The Passing Game

This is a common variation of the draw game.

Equipment

The game uses a double six domino set, but other sets can also be used when you have more players.

The Deal

The size of the hand varies with the number of players:

  • Two or three players get 7 tiles each
  • Four players get 6 tiles each

The rest of the tiles stay in the boneyard, but the last two tiles cannot be drawn.

The Play

The four handed game can be played in partnerships or as individuals. The players draw for lead (or set) and take turns placing tiles on either end of the train. Doubles are played across the line, but are not spinners.

A player has three options in each turn:

  1. To add a tile to either end of the train.
  2. To draw a tile from the boneyard, unless the boneyard is down to just two tiles.
  3. To pass his turn, hence the name of the game.

The hand stops when one player dominoes or when nobody can play.

Scoring

At the end of the hand, each player gets the total number of pips in his hands. The lowest scoring player is the winner and is credited with the sum of the scores of the losers, minus his own total. If there is a tie for lowest score, then nobody gets a score.

The game is played for 101 points in a two player or partnership game, and for 61 points in a three or four handed game. This convention allows a cribbage board to be used for keeping scores.

Comments & Strategy

It is a good idea to stack two of the tiles in the boneyard so that players will remember not to draw them.

Knowing when to pass, draw or play is important. You can bluff an opponent with a draw or a pass.