Romantiles - domino game rules


Contributed by Bill Perkins (



The mismatch tile row in this game gives it its name. The "row men" figure as the "Romans" in the title of this romantic game. Quite a lot of the play depends on the mismatch tile row.

Also the game is played with bags for a new twist with dominoes.

GAMETYPE: singlespin or 2 ended line layout as preferred.
PLAYERS AGE: 6 years and older recommended.
# OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5.
MATERIALS: * a combined or paired set of 100 double 9 dominoes made from 2 standard sets of 55 double 9 dominoes and the second set of 10 doubles discarded from it and removed from play in the game
* 2 to 5 bags depending on the number of players.


  1. Make up a standard mixing set of dominoes with their faces tableside down.
  2. Shuffle and mix dominoes sufficiently for buying purposes for players.
  3. Each player buys one domino from the mixing set and places it face up on the table to determine the order of play, with the highest domino going first, the next highest domino second, etc.
  4. In case of a tie, another buy/s from the mixing set is allowed for the determination of play. Repeat steps (1) and (2).
  5. Players divide up the mixing set into their bags with each player buying an equal amount of tiles. With 3 players, the last tile left in the boneyard is turned face up as the starter tile for the layout.
  6. The player to go first takes his turn in the game to start it. He draws the first tile from his bag and sets it face up as the starter for the layout (or with 3 players simply adds the next tile to the starter tile if it may play), then finishes his turn. After his turn, play continues to the left.


To begin a turn, the player draws a single tile from his bag, one at a time, and playing to the layout pattern until he is unable to play the last tile, which is then added face up to his mismatch tile row in his reserve of his play station.

The player may continue play from his mismatch tile row at any time. However, if unable to play all of the tiles in his mismatch tile row, his turn ends with the last tile successfully played. If all the tiles in the mismatch row are successfully played, the player then draws the next tile from his bag as his play continues.

Drawing from ones bag is to be done in a particular fashion and as here suggested. The bag is to be kept closed or its opening elevated over ones eyes so that it may not be peeked into when drawing a tile. Also one must quickly take their chosen tile out of the bag without much choice in the matter- the bag may be shaken to mix up the tiles.

To end his turn, a player declares to the player on his left that he has finished his turn.


The first person to use all of the tiles in his bag and mismatch tile row by playing them to the layout pattern wins the game.



STARTING THE GAME: With an odd number of players, the remaining tile from the starting buy for player's bags goes to the player drawing the most tiles in the beginning of the game. To begin the game, each player draws tiles from their bags to their hands, one at a time, until reaching a double domino. The player with the highest double begins the layout pattern in the center of the playing area.

TAKING A TURN: On the first play of the game, each player uses the tiles in his hand that came from the initial draw. Beginning with the second play, the players draw from 1 to 5 tiles at the start of each turn. Tiles are played to the layout pattern in the typical fashion and a player may continue playing his tiles, as long there is a match in the layout pattern. If a player is blocked, the unplayed tile(s) are placed face up in the player's mismatched tile row. The tiles in the mismatch tile row may be played whenever the player does not have tiles for a hand. The player may add the tiles to his hand to the mismatched tile row at his discretion, but may not add them back to his hand again. Players may not play through a mismatched tile row and then assemble another hand in a turn in this game.


Row tile games made up of mismatched tile rows such as above in the previous examples make for an interesting style of game for study. The row tiles represent reserves brought into a battle-like scenario of a game much like what may be studied with old war maps of battles.

Games with bags are one feature of this book, which may very well be an exclusive. In all my studies I have never met a bags game for dominoes by any other authors even though the likes of such make for an excellent game.

© Copyright Bill Perkins 1999, 2000, 2001

Last updated: 6th January 2002