Domino - Muggins

Muggins is a domino game which is best known in the anglo saxon world. It is describes here in a standard format.

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

about 5 to 10 minutes

One domino game with stones 0-6. However, it is also frequently played with larger sets. In such a case, the rules are slightly adapted.

Object of the game
The player with the most points wins the game.

The deal
All bones are shuffled face down. To start, all players draw one domino. The player with the most points will be the first player. In the second game, the player to his left may start, and so on. The dominoes are returned and shuffled again. The number of dominoes depends on the number of players. In a two player game, both players receive 7 stones. In a three player game and in a four player game each player gets five doominoes. The remaining bones are left in the middle and are the stock, usually called boneyard. The starting player puts one domino in the middle. This does not need to be a double. 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 the first stone.
  3. If a player can not legally play a bone, he must draw from the boneyard untill he can play. If the boneyard is exhausted, he must pass.
  4. Doublets are placed crosswise as usual.
  5. It is allowed to draw from the boneyard while a player can play a bone.
  6. A player scores points if the sum of the two open ends total a multiple of 5.
    Example 1:
    The dominoes on table are: 6-22-33-4.
    The open ends total 6+4=10, the player scores 10 points.
    Example 2:
    The next player adds 1-6:
    The dominoes on table are: 1-66-22-33-4.
    The open ends total 1+4 = 5, the player scores 5 points.
  7. If a double is at the open end, both sides are counted.
    Example 3:
    At one end is a 0-0, at the other end is 5-5:
    The player scores 0+0+5+5=10 points.

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

  1. Play your doubles whenever you can.
  2. The number of bones dealt at start varies in different parts of the world.
  3. The game can also be played with larger sets, such as the double 9 game or even the double twelve set. With the double 9 set, play starts with bones added to both long sides and both short sides of the first middle, thus giving four branches and four free ends to add a bone to at all times. With the double 12 set, bones are added to all four sides and all four corners, thus giving eight free ends to play to.

Strategies are basically the same as in The Draw game.

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