Dominos are played religiously through the Caribbean, and The Cayman Islands are no exception. While Caribbean Dominos rules rules differ from island to island, the vibe is the same. Locals gather in the same spot and the faint sounds of laughter and the slap of Dominos can be heard echoing through the palms.
It’s really quite wonderful.
The front porch of the variety store halfway through Bodden Town is our local domino hotspot.
Want to play? Here are your basic Caribbean Dominos rules:
- Place the dominos face down on the table and mix them well. Next, each player draws 1 domino. The player with the highest double-numbered domino takes the first turn. If no one draws a double-numbered domino (like double six, for example) then the player with the highest total number kicks things off. Play then proceeds clockwise.
- Players then put their dominos back on the table and mix them again. If there are only two players, each player draws 7 dominos. Same for four players. If there are more players, each draws 5 dominos. A variant for beginning the game is for every player to keep the domino they drew when establishing who goes first. The player with the highest double-numbered domino then lays his/her domino directly on the table. Now, if there are only two players in the game, each draws 6 dominos. If there are more players they each draw 4.
- The first player lays one domino on the table. This is the key part… there is a fine art to slowly raising the Domino over your head, while cupped in your palm so the others cannot see what it is… and then “SLAMMMMN” down on the table with the domino.
- The next player adds a domino that matches in number with one of the two ends of the first domino to create a “chain”. If the player does not have a domino to match the end of the domino chain, the next player takes a turn. Play continues until no one can add any more dominos to the chain.
- When no more dominos can be added, each player adds together the numbers on all their remaining dominos. The player with the lowest score wins the round. In addition to the winner’s score, the score of the other players can either be added to the winner’s points, or deducted from each player’s score. The first player to reach 121 points wins the game.