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Domino Squares Rules

Winning Moves Games takes dominoes to a new dimension with Domino Squares. They’re twice the size of regular dominoes for double the fun–and players score on every turn (score sheets provided). Enjoy playing Domino Squares!

The pieces found in Domino Squares have four advantages over common dominoes:

1. Each is a “double domino”–a large square comprised of four smaller squares (like two rectangular dominoes joined together).
2. Some pieces cause actions to occur. These are called “Command” pieces and contain words or phrases like “Skip” and “Draw 1”.
3. Pieces can be played with more variety. You may play a piece that matches any of the three open-sides of either “end” piece on the layout.
4. Scoring occurs on every turn. After it is played, points are awarded for the “scoring side” of a piece (its two unmatched squares.)

To accumulate the highest score after three rounds of play.

About the Pieces

Each piece is comprised of four smaller squares (Common dominoes are composed of only two such squares.) Some pieces have ”wild” squares. These can represent any number. In addition, some pieces have words written on one of their squares. These are called Command pieces. Some of these commands are “Give 1,” “Draw 1,” and “Skip.” When played, such a piece commands an action be adhered to (this is explained below).

Turn all the pieces face down and mix. Each player takes 7 pieces and stands them in a row so that no other player can see their faces. (Draw 6 pieces when 4 play.) Scatter the remaining pieces to form the draw pile. Choose a player to be scorekeeper for the round and have him prepare the score sheet accordingly.

How to Play
Randomly select one piece from the draw pile, flip it over and place it in the center of the playing area. It becomes the “starter” piece. (Ignore any “Commands” on this piece.) The oldest player plays first. The first player tries to place one of his pieces so that two of its squares match two adjoining squares of the starter piece.

To place a piece and make a match, follow these rules:

• You must match a complete side (2 adjoining squares) of a previously played piece, not just one of its squares (that is, a piece must be played flush against a prior piece, not staggered).
• Each number must match the number it adjoins. For example, to play next to the 6-2 side in the illustration below, the side of the piece you play next to it must also contain a 6-2.
• A “Blank” square must match a Blank square. Black squares are called Blanks (they are colored black, rather than white as in common dominoes, to make them easier to see). Command squares are also black in color and are considered to be blanks for matching purposes. For example, the Blank-Blank side shown below must be adjoined by another Blank-Blank.

One of the advantages of the square shape of the pieces in Domino Squares is their versatility–they can be adjoined in four ways (in common dominoes only the two ends can be matched). For example, in the illustration above, not only can a 6-2 and a Blank-Blank be played adjacent to the current piece, but alternately a 6-Blank and a 2-Blank could be placed adjacent to this piece.

Play passes to the left. Thereafter, a player attempts to match any END piece on the table (see below).

“Golden Rules” of Placement
• YOU MAY ONLY PLACE A PIECE ADJACENT TO ONE OF THE TWO “ENDS” OF THE LAYOUT (like in regular dominoes). Once any piece has two other pieces played adjacent to it, no other piece may be played adjacent to it. (But it is okay if another piece, placed later in the game, diagonally touches it.) For example, while there are two possible plays off of the“6-2-Blank-Blank” piece in the example above, only one of these plays can be made in a given game.

• A Wild square can adjoin any number or another Wild square but never a Blank - because Wild squares have a white background color, like numbered squares, not a black background like Blanks.

• A piece cannot be played that simultaneously matches two different pieces in play. This would close off the playing sequence and force the end of the game. (In other words: after placement, a piece must always have a “matching” and a “scoring” side, (see “scoring”).

After each piece is played, scoring occurs. The scoring side of each piece is comprised of the two squares that are not part of the match. Numbers on the scoring side will score their value. Blanks and Commands have no scoring value. For example, when the 6-6-Blank-2 piece is played below, it scored 6 points. When the 2-Blank-2-5 piece was played, it scored 7 points.

Can’t Make a Match?
If a player cannot make a match, or chooses not to play a piece on his turn, he must draw another piece from the draw pile. If the piece drawn can be played, the player may elect to play it immediately, or hold onto it for future use.

After you play a Command piece, follow the command written on it. Here is what each of the five different commands mean.

GIVE 1: Give any other opponent one piece from your hand. That player must add the piece to his hand.
DRAW 1: Take another piece from the draw pile. If you can play it, you may do so; if not, add it to your hand.
SKIP: The player to your left loses his turn. Play passes to the player to his left.
PLAY AGAIN: You may immediately play another piece from your hand. If you can’t, or if you choose not to, just end your turn (don’t draw again).
ALL PASS 1: Decide which way you want the pass to go, to your left or to your right. Then each player passes, face down, a piece towards the player on that side. After all have done so, each adds the piece received to his hand.

End of Round
The first player to run out of pieces in hand causes the round to end. This player scores 10 bonus points, plus 2 points for each ordinary piece in the hands of his opponents and 3 points for each Command piece in their hands. The scorekeeper should total and announce the score for each player at the conclusion of each round of play.

Playing the Next Round
Collect all the pieces, scramble them face down, and have each player draw a new hand. Turn over a new starter piece and play the next round. The player to the left of the prior round’s winner plays first.


With a bit of creative imagination, Domino Squares can be adapted to play any standard domino-style game. To get you started, here are tips on using Domino Squares in three such games. Each can be played by 2-4 players.

The most common form of dominoes. Each player begins by drawing a hand of 9 Domino Squares. Turn over any other piece from the boneyard to become the starter piece. Place all other pieces out of play. Players take turns adding a piece to either the layout (ignore Commands) by matching blank to blank and pips to pips (number to number). Always match an entire side of a prior end piece, as in the Domino Squares version (the layout may change direction as it is built–not just follow a straight line). If a player cannot play, he must pass his turn to the player on the left.

The game ends when one player plays out his hand and shouts out "Domino" or when no player can play a piece. If this happens, the game ends in a "block." Players now expose their hands and count up all the pips on their remaining Domino Squares. (Blanks, commands and wilds count "0"). The player with the fewest points wins the scores of all the opposing players' hands.

This version plays the same as Block except only 7 tiles are drawn at the start of the game. The remaining Domino Squares form the "boneyard." If a player cannot play a piece on his turn, he must draw piece after piece from the boneyard until he can play one. Play passes to the left. Play continues until one player plays out his hand or until no player can make a play. Score as in Block, above.

Variant: Instead of drawing repeatedly, a player draws only one piece and then ends his turn. He may immediately play this piece if he can. If not, he must add it to his hand.

Players draw 9 Domino Squares without looking at them and align them face down in a row. Turn over another piece to become the starter. Place the remaining pieces aside, out of play. On his turn, a player turns over the piece at the left end of his row. If he can play it adjacent to one of the end pieces on the layout, he must do so. He goes again by turning over the next piece on the left end of his row and attempting to play it. As soon as a player turns over a piece he cannot play, he must turn it face down again and place it on the right end of his row. However, an unplayable piece with a "wild" space on it is placed face up on the right end, not face down. Thereafter, a player may play this piece, if he can and so desires, instead of turning over the piece on the left end of his row. Play continues until one player runs out of pieces or no player can make a play during two successive turns. Score as in Block.

Variant: After his first turn, permit a player to turn over a piece on either end of his row. This variant rewards a players who memorizes the piece placed on the right.