Wildouble - domino game rules


Contributed by Bill Perkins (bilihara@agora.rdrop.com)



WILDOUBLE is played with a standard layout but revolves around a surprise climax of the discovery of a certain domino. It is actually a game that has a family of variations. Yes, I have created numerous variations of NONSPINSET featured games so that the NONSPINSET form of dominoes may be well considered a normal standard feature in the world of dominoes. A second game named WILLYNILLY is featured along with these rules for WILDOUBLE to illustrate 2 adaptations of play for NONSPINSET domino games.

Four different ways of play for the game are described below, lettered A through D. Choose the one best suited for your players.

GAMETYPE: singlespin layouts in which a double starter domino is played to any of its 4 ends as a featured part of a gamerounds start and including NONSPINSET play rounds where featured if any.

PLAYERS AGE: 6 years or older recommended.

  1. 2
  2. 2 or 3
  3. 2 or 3
  4. 2 to 4 in number
  1. A standard single set of 28 double 6 dominoes.
  2. A combined or paired set of 49 double 6 dominoes made up from 2 double 6 domino standard sets that has 21 extra combination dominoes as reciprocals to the combination tiles in the first set and the second set of 7 doubles discarded and removed from the game.
  3. A standard single set of 55 double 9 dominoes
  4. A combined or paired set of 100 double 9 dominoes made up from 2 double 9 domino standard sets that has 45 extra combination dominoes as reciprocals to the combination tiles in the first set and the second set of 10 doubles discarded and removed from the game.
  • A scorepad for taking score or chips if available.
  • A pencil or writing instrument if no chips are available.


  1. Players need to decide amongst themselves how many rounds will be played to for an overall winner. 3 or 5 rounds may make a simple game for a few players, but with more players, each player may want to score in a round for play for a fairer game. Generally, the more players you have, the more rounds you may want to play. However, a few players who are serious about play may need a lot of rounds to settle the score for a game.
  2. Shuffle and mix the chosen set of dominoes sufficiently for buying purposes for the players.
  3. Next, the players must agree upon the first wild double tile for the first round of play.
  4. It's a good strategy to always choose a wild double lower in value than the highest double, such as somewhere in the middle ground of a set of dominoes. If a wild double cannot be agreed upon, the players may be incompatible and should find a different game to play.
  5. Next:
      (A) Each player buys 5 dominoes for his play station's reserve of tiles.
      (B) and (C) each player buys 7 dominoes for his play station's reserve of tiles.
      (D) Each player buys 10 dominoes for his play station's reserve of tiles.
  6. Each player may look at his tiles and face them towards himself, ready for play in his play station. If no player has bought a double tile, all the players must put their dominoes back in the mixing set. All the players must then buy again (or as many times as needed) to get at least one single double tile in their first hand in the game.
  7. The person with the highest double tile begins play by positioning it as the layout starter tile and then finishes his turn. Play continues to the left for a standard order of play (if it should continue as in a NONSPINSET round. See EXAMPLE 3 NONSPINSET: below).


If after the first round no wild double has been played to the layout pattern, the wild double for the next round automatically becomes the double blank domino. In any subsequent rounds, the same rule applies unless a player goes out with a wild double played to the layout (or a NONSPINSET as the same). He may then choose which double will be the wild double for the next round.


EXAMPLE 1: SET & SPIN: (Not in this game of WILDOUBLE but typical of many popular games). The first double played in a round as the starter in the layout pattern is called the "SET' domino and a combination numbered tile. A subsequent other domino which is the first double played to the layout patterns line of play is called the "SPIN" domino and is allowed to be played on its 4 sides with other combination dominoes of the same value. Such a fashion is opposed to any other double after it which then may only be played crosswise to a line of play and only on 2 sides respectively with other dominoes. The "SET" and "SPIN" dominoes both determine the order of play for the round. NOTE: I told you about this typical feature of play in many popular games for the domino student and to contrast the next category of typical play.

