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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.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

GamePlayersEquipmentGame type
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] shedding
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 pattern scoring
Throw-up Dominoes 2, 3  [6:6] connecting:line equal end matching shedding

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.
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This page is maintained by John McLeod, john@pagat.com   © John McLeod, 2020. Last updated: 19 March 2022