Keeping the tiles facedown, place them in 5 vertical rows of 5 tiles each. Set aside the 3 remaining tiles.
Turn each tile faceup, keeping them in their same positions. If the sum of the pips on any two tiles on the bottom horizontal row totals 12, discard that pair of tiles. The two lower tiles of the same vertical row may not be discarded at one time, even if their pips total 12.
The 3 tiles that were set aside at the beginning of the game may be used at any time during the game, as the player so chooses, to be coupled with any tile from the bottom of a vertical row.
In the course of the game you may end up with less than 5 vertical rows. If this occurs, it is permissible to move a tile from the bottom of any other vertical row in order to form another vertical row. At no point in the game, however, should there be more than 5 vertical rows. This rule is very important because if the 6-5 and the 0-1 or the 6-6 and the 0-0 were in the same vertical row it would be impossible to win without being able to move one of the two tiles to another vertical row.
This is a game of luck and skill. When you make a careful study of your exposed tiles, you will learn that some moves are much better than others.
Variation: In the regular game, the 0-0 and the 6-6, and the 1-0 and the 6-5, must be matched to make 12, because there is no other way to match them. For the other tiles there are at least two ways each tile can be matched. Therefore, the 1-6 can be matched with the 4-1, 2-3, or 0-5. The game becomes much more difficult if you limit more of the tiles to only one possible match each. Try this variation: Require that each of the ends of the matching pair must total six.
The four remaining tiles (0-6, 1-5, 2-4, and 3-3) are tiles with 6 pips each and cannot be matched to another tile in the set so that the ends of the matching pair of tiles would total six. Therefore, the requirement that the ends of the matching pair of tiles total six will not apply to these four tiles; each of these four tiles may be matched with any one of the other three tiles to make a total of 12 pips for the pair, as in the original 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)