Invented by Howard Fosdick © BestFreeNewGames.com

Here are two modern, positional domino games based on numeric relationships among tiles. Winning relies more on intellect than chance. First, we'll describe Tableaux, then we'll tackle it's more complex sibling, Advanced Tableaux.

Select one tile from the boneyard as the

Players decide who goes first by a random event such as a coin toss or die roll. Following the first hand, the winner of the previous hand always goes first.

A player can continue to play dominoes in his turn as long as each domino scores points.

Play of any doublet also allows a player to continue his turn if he can (regardless of whether the doublet scores points).

If a player is able to play and score all 4 dominoes in his hand, he draws 4 more from the boneyard and continues playing tiles as long as each one scores (or is a doublet). Playing all 4 tiles in this manner is called a

After a player completes his turn, he draws tiles from the boneyard so that he holds 4 tiles for his next turn.

The side play involves placing a tile at staggered side position to a tile already in the tableaux. Numbers must match as in these examples:

For two staggered tiles in the tableaux, there are two positions where a corner play is possible. In this example, X and Y mark these two positions:

Thus, a corner play means positioning a half-tile next to two tiles already in the tableaux. The half-tile thus positioned must equal the sum of the two half-tiles at its flush right angles.

Given the two tiles above, any tile positioned at X would have to be a 5 spot (since it must equal the sum of the two flush half-tiles, 2 + 3).

The half-tile position at Y would have to be a 6 (since it must equal 4 + 2).

Here are five example corner plays:

Any 5 suit tile would work for this corner play. It scores the player a number of points equal to the total of the matched pips: 5 points.

For tiles in this formation, a centre play means inserting a valid X-Y tile:

The tile played in position X-Y must fulfil either of two conditions:

(1) The number X equals the sum of the 3 half-tiles at flush
right angles to it.

In the example above, X must equal 1 + 2 + 3 = 6

--or--

(2) Both numbers on tile X-Y added together must equal the sum of the 3 half tiles at flush right angles to it.

In the example above, X + Y must equal 1 + 2 + 3 = 6

In the example above, X must equal 1 + 2 + 3 = 6

--or--

(2) Both numbers on tile X-Y added together must equal the sum of the 3 half tiles at flush right angles to it.

In the example above, X + Y must equal 1 + 2 + 3 = 6

As you can see, any tile having a value of X = 6 completes this centre play. This scores 6 points (X points).

The first two examples show a centre play completed by inserting the 1-5 tile. The third case shows that any tile with pips totalling 6 will be playable and score here (in this case, the 0-6 domino). Each of these centre plays score 6 points (X + Y points).

A doublet scored for a Corner Play or a Centre Play scores double points. This Corner Play example scores 10 points, double the normal score, because a doublet 5-5 was played:

And this Centre Play scores 12 points, double the normal score, because a doublet 3-3 was played:

Playing the 0-0 tile allows a player to continue his turn, the same as playing any other doublet tile.

Played in a Corner Play, a blank scores 0 points. This example continues the player's turn but scores 0 points:

Play: |
Score: |
Continues Turn? |

Pass |
-3 points |
No |

Side Play |
0 points |
No |

Side Play with a Doublet |
0 points |
Yes |

Corner Play |
Points equal to the sum played |
Yes |

Centre Play |
Points equal to the sum played | Yes |

Corner or Centre Play with Doublet |
Double the normal points |
Yes |

It's also possible for a hand to end when the boneyard is empty, and neither player can play. (Players are not assessed the -3 penalty points for their final hand-ending "pass".)

Tiles the players have left in hand when the hand ends are not scored.

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Place your corner plays flush to existing tiles to deny your opponent a corner play on his turn.

These two examples illustrate. Positions A, B, C, and D allow Side Plays. Positions X and Y only permit Corner Plays. Position Z can only be a Centre Play:

Position X is not playable in these Corner Play and Centre Play scenarios because no domino can fulfil the necessary conditions to make the play:

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Seeking a greater challenge? Try Tableaux with a 9-9 set of dominoes. Only two Tableaux rules change:

- Each player's hand contains 5 tiles (instead of 4)
- First player to 361 points wins (3 traverses of a 120-peg cribbage board)

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