Many people know simplest domino games (like Block Game) and appreciates them as social and funny. However each domino fan can come to a point when you have a partners to play and you want to try something different. Something new. Perhaps something more complex. Well… you can always try one of the lesser known but funny domino games like Instant Domino, Blind Domino, Jubilee, Bergen or Sebastopol.

## Instant Domino

To be honest, I don’t know what is proper English name of this game. I tried to find out and I didn’t succeed. In Poland this game is known as “Błyskawica” what means “Lightning”. But this Polish word is also used for describing fast or instant things. There is an adjective “błyskawiczny” what can be translated as “lightningly” or just “instantly”.

When you play this game you can win instantly so I decided to translate it’s name as “Instant Domino”. If you know other English name(s)of this game please let me know in comments.

Instant Domino is a game for 4 to 8 players. It uses a standard double-six domino set (28 tiles).

At the beginning of the game, each player draws a certain number of tiles (bones). The number of tiles drawn depends on the number of players.

- 4 players draw 7 tiles each
- 5 players draw 5 tiles each.
- 6 players draw 4 tiles each.
- 7 players draw 4 tiles each.
- 8 players draw 3 tiles each.

The rest of bones lie face down. They are not used in a game.

The player with the 0-0 double places the first domino. If no one has 0-0 double, the first to play is a player with higher double (1-1 or 2-2 or 3-3 and so on).

Next players add their dominoes to the line of play (play proceeds clockwise). Tiles are touching each other with shorter sides and adjacent tiles have equal values on “connected” halves. For example, 2-3 can be connected to tile with 2 pips (from one side) or to tile with 3 pips (from second side).

In one turn player can add more than one tile to the line of play. He can even play all his bones in one move.

Example game is shown on the image below. There are 4 players. First player (North) put 0-0 double. Second player (East) added 2 bones to the line of play and third player (South) added 3 dominoes.

A single round (hand) is won by a player who discarded all tiles by lining them on the table. Winner receives as many points as the total remaining pip count of the losers’ hand. The game continues in the next rounds until one player reaches a certain number of points (usually 100).

Some people use cribbage boards to count points in this and other domino games.

## Blind Domino

Blind Domino is a game for 2 to 4 players. It uses a standard double-six domino set (28 tiles). In this game random element has greater importance and that’s why kids like it.

At the beginning of the game each player draws a certain number of tiles (bones). The number of tiles drawn depends on the number of players.

- 2 players draw 8 tiles each
- 3 players draw 8 tiles each.
- 4 players draw 7 tiles each.

Player who plays first is determined by drawing lots. Play proceeds clockwise

Players’ tiles are arranged out in a row before the players. They lie faces-down. They remain face-down until played so don’t peek!

The first player reveals and plays first tile from the right side of his row. Then next player reveals a tile on the right side of his row. He can play this stone (by adding it to the line of play) but he doesn’t have to.

If player is not able to add his tile to the line of play (or he just don’t want to do this) he put this tile to the left side of his row (face-down). In such situation the player may (but is not obliged too) take a tile from a boneyard. Stone taken from a boneyard goes to the right side of his hand.

When the player have three tiles left he should turn them over (face-up). In next turns he can play this stones as he wants. He can even play two or all three tiles in one turn.

A hand (single round) is won by a player who discarded all tiles from hand by lining them on the table. Winner receives as many points as the total remaining pip count of the losers’ hand. The game continues in the next rounds until one player reaches a certain number of points (usually 100).

## Blind Hughie

There is a variant of Blind Domino known as “Blind Hughie”. In this game the number of tiles drawn is different

- 2 players draw 14 tiles each.
- 3 players draw 9 tiles each (last tile is used to start a game).
- 4 players draw 7 tiles each.

In “Blind Hughie” tiles remain face-down to the end of the game. But in one turn player can add many tiles to the line of play (just as in Instant Domino).

When making a move player reveals and plays first tile from the right side of his row. But then he turns over his second tile and plays it if he can. He continues to turn tiles over as long as he can add them.

If turned over tile is a double, player leaves it face-up. He can later choose to play this double instead of first tile from a row.

Players may decide that first played double is a *spinner*. It is played crosswise and it opens 2 new ends of the line of play. So players can add tiles to four edges of this double.

