Multiplayer Quick Start
Apple's Game Center is used for managing the multiplayer games. To access the multiplayer area of the app you need to be signed into Game Center, if you haven't signed up you may get a prompt to do so; if not simply open the Game Center app then return to Dominoes. Game Center allows you to invite new friends or play existing friends without needing an additional login just for this app!
Multiplayer games can be played by first taping on the "Play Friends" button on the main menu. A menu should appear that looks like the picture below and allows you to play and manage all of your games, including:
- Start a new game - tap on the New Game button in the upper right corner.
- Quit a game - swipe from left to right across the game in the list to open up the options and select Quit.
- Rematch - swipe from left to right across the game in the list to open up the options and select either New Game or Rematch depending on if the game has finished. The New Game option allows you to modify the players in the new game instead of rematching all players.
- Remind Opponents - if your opponent hasn't played in a while, they may have missed the notification. Swipe to reveal the options on a game where it is someone else's turn and select Remind to send them a friendly reminder.
- Blocking (also known as The Draw Game)
- All Fives
- All Threes
- All Fives and Threes
The different game types all play the same way but differ in how they are scored. In the draw game no points are awarded during the play but only at the end of a hand. While in the other types points can be scored both during the hand as well at the end of each hand.
There are many variations to the rules and scoring for domino games. The rules listed here are what are used for this app.
Players and Domino Set
All of the games use a double six set of dominoes and can be played by two to four players. The app supports a single player option as well and the player will oppose a computer player (with easy, normal,and hard difficulties).
Starting the Game
The player draws from a shuffled set of dominoes to make up their hand. The number of dominoes drawn depends on the number of players:
The dominoes left after drawing make up the bone-pile (or bone-yard) which are held in reserve and can be drawn from as needed.
In very first hand the player with the highest double (or if no one has a double, then the single domino with the most pips or dots) goes first. In subsequent hands the player that goes first is rotated in order around the table. The first play does not have to be a double.
- 2 players draw 7 each
- 3 players draw 5 each
- 4 players draw 5 each
Playing the Game
After the initial play proceeds in order (clockwise) from one player to the next. Each player adds a matching domino to an open end of the played dominoes. Doubles are played crosswise and all of their pips count for scoring purposes (until the double is covered on both sides). If a player is unable to make a move they must draw from the bone pile until they can make a move. If there are no dominoes left, then the player must pass (Note: a player can NOT pass if they have a valid play in their hand or if the bone yard has any dominoes left to draw from).
The first double played is known as the spinner and can be played off on all four edges. All subsequent doubles can only played off of on two edges. The first and second plays off of the spinner must be made on its side; the third and fourth plays must be played on the ends. For scoring purposes the spinner is counted like any other double if both sides are covered the ends are not included.
Notes: When it is their turn a player can only draw from the pile if they do not have a playable domino in their hand.
Ending a Hand
The hand continues until one player has no dominoes left and is declared the winner of the hand. A hand can also end if none of the players can make any more plays; in this case the player with the least number of total pips in their hand wins (for scoring purposes the total number of pips in the winners hand is subtracted from the other players total).
The scoring rules are the biggest differences between the game types. In the blocking game points are only awarded after a hand is over. Points can be awarded based on the sum of the open domino ends in the other games.
Post Hand Scoring:
In all the game types the player who runs out of dominoes (or has the lowest number of pips) wins the hand. The winner is awarded the total number of pips in all of the other players hands combined (minus the points in their own hand if any) and rounded to the nearest: 5 for All Fives, 3 for All Threes, 5 for All Fives and Threes, and is not rounded at all for the Draw Game.
During Play Scoring:
In all but the Draw game if the sum of the open domino ends is a multiple of 5 (All Fives), 3 (All Threes), or either 5 or 3 (All Fives and Threes) the player is awarded that number of points. The pips on both sides of a double are counted when adding the open ends (when a double is played on both sides it is no longer counted).
Winning A Game
At the start of a game the winning score is chosen. Options are 100, 250, and 500. The game is over when a player's total score exceeds the chosen value at the end of a hand; the player with the highest score wins! (A started hand is always finished.) If there is a tie for first place then another hand is played until the tie is broken.
For my grandparents who enjoyed the game of dominoes and taught me how to play!