Rules to Muggins
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Number of Players: 2  4
Type of Dominoes Used: Any Domino
Type of Game: Scoring Game
What's unique: If a player should overlook a score, his opponent may call "Muggins!" and take the score himself.
The game may be played in partnership when there are 4 players.
Number of dominoes drawn: If 2 play, each player draws 7 tiles. If 3 or 4 play, each player draws 5 tiles.
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.
The first double played is a 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 points 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. (5 points for 5 pips; 10 points for 10
pips; 15 points for 15 pips; and so on.) Each player must announce his
points on making his play in order to receive credit for the points
made. If a player overlooks a score, his opponent may call, "Muggins!"
and take the score himself.
The player who dominoes is also awarded points 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 5 points; 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 is
worth 10 points; and so on. The first player, or partnership if 4 are
playing, to reach 200 points wins the game. If a player reaches 200
points during play, the game ends at that point. If points are tallied
at the end of a hand and more than one player has a score of 200 or
more, the player with the highest score wins. In case of a tie, follow
these rules: If 2 are playing, play two more hands; 3 players, play
three more hands; 4 players, play four more hands.
Scoring if hand is blocked: Each player counts the pips
on the remaining tiles in his 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 nextlowest 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.
Variations: 1)
No more than 4 can play, and every player, regardless of the number of
players, draws 7 tiles. 2) If 4 play, each draws 5 tiles; if 3 play,
each draws 6; and, if 2 play, each draws 7.
Variation: The player holding the highest double in his
hand makes the first play by setting that tile. After the first tile
has been set, play continues to the left.
Variation: There are no spinners.
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. 3) A Player may draw from the boneyard
even if he holds a playable tile in his hand.
Variations: 1) The first to reach 100 points wins the
game. 2) 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. 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. 3) 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: 1) 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, there is no score. 2) The player with
the lowest number of pips wins the game.
Select a different game
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)
