Dice Matching Domino Games
It is evident that domino tiles originally represented the possible results of throwing two 6-sided dice. This is particularly clear when looking at Chinese dominoes, which predate Western dominoes by several hundred years, contain no blanks, and have red spots for their ones and fours like the ones and fours on Chinese dice. One can even imagine that the earliest domino games might have originated as a substitute for dice games in which the player would draw a tile instead of throwing two dice. The probabilities of the outcomes would of course be different but the game mechanisms could be similar. In fact in Chinese Games With Dice and Dominoes (1895) Stewart Culin described the dice game Chák t´ín kau (throwing heavens and nines) in which players throw two dice with the exact same mechanism for deciding the winner that is used in the domino games Naú t´ín kau and Tá t´ín kau.
It is a little surprising how few games make use of this correspondence between dominoes and dice. Matching a domino to a roll of two dice can be the main mechanism of a game or can be combined with other mechanisms, for example to choose a bonus tile with some special properties or to influence the rules governing which tiles can be played.
Here is a list of traditional and invented domino games on pagat.com that involve dice matching.
|Bagchen||4||[C32]×2||plain trick multi trick|
|Challenge dominoes||2–4, 5, 6, 7||[6:6]×2||shedding|
|Dice and Dominoes||2–5||[6:6]×2||shedding|
|Diominoes||2, 3, 4||[6:6]|
|Domino Roads||3, 4||[6:6]×2||connecting:disconnected equal end matching pattern scoring|
|Flower & Scorpion||2–4||[6:6]||connecting:line equal end matching bergen scoring|
|Shanghai dominoes||2–4||[6:6]×2 [6:6]×3 [6:6]×4|
Notes on the index
Invented games, mostly submitted by readers of pagat.com, are listed in italics.
- The preferred number of players is shown in bold. Other numbers with which it is possible to play are shown in grey.
- Western domino sets are indicated by the highest number of pips on a tile end - for example [6:6] is a standard double 6 set of 28 tiles, [12:12] is a set of 91 tiles with up to 12 pips on each end.
- Game Type
- Indicates the layout shape, the game's objective (for example 'shedding' if the aim is to be the first to get rid of all one's tiles) and other families to which the game belongs.