Firebox 20th Birthday


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      There’s more to the game of dominoes than just trying to get rid of the pieces in your hand by matching the numbers on them to numbers already in play on pieces on the table. Advanced games, where the object is to score points by making the ends of the domino ‘snake’ add up to multiples of, say, three or five, add a much-welcome element of skill.

      Played in a foursome, hands of variant games are competitive, never the same, and require you to guess what an opponent is holding– a bit like poker, really. In fact, the rules to domino poker, and other versions, come supplied.

      In days of yore, dominoes were made from bone or ivory because, as raw materials, they both made great playing pieces. No tusked beasts or skeletons were plundered to make these particular doms, but the pieces feel nice and heavy, make a great noise when you handle them and have an off-white colour. All of which make them feel like theyÂ’re of classic stock when (whisper this) theyÂ’re actually plastic.

      If youÂ’ve only ever had a feeble set of the kind bundled in one of those shabby, long-ago-present-from-Gran compendiums - like millions of us, probably - then itÂ’s hardly surprising that dominoes get a raw deal. But these come in cool packaging, and that on its own is a good enough reason on its to re-introduce yourself to one of the great games.

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