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Domizerka

Contributed by Kantaphon Tongmee

Equipment and players

The game uses a double six domino set - that is 28 dominoes, one for each possible pair of numbers from 0 (blank) to 6. A domino with the same numer at each end is called a double. This game needs three players to play.

The deal

The game is played clockwise. Any player can deal first and the turn to deal passes clockwise.

The dealer "shuffles" the dominoes by mixing them thouroughly face down on the table and deals the tiles one at a time into four sets - a hand for each of the three players and a boneyard. After three tiles each have been dealt, the deal pauses and the player to dealer's left must select one of the four contracts on the basis of his or her first three tiles.

The four contracts

Every player must choose each contract once.

The possible contracts are:

In the first two the aim is to win tricks, with the chosen suit as trumps. In "Zero" the aim is to win tricks without a trump suit, but all tiles which contain zero belong only to the zero suit, so you must choose zero as the suit to be followed when leading a zero tile. In "Domizerka" there are also no trumps, but the aim is to avoid winning tricks, and zero is not an obligatory leading suit.

Continuing the deal and discard

After the contract has been announced, the deal is completed, so that each player has a hand of 7 tiles and there is a bondyard of 7 tiles.

The player to the dealer's left may now discard any number of unwanted dominoes (he does not show this discard) and replace them by drawing tiles from the boneyard. Having drawn replacement tiles you are not allowed to discard any further tiles.

The player to dealer's right may then discard any number of tiles up to the number of unused tiles remaining in the boneyard and replenish in the same manner. Finally, if there are any tiles left in the boneyard the dealer may do the same. No player is obliged to discard any tiles at all - you may play with your original hand if you wish to.

The Play

There are seven suits: zeros, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes. The highest domino of each suit is the double. The remaining dominoes, apart from the doubles, belong to the two suits corresponding to the two numbers on them. The exceptions are the trumps in "Evens" or "Odds" which belong only to the trump suit and the zeros in the "Zero" contract which belong only to the zero suit. When a non-trump suit is led, the "effective" suit - the suit to be followed - is chosen when leading to a trick. Within each suit the highest tile is the double and the remaining tiles rank in order of the other number on the domino.

The player to dealer's left now leads to the first trick and announces the suit for it unless it is trumps or zeros in "Zero" contract. If a player is able to follow suit, he must do so. If he is not able, then he may discard any tile in his hand. There is no obligation to trump or to overtake. The trick is won by the highest trump played if any, or otherwise by the highest tile of the chosen suit. The winner of this trick stacks the three tiles of the trick face down in front of himself and leads to the next.

Play continues until all tiles are played.

Scoring

Each player has a quota of tricks to make, and scores according the number of tricks they win more or less than their quota. The quotas and scores are as follows:

Evens, Odds, or Zero (Each trick above quota +1, Each trick below quota -1)
Left of dealer - 4 tricks
Right of dealer - 2 tricks
Dealer - 1 trick
Domizerka (Each trick above quota -1, Each trick below quota +1)
Left of dealer - 1 tricks
Right of dealer - 2 tricks
Dealer - 4 trick

After 12 deals, when everyone has played every contract, the game ends. The scores always add up to zero, and the the score after all 12 hands have been played indicates how much each player has won or lost.


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Last updated 5th June 2007