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Throw-up Dominoes

Contributed by Alan Ackroyd

The name comes from the game’s reliance on the throw of dice and the fact that all your plans for your next play go up in the air with the fall of the dice and the actions of the other players!

Players and Equipment

This game is for 2 – 3 players using one set of double 6 dominoes without the double blank - 27 tiles - and 3 x 6 sided dice.

The Deal

  1. Shuffle the dominoes face down.
  2. Each player throws the dice and the highest score becomes Leader for the hand.
  3. Each player draws 7 dominoes and the remainder form a bone yard.

The Play

  1. The Leader throws the three dice and the throw stands for the round (a round consisting of one turn by each player).  The Leader selects from his hand those tiles whose total pip score may be made up by adding the scores shown on one, two or all three of the dice.
    For example: If the dice show 1, 5, 3 tiles the total pip count of a played domino must be 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9.
    If the Leader’s hand is [6:1], [6:3], [4:2], [2:2], [4:1], [3:1], [5:1], any but the first tile may be played.  Tiles are played in a single line with touching ends matching. As many tiles as may be matched in a line of play are laid and a score of 1 point per tile and 2 for each double are pegged.  In this case the leader could play everything except the 5:1 and the 6:1 to form a line whose open ends are 6 and 2, for a score of 6.
    If the next player’s hand is 2:0, 6:4, 4:3, 5:2, 6:2, 5:3, 5:4 and the last 3 tiles are playable according to the dice, but with the open ends being 6 and 2 only the 6:2 may be played.  The player would choose to lay this to give two open ends of 6 and pegs a score of one point.
  2. Should a player not be able to lay (i.e.  the pip counts do not match the dice, or no qualifying tiles may be matched to the open ends of the line of play) one tile is drawn from the bone yard and play passes to the next player.
  3. When the final play of the round is made the Leader throws the dice again and the dice stand for the next round.  If the dice fall the same as for the previous round, by agreement, they may be thrown again.
  4. Play continues until two rounds pass with no plays made, or earlier if the line of play is blocked to the tiles in players’ hands.  It is helpful for players to declare if the game is blocked to them.

The Score

  1. At the end of the hand player with the least tiles in hand scores one point per tile remaining in the other players’ hands.
  2. At the end of each hand the leadership passes to the left.  A game consists of two or three hands per player – or more by agreement.
  3. The winner is the player with the highest score at the end of the game.

© Alan Ackroyd   15 November 2009

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Last updated: 10th April 2010