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Dominoes: Tips and Strategy

Dominoes is a relatively simple game, however there are a few general dominoes strategies to keep in mind when playing.

The strategies below apply mainly to Draw Dominoes and Block Dominoes, which are the most common domino games and the basis for many other game variations.

Play doubles early

Get rid of your doubles as soon as possible. It's easy to get stuck with doubles since you don't have as many opportunities to play them.

Play high-value dominoes early

Try to play your high value dominoes as soon as possible. That way, even if your opponent wins the round, hopefully they won't score too many points.

Keep your options open

Try to keep at least one of every number in your hand for as long as you can. This will help keep you from getting stuck in an unplayable position.

Identify your opponent's weaknesses

When your opponent has to pass or draw from the boneyard, make a mental note of which number or numbers they don't have. You can use this information to try to block them later on.

Determine your opponent's tiles

Take note of which dominoes have already been played. By looking at what dominoes have already been played, plus the dominoes you have in your hand, you can often determine which dominoes your opponent has. This is especially true late in the round when most of the dominoes have been played. You can use this information to block your opponent.

More information

A number books are available that offer more detailed tips and strategies for dominoes players. For example, How to Play Better Dominoes by Miguel Lugo and How to Play Latin Partnership Dominoes by Gabriel Antonio Tejeira Arias. These books are available at online booksellers like Amazon.

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