10 Tips On How To Play Dominoes Like A Pro

Do you want to play dominoes like a pro? Then you have come to the right place, for we have some great tips to help you hone your skills and play like a pro in no time.

Dominoes is a popular tile-based game that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. It is also highly competitive, and Universal Dominoes League (UDL) hosts a professional tournament with serious prize money annually.

So you can guess how popular the game is worldwide. Although you might not want to be a professional player but still want to play like a pro, our tips will come in handy.

So how to play dominoes like a pro?

Playing dominoes like a pro
Playing Dominoes Like a Pro (Source: Pexels.com)

It is pretty easy to learn how to play but figuring out the strategies and hands is what elevates your skills. Several techniques and tricks can improve your gameplay and your chances of success.

Similarly, good strategies can also help you gain an advantage over your opponents. If you want to know more, stick with us as we present our compilation of 10 tips on how to play dominoes like a pro!

Now without any further delay, let us get straight into our list.

Quick Overview

Here is a quick preview of our top 10 tips in the table below.

10.Keep Control Over the Board
9.Play Defensively
8.Figure How to Alter the Board
7.Be Aware of the Board Count
6.Figure Opponent’s Hands
5.Note the Opponent’s Weakness
4.Keep Range of Suits On-Hand
3.Strategically Use Doubles
2.Play the Heaviest Tiles First
1.Play Doubles Early

10 Tips On How To Play Dominoes Like A Pro

We bring you this article with references from internet sources like GAMESVER and COOLMATHGAMES.

10. Keep Control Over the Board

The first tip we are starting our list with is to keep control over the board. Try to push up the board count to set down scoring tiles whenever possible.

Similarly, do not be afraid to lower the board count if you cannot.

Keep Control Over the Board
Keep Control Over the Board (Source: Flickr.com)

For example, in a game of fives (points are scored for board counts that represent a multiple of five), you have to mind the tiles in your hand that can alter the board count by a multiple of five.

Therefore, make sure you play those tiles after your opponents have made a scoring move.

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9. Play Defensively

Our ninth tip for how to play dominoes like a pro is for you to play defensively. Look for ways to limit your opponents from scoring while thinking of ways to score yourself.

It would be best if you try to think several moves ahead to see what strategies your opponents might be thinking and blocking their moves. It is a kind of defensive strategy that you can play.

Play Defensively
Play Defensively (Source: Flickr.com)

Using the offense and defense together can create great results.

Thus, start your game with offense and gather points as quickly as possible. You can then switch to defense to hold onto your points lead.

8. Figure How to Alter the Board

Our eighth tip for playing like a pro is to figure out how to alter the board.

You can do this by evaluating the tiles in your hand and changing the board’s layout by figuring out the difference between the suit values on either side.

Figure How to Alter the Board
Figure How to Alter the Board (Source: Wikimedia.org)

For example, if there are three and five on each end, the board count will change by a value of two.

Either raise the board count by connecting the lower suit to the open end or lower the board count by combining the higher suit with the open end.

7. Be Aware of the Board Count

Another strategy is for you to be aware of the board count. It would be best if you noted all open ends on the layout.

Be Aware of the Board Count
Be Aware of the Board Count (Source: Publicdomainpicture.net)

For example, in the game of fives, the points are scored when the board count is equivalent to a multiple of five. Therefore, you must be aware of the board count.

6. Figure Opponent’s Hands

Our sixth tip on how to play dominoes like a pro is to figure out your opponent’s hands.

It might sound complex, but if you pay close attention to the layout and tiles, you can make out your opponent’s hand.

Figure Opponent's Hands
Figure Opponent’s Hands (Source: Wikimedia.org)

It could be pretty tricky to do this early in the game.

But as the game progresses, you can reverse engineer your opponent’s hand based on the tiles already played and what is in your hand.

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5. Note the Opponent’s Weakness

Just like figuring out your opponent’s hand, the next tip is to note your opponent’s weakness.

This is also difficult to do at the beginning of the game and will be possible as the game progresses.

Note Opponent's Weakness
Note Opponent’s Weakness (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Make sure you watch for the suit values that your opponents are missing when they are forced to pass on a play or draw from the pile. It will help you to read their moves and block them later.

Likewise, taking note of their weakness will let you play strategically and help you score.

4. Keep a Range of Suits On-Hand

Our fourth tip for how to play like a pro is to keep a range of suits on hand. It would be best if you kept as many different suits in your hand as long as possible.

Keep Range of Suits On-Hand
Keep Range of Suits On-Hand (Source: Wikimedia.org)

This is because you can match as many numbers as possible, which is a great way to keep your playing options open.

Similarly, it also prevents you from having to pass on turns if you cannot make a play.

3. Strategically Use Doubles

The third tip for how to play like a pro is strategically using doubles.

It can be helpful to hold onto your doubles until later in the game and can counter one of the basic dominoes strategies.

Strategically Use Doubles
Strategically Use Doubles (Source: Wikimedia.org)

It is risky to hold doubles until later, but it can be helpful. After you learn about your opponent’s weaknesses, you can understand what suits they are missing.

If you have doubles, then you can play them to open up the board. Therefore, it is crucial for you to use doubles strategically.

2. Play the Heaviest Tiles First

Our second tip for you is to play the heaviest tiles first. During the game, it is impossible to know who will come up with the winning hand in the end. Therefore, it is best to play your heaviest spotted tiles first.

Dominos Tips Play Heaviest First
Dominos Tips Play Heaviest First (Source: Gamesver)

The heavier tiles have higher numbers. As a result, if your opponent scores, they will get more points. Thus, it is wise for you to play them early.

1. Play Doubles Early

And the number 1 tip for how to play like a pro for you is to play doubles early.

It is always wise for you to play doubles early as they do not advance the play and leave the same hook available as the tiles they are connecting to.

Play Dominoes Like A Pro (Source: Wallpaper Abyss – Alpha Coders)

It would be best if you got rid of the doubles early to avoid giving those points to your opponent when they score.

There are only a few opportunities to play them, and you can get stuck with just doubles if you do not get rid of them early.


Aside from the family game nights and gatherings, you can also play free dominoes games online.

You can play online or with your friends or family to use our tips and strategies to further your skills.

We hope our tips will help you to master your skill and allow you to play like a pro. The more strategies and tricks you know, the more chances you have to win the game.

Have a great time playing!

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