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Pips: Original Playing Card and Dice Games


Players:  2 or more
Average Duration:
40-45 minutes - 2 players
60-70 minutes - 3 players
80-90 minutes - 4 players
*  1 set of double-six dominos per player
*  2 dice
Object: To make chains of dominos that match dice rolls, using more dominos to do so than your opponent.

The Game

The object of the game is to make chains of dominos. A chain is one or more dominos, lined up end-to-end, such that each adjacent pair of ends match in number. For example, a 6-3 domino can be linked to a 3-2 domino (with the two 3's touching) but not a 4-2 domino. Blanks are wild and can substitute for any other number. So a 6-3 domino can be linked to a blank-2 domino, because the blank can serve as a 3. Here are some example chains:


The Set-Up

At the beginning of the game, the dominos are placed face down on the table and mixed up. Players draw ten dominos each; these dominos are stood up and concealed from the other players.

The Play

Players take turns, each turn playing as follows:

The player rolls the dice. He must then make a domino chain where the numbers on the dice match the numbers on the ends of the chain. For example, if the dice show a 6 and a 2, then a single 6-2 domino is a valid chain to play; alternately, a 6-3 and a 3-2 linked together make up a valid chain. Since blanks are wild, a single 6-blank domino, will serve. A double blank domino will always be a legal chain to play.

Chains that match the dice roll:



If the player can make a valid chain for the dice roll (and wishes to), he puts the chain together face up in front of him and rolls the dice again. He can continue making chains as long as he is able and willing, but if he does not make a chain for a particular dice roll, his turn is over. At that point, he replenishes his hand by drawing one domino per chain played that turn -- regardless of how many dominos were used in each chain. Play passes to the next player.

The game ends when a player goes to draw new dominos and there aren't enough left. He draws what dominos he can, and then play stops. At this point, players calculate their scores. Each player scores one point per domino he has used in a chain and loses one point per domino left in his hand.

After the scores are tallied, the dominos are mixed up and another round begins. The player to the left of the person who went first in the previous round goes first in the new round. The winner is the player who reaches 50 points first. If more than one player reaches or exceeds 50 points in the same round, the one who has the highest wins; in the case of a tie, a tie-breaker round is played.


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