Domino is a game of skill and luck, which traditionally involves domino tiles drawn from a bag. The game is popular worldwide, especially around Asia, where it was invented and where most of its players live. In China alone, billions of dollars are wagered each year playing domino online.
This article will explain how to play Domino gambling and give information about some strategies that can be adopted. The purpose is not to provide exhaustive coverage of all aspects of the subject, but there are reference links for further readings at the end if you want to learn more.
The first thing you need to know is the tiles and how they are arranged. A Domino tileset consists of 28 tiles made from bone, wood or plastic, and having a slightly curved top edge so that two tiles can only match if their curves fit together.
In addition, the tiles have either one or two black dots on them so that there is always at least one matching pair available for play.
Some sets also have blank edges, which can be used as substitutes for any dot tile when required, although it should be noted that blank edged tiles will not score points until matched with another blank edged tile.
Points and score
The number of points scored by each tile is dependent upon its value and whether it has been played:
- a tile with one dot is called a ‘one’ and scores one point if matched
- a tile with two dots is called a ‘two’ and scores two points if matched
- an unplayed plain edge has no value but can be used as a substitute for any other tile when required.
A tile played during the round counts towards the total number of tiles needed to win that game. You must play all your drawn tiles (even if they do not score any points) until you have achieved this winning requirement, or it will be impossible for you to win.
Since there are 28 tiles in the set, there should normally be seven rounds at each table. The following example demonstrates how the various tiles would be used:
Usually, players take turns playing with their tiles. But if you cannot play any of your drawn tiles because they have not been matched, then it is the next player’s turn instead. If everyone else in a given round can match all their drawn tiles, you must choose another tile from an unplayed plain edge to replace one of your unplayed ones.
Before this replacement can take place, however, you should ensure that the value of that replaced tile will not cause an imbalance within that round during the play (for example, finding yourself with no ‘ones’ and only two ‘twos’).
This means going through all the possible combinations until no such imbalance exists for a given tile combination:
- You go first: You cannot play any of your tiles and choose a blank edged tile to replace one of the unplayed:
- You go second: You can match all your drawn tiles because both parties have two ‘twos’ and they are equal, summing to four points:
Here there is no imbalance so that you can complete that round. If you had not found such an arrangement, then the player who has no playable tile must draw another tile from an unplayed plain edge until this balance is restored.
What is a Gammon?
So, in this example, the next replacement will be made by the first player whilst the others continue playing their current rounds. It should be noted that if too many hands have been played when a new round begins, then the previous round must be re-played until someone has a playable tile.
If a player has no drawn tiles left after 7 rounds, they will lose the game for some reason. If this happens to both players (as often can happen), then it is called ‘gammon,’ and whoever achieved it gains 2 points whilst their opponent loses one point.
However, if only one player achieves gammon, they gain 4 points whilst taking away 1 from their opponent. However, if neither person achieves gammon, you score your total number of accumulated points. If there are not an equal number of rounds at each table, then subtract or add an appropriate amount from the final total.
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