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Trick-taking Domino Games

Dominoes can be used in a similar way to playing-cards to play trick-taking games. These include some oriental games that are among the earliest known domino games. More recently, especially in America during the 19th century, some popular trick-taking card games were adapted so that they could be played with dominoes instead of cards, and some new trick-taking domino games were developed. In many cases this was done to circumvent prohibitions of the use of playing-cards by certain religious movements. For example the Baptist Church is probably responsible for the popularity of domino games in Texas and the development of Texas 42.

Plain-trick games

In these games the value of a trick is independent of the tiles in it. The aim is typically to win a certain number of tricks, or to win particular tricks, for example the last trick, or sometimes to avoid winning tricks.

They include some oriental multi-trick games in which it is possible to play set of two or more tiles together, thus effectively playing several tricks at once. In these games using Chinese dominoes the tiles are divided into two suits: sky (or civil) and earth (or military), and the main aim is to win the last trick, though it is also possible to profit by winning a large number of tricks.

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 #

GamePlayersEquipment
Bagchen 4  [C32]×2
Domino Euchre 2, 3, 4  [6:6]
Domino Loo 2–4  [6:6]
Domino Rounce 2–4  [6:6]
Domizerka 3  [6:6]
Moon 3, 4  [6:6]
Tien Gow 天九 4  [C32]
Zigzag 3  [6:6] [7:7] [8:8] [9:9]

Point-trick games

In these games the value of a trick depends on the tiles it contains. Typically the tiles have point values, and the aim can be to win tricks containing valuable tiles, or in some games to take as few points as possible.

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 #

GamePlayersEquipment
Big Game, The 4  [8:8]
Bingo dominoes 2  [6:6]
Domino Pinochle 3  [6:6]
Double Takes 2–4  [15:15]
Eleven Point Black Tile 3, 4  [6:6]
Reveille 2  [6:6]
Texas 42 4  [6:6]
Texas 88 6  [6:6]×2
Thirty Point Black Tile 3, 4  [6:6]
Twenty-One Point Black Tile 3, 4  [6:6]

Notes on the indexes

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. The symbol [C32] stands for a Chinese set of 32 tiles.
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This page is maintained by John McLeod, john@pagat.com   © John McLeod, 2020. Last updated: 8 July 2020

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