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Domino Solitaires and Puzzles

Solitaire Games

Solitaries all involve moving tiles from a hand through a tableau to "the Aces", or a discard area. A game is successful when all the tiles are thus transferred to the discard.

Solitaries can be classified by how the tiles move from hand to tableau to discard:

  1. The tableau is based on connecting rules and also serves as the discard. The goal is to domino your hand.
  2. Total Solitaries: Tiles are discarded when they reach a certain total.
  3. Pattern Solitaries: Tiles are discarded when they form certain patterns on the tableau. These games often start with all the tiles in the tableau.

Most solitaire games can be modified to allow more than one player, if they include a hand and a tableau. Each player gets his own hand to play against the tableau. A player either continues to add to the tableau and discard either one tile per turn or until he is blocked. The game is won by the first player to domino.

Andy Lewicki has created a selection of domino solitaires called Domino Solo 47.

Domino Puzzles

Domino puzzles can depend on either the shape of the tiles or on their pips. The puzzles based on the pips can be either based on connecting tiles or on the totals of the pips.

Among the puzzles based on just the shape of the tiles, the most famous is the "Dominoes and Checkerboards" family. The puzzler attempts to place dominoes on a grid of squares, and only the shape of tiles matters.

The connecting puzzles usually provide a tableau without any of the pips on the tiles shown and the puzzler attempts to place the tiles in that pattern using the rule that ends that touch must be in the same suit.

The totaling puzzles are provide a tableau without pips shown, but the goal is place the tiles in such a way that certain totals appear in the rows columns and/or diagonals of the tableau, without regard to a connecting rule for the ends.

For more on Domino Puzzles see Joe Celko's Mathematics of Dominoes page.

Index of Domino Solitaire Games

Here is a list of traditional and invented domino solitaire games on pagat.com.

Notes on the index

Invented games, mostly submitted by readers of pagat.com, are listed in italics.

Players
The preferred number of players is shown in bold. Other numbers with which it is possible to play are shown in grey.
Equipment
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 other families to which the game belongs.
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This page was contributed by Joe Celko (jcelko212@earthlink.net).   © Joe Celko 2001. Last updated: 5 August 2020

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