Number of Players: 2 - 4
Type of Dominoes Used: Any Domino
Type of Game: Scoring Game
A.K.A. West Coast Dominoes (in U.S.)
This game was created over fifty years ago in the San Francisco area, which has, since 1969, been headquarters to the International Domino Association (IDA). The game's popularity can be attributed to Dominic Armanino, the author of several domino game instruction books, including one devoted entirely to the game of Five-Up. Mr. Armanino was also a founder of the IDA, and Five-Up has always been the game played at IDA-sponsored tournaments.
What's unique: Every double played is a possible spinner.
The game may be played in partnership when there are 4 players.
Number of dominoes drawn: 5.
The tiles not drawn are pushed to one side to make up the boneyard.
Set: Lots are drawn to determine who sets the first tile. The first player may play any domino in his hand. After the first tile has been set, play continues to the left. . Every double played is a possible spinner.
How to play: After the first domino is set, subsequent players must join a tile from their hand with an open end in the line of play. The ends of the two tiles that are joined must have the same number of pips.
If a player is unable to make a play from his hand, he must draw tiles from the boneyard until he draws a playable tile. If a player is unable to make a play from his hand and there are no tiles left in the boneyard, the player must skip his turn until he is able to make a play.
Scoring: A player is awarded one point every time he makes a play that results in the open ends of the tiles in the line of play adding up to a multiple of 5. (1 point for 5 pips; 2 points for 10 pips; 3 points for 15 pips; and so on.) The player who dominoes is also awarded points - one point for each multiple of 5 - at the end of each hand by adding up, and rounding to the nearest multiple of 5, the pips on the tiles left in his opponents' hands. 1 or 2 pips is worth nothing; 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 is worth 1 point; 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 is worth 2 points, and so on. The first player, or partnership if 4 are playing, to reach exactly 61 points wins the game. If any play made causes the player's or partnership's total score to exceed 61 points, then no points at all are scored for that particular play, and play continues to the left.
Scoring if hand is blocked: Each player counts the pips on the remaining tiles in his or her hand. The player with the lowest number of pips scores the difference between his total and that of each of his opponents. Then the player with the next-lowest number of pips scores the difference between his total and that of each of his opponents, and so on.
Scoring when partners play: Players must play individually, but a common score is kept for partners. When one player dominoes, the number of pips on the tiles remaining in the hand of his partner are subtracted from their score.
Variation: If 2 play, each player draws 7 tiles. If 3 or 4 play, each player draws 5 tiles.
Variations: 1) When there are 2 players, the last two tiles in the boneyard may not be drawn. If there are 3 or 4 players, the last tile in the boneyard may not be drawn. 2) If a player has a playable tile, he must play it.
Variation: If a larger group is playing, players may wish to reduce the number of points that must be reached in order to win the game. The number of points to be reached must be agreed upon by all the players prior to the start of the game.
Variations: The player with the lowest number of pips scores the total number of pips in his opponent's hand. If there is a tie for the lowest number of pips in a two-handed or four-handed game, there is no score. If there is a tie for the lowest number of pips in a three-handed game, the number of pips in their opponent's hand is split evenly between them.
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)