EXAMPLE 2: SPINSET: The first domino played in the round is the "SET" domino as the starter for the layout pattern and also the "SPIN" domino. Because it is a double and so it may be played to its 4 sides with dominoes of its same value in such a fashion as opposed to any subsequent double domino in the game which must be played crosswise to its line of play and only on 2 sides. The first domino because it may be played to on its 4 ends and meets the above requirements is called the "SPINSET" of the round and determines an order of play typical in WILDOUBLE.

EXAMPLE 3: NONSPINSET: The first and last domino played in the round immediately wins the whole gameround and all the score on all the other tiles held by all the other players perhaps like playing a trick in a trick taking game such as this. The tile so played in WILDOUBLE is the highest double held by any player at the beginning of the round also known as the WILDOUBLE tile. (In other variations it will also be a wild double tile but perhaps from a different place in an ordered set of doubles). It may not happen in every game played that there is a NONSPINSET domino play because it isn't always a regularity. Since no other tiles may be played to it on the playing ground no skeleton of tiles are subsequently built and after scoring other tiles the round is over.


For the first player in a round see GETTING STARTED above.

After the starter for the layout pattern has been played, each player buys one domino from the boneyard to begin his turn. Any player may play any or all of his dominoes to the layout pattern. It is a good strategy to play all your dominoes in your hand as soon as possible perhaps to go out or hold back them for extra score if going out with a wild double.

If blocked with no playable tile, a player passes and retains any tiles he buys. A player may hold back any tile or tiles in his hand even if he may pass his turn.

A player ends his turn by declaring that he is done or by passing his turn. NOTE: See SCORING and ENDGAME for wild double strategy.


There are 2 ways that a player may go out and end the game:

  1. He may be the first to play all the dominoes in his reserve to the layout pattern as a featured hand. (This could even happen in the first turn in the game).

  2. He may be the first to play the wild double domino.


The player who ends the round by going out scores the tiles remaining in his opponents' play stations as follows:


(C) AND (D) PAIRS OF COMBINATIONS: 3 points for each pair.
EXAMPLES: 3:4 and 4:3 or 6:0 and 0:6, all together totaling 6 points for 2 pairs.

DOUBLE TILES: (except the wild double) 2 points each.

WILDOUBLE: There are 3 possible game situations (none of which are NONSPINSET plays):

  • A player uses the wild double in his turn to end the gameround. By itself, the wild double doesn't have any appreciable score value unless it is scored as part of a combination with all the other dominoes that are held by the player for score. The player using it when ending the round doubles the score on all the other dominoes (B and D and pairs) in his reserve or play station. The wild double must be played to the layout pattern.
  • If the player is caught with the wild double in his reserve when another player goes out, all the tiles in his play station score double for the player who went out that round, and the wild double scores 4 points.
  • If no player buys the wild double before the round ends, it remains in the boneyard.

Use playing chips if available:

WHITE CHIPS:worth 1 point each.
RED CHIPS:worth 5 points each (therefore cash in white chips for them).
BLUE CHIPS:worth 10 points each (therefore cash in red chips for them).


The player with the highest score at the game's end wins.


Beginning players or those with questions on tile games may often ask a player, "What is your best domino?" Quite often the player in question will not be too sure at the start of a gameround and reply, "I'm not sure. I'll have to play to find it." Of course the domino in question sometimes is one a player may DOMINO with.

In NONSPINSET games there is always a definite one best tile that is a wild double and may win a gameround if played correctly and there is no doubt when figuring the score. This is the dominoform of play to be studied in WILDOUBLE.

wildouble diagram



In this variation of WILDOUBLE, the (A) through (D) formats listed above may be applied for 4 different varieties of the game. Choose the one that is most convenient for your group of players.

WILLYNILLY is the game that originally started me writing this book. It is easier to play and less complex tan WILDOUBLE.


The DOUBLENIL or DOUBLE BLANK domino serves as the wild double for every round in the game.

© Copyright Bill Perkins 1999, 2000, 2001

Last updated: 6th January 2002