The Seven Pis


The name of this one player/solo/patience game of dominoes comes from the Greek letter π. Four dominoes are used to make the π shape, meaning that from a double six set, seven Pis (π) will be constructed.


The game was designed and tested using a double six domino set, but other sets can also be used, however the number of Pis (π) and size will have to be increased accordingly. For example for a double nine domino set it is best to make 11 Pis (π) each of 5 dominoes - an elongated Pi (π) with 3 tiles along its back is used.

An Overview

Dominoes from the hand are placed to form the π shape with the object being to deploy all tiles in forming seven Pi (π) shapes. Ends of tiles have to match.

The Play

The dominoes are placed face down and shuffled to form the draw pile.

Three dominoes are drawn and a decision made on which should be played and where. Possible plays are to start either one, two or three Pis (π) keeping the other tiles in hand. To play all three tiles on one Pi (π), to play two tiles on one Pi (π) and either starting another Pi (π) or keeping the odd tile in hand.

  • On each turn at least one tile must be played
  • Tiles cannot be moved once positioned (if one tile is played horizontally the next tile can go either side)
  • Where two tiles connect they must match
  • At the end of each turn the total tiles in hand is returned to 3 by drawing from the draw pile.
  • If at any time a tile cannot be laid the games ends

Game in Play

In this game one Pi (π) has been completed and 3 others started. 7 Pis (π) have to be completed to finish game.



The number of remaining tiles is the score - the aim is to score zero.

Comments & Strategy

An addictive game, which is for the connoisseur as it is not easy to get out. The game holds a player’s interest up until the last few tiles and often finishes are with one or two tiles not placed. To go out is tricky.

Various strategies have been tried, from starting all or most Pis (π) with just one tile, to working through and completing Pis (π) one at a time. Neither seems to give better results than the other.


  • Try with a larger set of dominos - see equipment for adjustments required

Try CrissCross and UpStopDown. Any comments, suggestions or improvements please email


Last updated: 24th July 2009