High Fives

This was a game developed by David Galt for Cardinal Industries double fifteen domino set in 1996. This game might be considered a member of the Fives family because of the scoring, but it is also a capture game like Castle Rock, Canton or the Chinese game of Tsung Shap. The difference is that the capture is made by matching ends instead of matching totals (Canton, Tsung Shap) or enclosure (Castle Rock).

Equipment

The game uses a double fifteen domino set. It can be played by two to eight players and moves fast.

The Deal

First hands:

  • For two to four players, the first hand is five tiles.
  • For five to eight players, the first hand is four tiles.

Following hands:

  • For two to four players, the following hands are five tiles.
  • For five or six players, the following hands are four tiles.
  • For seven or eight players, the following hands are three tiles.

The rest of the tiles are put in a boneyard. A tableau of five tiles is laid face up on the table.

The Play

In his turn each player puts one tile on the tableau. If he can match the end of a tile already on the table, he captures that pair of tiles. Otherwise, his turn is over and play moves to the left. This leaves one more tile for the next player to consider.

If a previous player has left a matching pair on the table, another player can take it in his turn along with any pair that he might make. This applies only to pairs and not to longer trains. For example, given this tableau,

[0-1] [1-2] [7-7] [8-9] [10-15]

the current player could discard [7-8] and pick up the pair [7-8] [8-9] and the pair [0-1] [1-2] which was left on the table. He could also play another non-matching tile and pick the [0-1] [1-2] pair from the table. He could not discard the [2-5] and capture [0-1] [1-2] [2-5]; he would have to decide to take either the [0-1] [1-2] pair or the [1-2] [2-5] pair.

When all players have used the tiles in the first hand, another hand is dealt from the boneyard. Please notice that the size of the second and following hands changes with the number of players. The next round is lead by the same player who lead the previous round.

Any tiles left in the boneyard when the last hand is dealt are turned face up and put in the tableau. Any tiles not captured after the last hand are left in the tableau and do not count toward any player's score

  • Two to six players will have one extra tile left.
  • Seven players will have two extra tiles left.
  • Eight players will have three extra tiles left.

Scoring

There are 100 possible points in a game, but not all of them might be scored because of tiles left in the tableau after the last hand. Doubles are 1 point each, for a total of 16 possible points in doubles. Tiles whose total pips are a multiple of five are 1 point per each multiple of five. This gives a total of 84 possible points, broken down as follows:

One point tiles
[0-5] [1-4] [2-3]
Two point tiles
[0-10] [1-9] [2-8] [3-7] [4-6] [5-5]
Three point tiles
[0-15] [1-14] [2-13] [3-12] [4-11] [5-10] [6-9] [7-8]
Four point tiles
[5-15] [6-14] [7-13] [8-12] [9-11] [10-10]
Five point tiles
[10-15] [11-14] [12-13]
Six point tiles
[15-15]

Comments & Strategy

It is physically hard to see all of the scoring tiles in a pile of captures. It is a good idea to remove the scoring tiles as you make each capture and set them aside or turn them face up and the non-scoring tiles face down. Players can use small open top boxes to hold their captures, since the pile of captured tiles can get to be fairly large.

The extra tiles in the last hand can be important, since they will often make a several pairs on the tableau when they are exposed. This means the lead for that round has an improved chance for scoring.

It is hard to see all of the scoring tiles by looking at them. If you plan to play this game on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to paint the pips of the scoring tiles a different color.