Combo Play: Using Doubles and Special Tiles to Your Advantage


Dominoes is a game that demands not only a keen understanding of strategy but also a mastery of the diverse tiles that make up the set. Experienced players know that doubles and special dominoes can be the key to gaining a significant edge over their opponents. In this article, we will explore the art of combo play, which involves using doubles and special tiles strategically to create powerful moves and secure victory in dominoes.

The Power of Doubles in Dominoes

Doubles, as the name suggests, are dominoes with identical pips on both ends. These tiles hold a unique status in the world of dominoes, and skilled players can harness their power for maximum advantage. Here are some strategies for using doubles effectively:

1. Block Your Opponents

Doubles can be used to block your opponents’ moves effectively. By placing a double on the board, you limit the open ends available for your opponents to play their tiles. This can slow their progress and force them to draw from the boneyard or skip their turns.

2. Set Up Scoring Opportunities

Doubles are also excellent for setting up scoring opportunities. By playing a double that connects with a tile already on the board, you can create a scoring set. This is especially valuable when you have high-value tiles with the same number of pips as the double. When the opportunity arises, you can score big.

3. Control the Board

Experienced players understand that controlling the board is essential in dominoes. Doubles play a crucial role in board control. Placing a double can dictate the direction of the game and force your opponents to adapt to your strategy.

4. Use Doubles as Bait

Doubles can be used as bait to tempt your opponents into making moves that work to your advantage. For example, if you have a double six and play it, your opponents may believe you have the other double six. This can lead them to make plays that you can exploit.

Special Dominoes: Unleashing Unique Powers

In addition to doubles, special dominoes bring a unique dimension to dominoes strategy. These tiles can be game-changers when used effectively. Let’s explore the special dominoes and how to maximize their impact:

1. The Blank Tile

The blank tile, also known as the “spinner,” is a versatile piece that can be played on any open end. Use it strategically to create scoring opportunities by connecting it with high-value tiles. The blank tile can also be used to close open ends or block your opponents’ moves.

2. The Double Blank

The double blank is a powerful tile that can be played on any open end like the blank tile. However, it effectively doubles the open end’s value. Use the double blank when you want to maximize scoring potential or manipulate the board to your advantage.

3. The Double One

The double one is a unique tile that allows you to control the board effectively. When played, it forces your opponents to play tiles with ones, which can limit their options and open up opportunities for you to block or score.

4. The Spinner Sixes

The spinner sixes, also known as double six blanks, have significant blocking potential. By playing this tile, you force your opponents to play tiles with sixes, making it challenging for them to create scoring opportunities or advance their game.

Combo Play: Doubles and Special Tiles

Combo play in dominoes involves combining doubles and special tiles to create powerful moves. Skilled players use this strategy to maximize their advantage. Here’s how to execute combo plays effectively:

1. Double with a High-Value Tile

Combining a double with a high-value tile is a classic combo play. For instance, pairing a double six with a six-five or six-blank can create a scoring set while blocking your opponents.

2. Using Special Tiles with Doubles

The versatility of special tiles makes them ideal for combo plays. For example, playing a double one and connecting it with the double blank can yield a high score while forcing your opponents to adapt to your move.

3. Bait and Block with Doubles and Specials

Combine the baiting power of doubles with the strategic options provided by special tiles. Play a double to imply you have another one, then follow it up with a special tile that disrupts your opponents’ plans.

4. Closing with Doubles and Specials

When your opponents are close to victory, use doubles and special tiles to block their finishing moves. Create point barriers with special tiles and close open ends with doubles to control the game’s pace.


In the world of dominoes, the art of combo play involving doubles and special tiles is a game-changer for experienced players. The strategic use of doubles can control the board, set up scoring opportunities, and bait your opponents into making mistakes. Special tiles offer unique powers that can be harnessed for scoring, blocking, and manipulating the game’s direction. By mastering the combination of doubles and special tiles, you can elevate your dominoes gameplay to a new level, making you a formidable force at the table. So, the next time you play, remember that the synergy of doubles and special tiles is your path to dominoes mastery.

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