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Matador Russian Dominoes

The Matador is also called the Russian Dominoes. The first player to go out or reach a set goal is declared the winner. The basic Domino rule of connecting identical number of dots is not followed. The total number of the connecting tiles should be equal to seven. Or a player can play a “Matador” anytime. The “Matadors” are 0-0, 1-6, 2-5 and 3-4. Only a Matador tile can be played after a blank tile.

Two to four players can play the game. The Matador is normally played with the standard Domino set or the double-six set. Larger sets can be used to support more players. When played with a double-nine set, Matador tiles and connecting tiles should total to 10 and 13 when using a double-twelve set.

The game will start with each player drawing tiles to form their hand. The player drawing the highest double tile will go first. The play will continue with the next player to the left. The number of tiles to be drawn depends on the number of players. A game with two players can draw seven tiles each, three players will take six tiles each and five tiles for a four player game. The remaining tiles will serve as the boneyard or the reserve tiles.

The first player will put down the highest double drawn to start the train. Subsequent players will need to play tiles with dots that will sum up to seven with the double that was initially played. If the initial tile is a double-six, then the subsequent playable tiles are 1-0, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5 and any Matador. A Matador tile can be placed crosswise or lengthwise. If the next player placed a 1-3, the 1 will connect to the initial tile and the open ends would be 3 and 6. If the third player plays a 2-5, a Matador on the 6 end, he can either place it crosswise, leaving both ends open or lengthwise, with only one end open. At this point, the playable tiles are those with 4 to complement the 3 open end, 2 and 5 to compliment the open end/s of the 5-2 tile and all remaining Matadors.

Any player who has no playable tile will draw one tile every turn from the boneyard. In some variations, the player will need to draw until a playable tile is drawn or the boneyard runs out of tiles.

The game ends when a player is able to play out all his tiles or reaches the set goal or when all players are blocked. If the game ends with a playout, the total points in the remaining tiles of the losers will be awarded to the winner. If the game ended with a block, the player with the lowest point in his hand wins. The total points from the losers hand will be subtracted with the remaining points in the winner’s hand. See sample computation below;

Winner’s hand – 1-5; Losers’ hand – 6-0, 5-3, 1-4, 5-6 and 4-4

Total of the losers’ tiles is 38. 38-6=32. Where 6 is the total of the winner’s remaining tile. 32 points will be awarded to the winner. The Matador usual score target is 100 or 200 points.

Video: Not available

Further information:

Russian Dominoes at Pagat

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