draw games and Block games. In Block games all dominoes are distributed among the players. There is no Boneyard from which players draw dominoes when they cannot play.

Number of players
The game is for 2 to 4 players.

about 10 minutes

One domino game with stones 0-6.

Object of the game
The first player to score 100 or more points wins the game. For a short game play to a total of 50 points, to be agreed in advance.

The deal
All bones are shuffled face down. Each player receives 8 bones minus the number of players. Thus, with 2 players, each player receives 8-2=6 bones. The remaining bones are left in the middle and are the stock, usually called boneyard. To start the player with the highest double puts it in the middle. The turn then rotates to his left.

The rules

  1. All bones played must be played to a free end and must match numbers.
  2. The layout always has two open ends, each sprouting from one of the long side of the starting double.
  3. If a player can not legally play a bone, he must pass his turn. No bones are drawn from the boneyard.
  4. Doublets are placed crosswise as usual.

The end
The game ends when one player goes domino (plays his last bone) or when all players have consecutively passed. The player who dominoes or, if everyone passed, the player with the least number of spots, scores points equal to the number of spots on the stones in the hands of all other players.

Small variations
Hoyles rules of games suggests to make the number of bones dealt initially as 7 bones for 2 players and 5 bones for 3 or 4 players.

There is not a lot you can do in a simple game like this, but rough basic guidelines are:

Regional variations


Players: 2-4.
2 players: 12 each; 3 players: 8 each; 4 players: 6 each. The remainder is not used.
The player with the highest number of points starts the game with the tile of his choice. The player may play more than one tile and continue playing untill he can no longer match an open ended tile on the table. Then the next player may play as many tiles as possible, untill no-one can play. The remaining points of all players are written down, and the first player to reach or surpass 100 loses the game.


Players: 3-5.
Deal: 3 players: 8 each; 4 players: 6 each; 5 players: 5 each. The remainder is the stock.
Every player counts the total number of pips on all his tiles and the player with the highest total starts by playing one of his tiles. He mentions the toptal number of points aloud, for example '10' for a '4-6'.
Thex player may add any tile from his hand. There is no requirement that the tile must match. For example, he adds a 2-3 to the 4-6, and mentions aloud: 15, the total number of points now on the table.
As soon as the total on table reaches 30, 50, 70 or 100 points, the player scores 10 points.
The first player to score 50 points wins the game.


Where I live, the game we play is for 4 players. Each one takes 7 pieces, and your partner is the one who is in front of you. Begin the 6-6, and the play continues clockwise until one player finish, the remaining points of both the contraries are added to the winning team, until some team reach 100 points. This is the most challenge way of playing domino.

(Xavier Macías, Mexico)


With 2 people we play either draw with each player taking 7 and drawing from the boneyard until they can play a card. Or just drawin one which ever is prefered.

With three you leave out the double blank and take 9 cards each, playin a block style game.

With four we can play teams or cut-throat(every man for them self) both styles are block games. Each player takes 7 cards. Double six leads off for the first hand. After wards the winner leads off with any double if he has one.

There is an extension to the teams game. We call it 6-luv. Where one team must win six hands in a row to win the game. This could take all day or if the team is good, about a half an hour. There are slight details which I can't remember now.

(Tuff Guy)

Return to the DominoPlaza