All Fives Dominoes Game Rules

setting up dominoes

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

All Fives is part of a family of games called point games. It is closely related to the domino games Muggins and Sniff.


2 to 4 players, best with 4 players as a partnership game.


One standard set of double-six dominoes, along with some paper and a pencil to keep score.

equipment for dominoes
The Spruce / Margot Cavin


The goal of All Fives is to be the first player to reach the agreed-to point total (see "Winning" below).


Shuffle the dominoes, face-down, on the table. Each player draws the appropriate number of dominoes (see below) and stands them on edge so that they can see the faces (the side with the pips) but their opponents cannot.

With 2 players, each takes 9 dominoes. With 3 players, each takes 7. With 4 players, each takes 5.

NOTE: Some people prefer to play so that each player draws 5 dominoes, no matter how many players there are. Another alternative: With 2 players, each takes 7 tiles, and with 3 or 4 players, each takes 5.

The remaining dominoes are left on the table face down. This supply is known as the boneyard.

face-down dominoes
The Spruce / Margot Cavin 

The Start Player and the First Tile

For the first hand, randomly determine the start player. For future hands, the start player is the one who was first to go out in the previous hand. (If there was a "blocked" hand, meaning no player could legally place a tile, the start player is again determined randomly.)

The start player can lead with any tile in their hand.

starting the game
The Spruce / Margot Cavin 

Subsequent Players

The next player and all subsequent players must play a tile that matches one of the available ends on the board. EXAMPLE: If the start player leads with a 4-5, the next player must play a tile that has a side with either 4 or 5 pips.

Anytime a player cannot legally place a tile, they must draw from the boneyard until they either pull a tile which can be played (and which the player plays immediately) or the boneyard is empty. If the boneyard is empty and the player still cannot play, the turn passes to the next player.

The hand continues until one player plays their final tile, or until no players have a legal play.

lining up dominoes
The Spruce / Margot Cavin 

Double Tiles

Double tiles are always played crosswise. For scoring purposes, double tiles count as the total of their pips.

The first double tile played (only the first double tile) is a spinner. It is played crosswise, as with any double tile. However, the first and second tiles played to the spinner must be added to sides of the spinner, while the third and fourth tiles played must be added to the ends.

double tiles in dominoes
The Spruce / Margot Cavin 


In All Fives, most of the scoring takes place during a hand, with some at the end of a hand.

Every time a player adds a tile, the ends of the tableau are totaled—all of the tiles played, together, make up the tableau. There will always be two, three, or four ends to total. If the total is an exact multiple of five, the player scores that number of points.

NOTE: The spinner and any turned doubles at the end of a line score the total of its pips. However, when two tiles have been played against the sides of the spinner, only the ends of those tiles are scored and the spinner itself is not—just as though the spinner was another ordinary tile in the chain.

At the end of each hand, the players total the pips on any tiles remaining in their supply, rounded to the nearest multiple of five. These points are then subtracted from each player's score. EXAMPLE: A hand with seven total pips rounds to five, whereas a hand with eight total pips would round to ten.

scoring in dominoes
The Spruce / Margot Cavin 


All Fives is played until one player reaches an agreed-to number of points. This is generally 250 points with two players or 200 points with three or four players.