Although dominoes isn’t a competitive game, you might be mistaken. The Universal Dominoes League is a professional tournament that offers a lot of prize money. A good strategy in dominoes is key to success at these tournaments.
The UDL offered $50,000 cash to the winner of the Las Vegas Summer Classic Domino Tournament in 2019.
Although you might not want to become a professional dominoes player, a solid strategy can help you win more games, even if you are playing dominoes against friends online.
The hardest part of dominoes playing is learning how to play. The hardest part of dominoes is learning how to play it.
Let’s take a look at some strategies that will help you reach the top of your games’ leaderboards.
General Dominoes Strategy
These strategies can be used for any dominoes game. They are simple to learn and easy to apply to new players. They may take some time to become second nature, but you will soon be able to think about them.
Play Doubles Early
Double tiles won’t help the game because they use the same hook as the tile they are connecting to. If you place a double 5 on a 5 hook, it will still require another 5 to connect to it. Doubles can still be high-point tiles. It’s best to eliminate doubles as soon as possible so that you don’t lose points to your opponent if they score.
Although this is counter-intuitive to the basic dominoes strategy, it’s possible to keep your doubles for later. You’ll be able to see the suits your opponent is missing once you are far enough into a game. You can use those doubles to open the board, and your opponent will not be able to bury them.
Play Heavier Tiles Early
You should play your doubles as early as possible, and you should also start playing heavier tiles as soon as you can. The tiles with higher numbers are called “heavier”. These tiles are more valuable than others and will result in you losing more points if your opponent scores.
Have a Variety of Tiles in Your Hand
Keep a variety of tiles in your hand to match as many as possible. If you have tiles with similar suits, it’s best to keep them all together.
Pay Attention To Your Opponent’s Weak Suits
Pay attention to your opponent’s weaknesses as the game progresses. If they are unable to play, they will likely draw from the boneyard again. This allows you to play strategically and block your opponents, while still scoring.
Find Your Opponent’s Hand
You’ll learn how to “reverse engineer” your opponent’s hand by looking at what tiles are in play and what is in your hand as the game progresses. It’s difficult to do this early on in the game because there aren’t many tiles visible, but it will become easier as you identify more tiles. Once you know what tiles your opponent holds, you can start playing suits that don’t leave them hanging.
Advanced Domino Game Strategy
Once you are comfortable with the basic strategies, you can start learning more advanced techniques. These strategies will take you from a competent dominoes gamer to a highly-skilled one.
Take the Initiative
Play with initiative and take the offensive early in the game. Scoring opportunities should be taken advantage of early and often. Your opponent will have limited options to counter-score if you score. You’ll be awarded another scoring opportunity if they miss the next play. This will allow you to create many scoring plays by holding tiles with this mindset.
You can also play defensively if you don’t want to take the initiative. You need to look for ways to limit the scoring opportunities of your opponent as well as ways to score for yourself. Consider the board counts if you are behind and try to make plays that limit your opponent’s upside as often as possible.
To see the strategy of your opponent, think ahead of several moves and then play to stop them. Another defensive strategy is to block the board. This is when you use tiles to make the hook ends identical or numbers that your opponent doesn’t have.
To match the ends, you could play a tile 6-4 if the hook is a 4, and the other a 6. Your opponent will be forced to draw if they don’t hold a 4. This strategy is most effective if your opponent holds tiles you can play against.
For the best results, you can combine offense and defense. You can start the game with offense and increase your points as fast as possible. As the game progresses, you can switch to defensive play in order to keep your points lead.
Keep an Eye on Your Opponent’s Comments
While most people associate poker with tellings, they are also useful in dominoes. You can start to notice tells in your opponent’s behavior when they have good or bad tiles. By watching your opponent’s reactions to certain things, you might be able to make better plays or avoid making poor ones.
Play Dominoes Online for Free
You now have a solid dominoes plan to use. Go out and test it. Online play is a great way to get started if you don’t have a friend to play with or you just want to test your new skills before you face a real player.
Playdomino.co offers dominoes free of charge. There are two types of dominoes available: regular Dominoes and Domino Dash.
You can check them out both today and start to practice your strategy. Then you’ll be ready for any opponent. You never know, you might be in the running to win $50,000 cash prizes!