## Jubilee

Jubilee is a game for 2 to 4 players. It is more strategic and good for those who like to count (or have to exercise fast counting). It uses a standard double-six domino set (28 tiles).

At the beginning of the game, each player draws a certain number of tiles (bones). The number of tiles drawn depends on the number of players.

- 2 draw 6 tiles each.
- 3 draw 6 tiles each.
- 4 draw 5 tiles each.

Player who plays first is determined by drawing lots. Play proceeds clockwise. In one turn each player adds one tile to the line of play.

During the game all players count the total number of dots on all played tiles (total value).

The player who adds a domino which gives a total value of 25 wins 5 points. On the image below we see a situation where the total value is 21 (without a tile highlighted in yellow). The player who adds 2-2 (with value of 4) rises the total value to 25. This player gets 5 points.

The play continues and…

- the player who makes a total value of 50 wins 10 points.
- the player who makes a total value of 75 wins 15 points;
- the player who makes a total value of 100 wins 20 points;
- the player who makes a total value of 125 wins 25 points;
- the player who makes a total value of 150 wins 30 points.

If a player exceeds one of scoring total values (25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150) he receives minus points (the number of minus points is the same as number of plus points for each scoring total value).

The hand ends when…

- game is blocked,
- one players exceeds a total value of 150,
- one of players got rid of all tiles (such player wins 20 points).

The game continues in the next hands until one player reaches a certain number of points (usually 500).

## Bergen

Bergen is not much different from the simple Block Game, but it’s more interesting thanks to the changed goal. It’s a game for 2 to 4 players. It uses a standard double-six domino set (28 tiles).

At the beginning of the game, each player draws a certain number of tiles (bones). The number of tiles drawn depends on the number of players.

- 2 draw 6 tiles each.
- 3 draw po 6 tiles each.
- 4 draw po 5 tiles each.

Player with 0-0 double is first to play. If no one has 0-0 double, the first to play is a player with higher double (1-1 or 2-2 or 3-3 and so on). If no one has any double, the first to play is a player with 0-1 or next higher tile.

If the first player put a double he wins 2 points. Then next players add their tiles to the line of play (play proceeds clockwise). If a player is unable to add a domino, he draws one tile from the boneyard. The boneyard may not be drawn dry. Two last tiles are never revealed or drawn. If player can’t make a move and there are no dominoes left, he must pass.

The aim of the game is to score points. Here’s how to get them.

- 2 points are won by a player who added a tile that makes the same value appear at both ends of the line of play. The image below shows such an arrangement. (this is called a
*double-header*).

- 3 points are won by a player who added a double that makes the same value appear at both ends of the line of play. The image below shows such an arrangement (this is called a triple-header).

- 1 point is won by a player who got rid of all dominoes from hand.

The hand ends when one player plays all his tiles, or when a game is blocked. If a game is blocked then 1 point is won by a player who has a lightest hand (lowest value of all tiles in hand).

The game continues in the next hands until one player reaches a certain number of points (usually 15)

You can play bergen with larger domino sets (double-nine or even double-twelve). In such games the first double may be a *spinned* to create a line of play with four ends.

## Sebastopol

Sebastopol resembles classic Block Game, but it’s a game for 4 players where all bones are dealt to the players. This is a significant feature.

Game uses a standard double-six domino set (28 tiles). At the beginning of the game, each player draws 7 tiles (bones). Play proceeds clockwise.

Player with 6-6 double is first to play. In the next turns players are obliged to add dominoes to first edges of 6-6 double to create a *star*. Example star is shown on the picture below.

If a player can’t make a move he must pass.

After creation of the star players add their tiles to the line of play. In one turn each player adds one tile to the one of four open ends. It is impossible to block the game because all tiles are in the game.

A hand (single round) is won by a player who discarded all tiles from hand by lining them on the table.

Winner receives as many points as the total remaining pip count of the losers’ hand. The game continues in the next rounds until one player reaches a certain number of points (usually 100).

## Sebastopol – variants

You can play Sebastopol for 2, 3, 4 or 5 players by drawing different number of tiles at start.

- 2 players draw 7 tiles each.
- 3 players draw 7 tiles each.
- 4 players draw 5 tiles each.
- 6 or 7 players draw 3 tiles each.

Player with the highest double is first to play. Players are obliged to form a star and then play proceeds just like in classic Block Game.

## Other articles on domino

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