Type of Game: Blocking Game
All of the games in this section have certain things in common: First, points are scored at the end of each hand, therefore there is no regard to the end count. Play is aimed, instead, at blocking your opponent from making a play. The game of Block and the game of Draw are two of the most simple and basic of all domino games. Many games are variations of one of these games. In both of these games, plays are made by matching suits with one of the tiles in your hand to one of the open ends in the line of play. The object of the game is to be the first player to domino.
The game of Block and the game of Draw are identical with one exception: In the game of Draw you draw extra dominoes from the boneyard if you are unable to make a play. In the game of Block you do not draw extra dominoes from the boneyard if you are unable to make a play. This seems to be the most widely used description of the difference between the game of Block and the game of Draw. However, in some places, the rules for a game called "Block" are that players draw from the boneyard when unable to make a play.
The game of Block is also known as Block Dominoes, the Block Game, and Allies (Block with Partners). The game of Draw also goes by the names Draw Dominoes, Draw Game, the Draw or Block Game, Block Dominoes with Buying, and even Domino Big Six, and Double-Six Dominoes.
The game of Doubles is sometimes called Maltese Cross. However, in all but one place, the rules I found to Maltese Cross did not contain the rule that makes Doubles a unique game: sometimes tiles cannot be played until the double of that suit has already been plaved. For that reason, I have listed these two games separately in this section.
Because all the games here are basically variations of Block, I have provided, under the heading "What's unique," details differentiating these Block games' variations from each other. Unless otherwise indicated, the following rules apply to each of the games below:
• One set of double-6 dominoes (28 pieces) is used.
• The dominoes are shuffled, facedown, at the beginning of each hand.
• The object of the game is to be the first player to domino.
Reprinted with permission of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., NY, NY from GREAT BOOK OF DOMINO GAMES by Jennifer Kelley, ©1999 by Jennifer Kelley. (The Sterling book is available as PUREMCO'S GREAT BOOK OF DOMINO GAMES)