The origin of Domino Poker is a bit of a mystery. But it’s no mystery that this little game remains one of the most popular games in history. So let’s take a look at the game and explain the rules and strategies needed to sharpen your Domino Poker skills!
How the game is played
The game uses a standard set of Dominoes, except for the double zero and double one tile. After placing bets, each player receives five tiles face down. All remaining tiles are left face down. Each player than reviews their hands.
Gameplay, as in classic poker, now proceeds left to right. The players may now check, bet or fold each hand as well as call or raise an existing bet. Once all players have made a move, the player with the highest ranked hand wins!
How the hands are ranked
Here are the hands available in Domino Poker and how the tiles are arranged, with the highest winning value to lowest. These hands should be familiar to anyone having played the classic poker card game.
Of importance is the fact that the rankings differ slightly from classic poker. In classic Poker a Flush is ranked higher than all other hands below a Full House.
- Royal Hand – All five tiles must be doubles. Ex. 2:2, 3:3, 4:4, 5:5 and 6:6
- Straight Sixes – Straight sixes must include five tiles sharing one common 6 on one side with the five adjacent sides creating an unbroken numerical sequence. Ex. 2:6, 3:6, 4:6, 5:6 and 6:6
Four of a Kind
- Four of a Kind – Any four double tiles plus any fifth tile Ex. 2:2, 3:3, 4:4, 5:5 and x:x
- Straight Fives – Straight fives must include five tiles sharing one common 5 on one side with the five adjacent sides creating an unbroken numerical sequence. Ex. 2:5, 3:5, 4:5, 5:5 and 6:5
- Full House – A full house includes 3 double tiles plus 2 additional tiles sharing a common suit. Ex. 2:2, 3:3, and 4:4 plus 3:5, 3:6 (where 3 is common to the 2 additional tiles)
2:2, 3:3, and 4:4 plus 3:5, 3:6
- Straight Fours – Straight fours must include five tiles sharing one common 4 on one side with the five adjacent sides creating an unbroken numerical sequence. Ex. 2:4, 3:4, 4:4, 5:4 and 6:4
Three of a Kind
- Three of a Kind – This hand is comprised of any three double tiles. Ex. 2:2, 4:4 and 6:6 with any other two tiles.
2:2, 4:4 and 6:6
- A Flush – A flush is created when all 5 tiles share at least one common number. Ex. 1:3, 3:3, 4:3, 5:3 and 6:3 (where 3 is common to all tiles)
- One pair – One pair is comprised of 2 double tiles. Ex. 3:3 and 5:5
- Highest Card – When no other players have any of the hands above, the player with the highest value tile wins. If two players tie, then the tiebreaker between those two players goes to the player with the next highest value tile.
*Note: All straights have only two possible combinations
Is Domino Poker worth learning and playing?
Domino Poker 99 is not a substitute for either of the games in its namesake. And it’s far less complicated than either! This game is easy to master with nothing more than a simple understanding of its hand values and strength.