Home Page > Classified Index > Miscellaneous Games > Pelmanism > Concentration (dominoes)



This is an adaptation for dominoes of the card game Pelmanism, also known as Concentration or Memory. It is also the basis for a popular American television quiz show in which a display with pairs of prizes is used.


The game uses a double six domino set. The game is usually played by two players, but any number can play.

The Deal

Players get no hands. Instead all the tiles are dealt face down into a grid layout of 4 by 7 tiles.

The Play

In his turn, each player exposes any two tiles in the grid.

  • If this pair totals to 12, he removes them from the grid and takes another turn, continuing to expose pairs of tiles and take them until he fails to get a total of 12.
  • If the pair of exposed tiles does not total to 12, he turns them face down again and the next player takes his turn.

The hand is over when the grid is empty.


The winner of the game is first one to reach a total of 50 captured tiles (25 pairs), or another predetermined total.

Comments & Strategy

Obviously, this is a test of memory, so that the player who can envision the tiles correctly without seeing their faces is the player who will win.

One important trick in play is to remember the total and not to think about the two halves of each tile.

The other trick is to realize that a set of dominoes does not break down into simple pairs, like the playing card or picture card version of this game. The [0-0] and [6-6] have to pair up with each other, as do [0-1] and [5-6]. All other tiles have some options. For example, let's go for a total of 12 by getting a seven and a five. A seven can be made by picking any of the [1-6], [2-5] and [3-4] tiles; a five can be made from any of [0-5], [1-4] and [2-3] tiles. This gives nine possible combinations which will add to 12.

Software and Online Games

Concentration can be played against computer opponents at Online Domino Games.

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This page was contributed by Joe Celko (jcelko212@earthlink.net).   © Joe Celko 2001. Last updated: 19th July 2018