Dominoes: How to choose the best game of 2021?
We reserve a special space to talk all about dominoes, the timeless game that has the dexterity of a card game and the lightness of a board game.
We challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know dominoes. It is practically a cultural heritage, played in bars, parks and dining tables around. No wonder, it is an option for the fun of the whole family.
Our goal in this Guide is to help you find the right domino game for you, your people and your family. For that, we will show the different sets, the different ways of playing and the main models of the market.
First, the most important
- There is more than one way to play dominoes: the counting game, the blocking game, the wheel game and the auction.
- There are also sets of dominoes with very specific purposes, such as Mexican Dominoes and domino effect kits.
- Within these varieties of domino sets, you can find models between R $ 20 and R $ 400, depending on the number of pieces and their material.
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Ranking: The 3 best domino games
Below you will see our exclusive list of the best domino games on the market. We consider the quality of its parts and its case, its cost-benefit, among other elements, in our evaluation.
Don’t let the simplicity of the pieces fool you. Dominoes is a complex game that combines strategy, mathematics and a touch of puzzle solving. Complex, but not complicated, it is a game for young people, adults and the elderly.
Because of these characteristics, dominoes are present in many cultures, which face the game in different ways, generating different sets (and models). In the Buying Guide, we’ll take a look at these differences, and the advantages and disadvantages of dominoes.
What is dominoes?
Dominoes are, for all intents and purposes, a table game. The word can also be used to refer to the game pieces, also called stones, which have a rectangular shape – a parallelepiped, actually – with small dots on one of its surfaces, painted or perforated, the amount of which is equivalent to its value .
Each stone has two values, most commonly from zero to six, that divide its surface in half. The pieces make all possible combinations with these values, including two equal values, without being repeated, resulting in 28 pieces.
There are sets that go up to the number 18, that is, with 190 stones. The game basically consists of combining the pieces from the ends with equal values (zero with zero, one with one, and so on), differing in the way the points are counted and even the number of participants, usually four.
It was agreed to say that dominoes is a Sino-European game, for having arisen in China, but having become popular from Europe.
So much so that in Asia Mahjong , an even more complex variation of the game, is the most popular, while the name “domino” would have come from European priests, who celebrated their victories with the Latin term “domino gratias” (“thanks to the Lord ”).
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dominoes?
Any game has its advantages and disadvantages, even a millennial like dominoes. Its advantages surround the richness of the game, and the disadvantages its inconvenient specificities.
Starting with the advantages, one of them is that a game for all ages, as it is easily understood, easily assembled and handled, and yet with a wealth of strategies to please those who play the longest.
Within this huge age group are several cognitive benefits, such as the stimulus of logical-mathematical development for the youngest, of strategic logic for adults and memory, for the elderly.
Finally, it is a practical game. A straight surface and at least two players are enough and that’s it. No wonder, many sets come in travel cases. There are those who do not disengage from their domino games, like NBA basketball player Jimmy Butler:
But even this big guy knows that there are some little things that bother this game. Starting with the fact that there are only four players, at least in most sports. It is difficult to entertain a large group, for example.
Another drawback is the “delicacy” of setting up the game, just like most table games or even board games. The parts are fitted without any fixing. It’s a more sudden crash on the table and that’s it.
The pieces, by the way, are an inconvenience in themselves, at least when they are lost, because they are small, or wear out, losing their visibility or even their value, in the sense of the points.
- Ageless fun
- Cognitive benefits
- Easy assembly and handling
- Number of players
- Delicate mounting
- Lost and / or worn parts
Standard set, Mexican or domino effect?
Dominoes have a wide cultural reach, and, consequently, countless appropriations, with different rules and sets. There are official and unofficial variations, universal rules and those that only that table in that square has.
There are, however, more popular variations, at least commercially speaking. Thus, in your research, you will probably find three types of sets: the standard, the Mexican and the domino effect.
The pattern , as we said, is the set called double six, which refers to the piece with the highest value, that is, with six points in each half, twelve points in total. Recalling, there are 28 pieces.
The Mexican , in turn, also known as the Mexican train, has very specific rules, being almost a game apart. Anyway, your set is called double twelve, the largest piece with 12 points in each half, and with 91 pieces in total.
The domino effect is definitely not for playing dominoes, it only contains the pieces in their traditional format, without necessarily following a numerical pattern, or even having numbers.
These sets, in this case, are to line the pieces and drop them all in sequence, starting from the drop of the first piece in the row. There are videos and more videos with rows in the most diverse ways, which are dropped in the most diverse sequences:
What are the ways to play dominoes?
There are, as we speak, different and different ways to play dominoes, some based on local culture, others on official rules. In any case, it is difficult for games to escape this basic division: counting game, blocking game, wheel game and auction game.
In the counting game , each player’s points are recorded during the game and at the end of the game. A famous example is Ponta de Cinco. The games are the opposite, with points counted only at the end of the game, that is, when all rounds have ended.
The wheel game may have elements of the counting or blocking game. What sets it apart is that, depending on the modality, it can have up to 10 participants, unlike the traditional four.
The auction game , at last, “turns” the pieces into playing cards, with numbers and suits. Like the deck, the possibilities for this type of game are quite numerous.
The price of a domino set can vary widely, depending on its material, number of pieces, its accessories, such as case or briefcase, or even its purpose.
The most basic kits can be found starting at R $ 20, while the most sophisticated ones, made of finer materials or even to create a domino effect, reach up to R $ 400.
Where to buy?
If it’s a physical store you want, the best places are toy stores.
Now, if you value more for the variety of prices and models, sites like Amazon are the most suitable, even because they allow the purchase in the comfort of your home.
Purchasing Criteria: What to notice in your domino game
We set up just for you a list of selection criteria, to be noted and noted at the time of purchase. To prepare the list, we evaluated product characteristics and elements of its use:
- Size of parts
Now, let’s talk about each one of these items, so that your choice is the best informed, and your purchase, the best possible.
The pieces are the items that will most influence the product experience with your domino set. Look for pieces whose color, details and finishes please you the most.
It is worth noting the material as well, which also has a part of the experience, as well as, and mainly, the durability of its set. Avoid pieces of paper and plastic, and bet without fear on pieces of dark wood, resin, metal or even the oldest ones, such as bone.
The case of the set is just as important as the parts. There are three most common types: the briefcase, the case and the box. There is no better type, but there is one suitable for each situation.
If you like to take your dominoes on your travels, a compact, resistant and pleasant case is worth; if you take the game and its pieces more seriously, a professional suitcase, with quality lining and zip, are the best choice.
For children, or to make a fool of yourself at home, a set with a small wooden box is the most suitable option.
Even though there are pieces that you like best, try to give preference to the sets whose pieces have good visibility, that is, in which the points are easily identified in different situations.
As a rule, look for pieces whose points are not actually perforated, and which have colors that contrast strongly with the main color of the stone, such as white and black and red and white.
Size of parts
Another point that is worth your attention is the size of the pieces. Again, there is not a correct size, there is a suitable one for your situation, of the people who will play the place where it will be played.
Large pieces, for example, for small tables, will not be very functional, just as small pieces for the elderly can disrupt the game a little.
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