Mastering the Blocking Game: Key Techniques for Advanced Players


Dominoes is a game of strategy, and one of the most crucial tactics in an experienced player’s arsenal is the art of blocking. Blocking is the strategic placement of domino tiles to control the board, limit your opponents’ options, and create opportunities for your own success. In this article, we will delve into the essential techniques for mastering the blocking game in dominoes, providing advanced players with the insights they need to excel.

The Importance of Blocking in Dominoes

Blocking is a multifaceted strategy in dominoes that serves several essential purposes:

  1. Control the Board: Blocking allows you to dominate the board, dictating the flow and direction of the game. By controlling the open ends, you limit your opponents’ ability to make plays.
  2. Limit Opponents’ Options: Effective blocking restricts your opponents’ choices, forcing them to draw from the boneyard or skip their turns. This slows their progress and can be a significant advantage.
  3. Create Scoring Opportunities: Well-executed blocking can set up scoring opportunities for you. By controlling the board, you can position tiles strategically to maximize your points when the time is right.
  4. Maintain Dominance: Maintaining control of the board through blocking allows you to maintain dominance throughout the game, making it difficult for your opponents to mount a comeback.

Key Techniques for Mastering the Blocking Game

To excel at blocking in dominoes, consider the following key techniques:

1. Observe and Analyze the Open Ends

One of the first steps in effective blocking is observing and analyzing the open ends on the board. Consider the numbers and combinations present on the open ends. Are there any critical tiles your opponents are likely to play next? By understanding the current state of the board, you can make informed decisions about which tiles to play.

2. Close Open Ends Strategically

Closing open ends is a fundamental blocking technique. If you have tiles that can close open ends without creating opportunities for your opponents, prioritize playing them. By doing so, you limit your opponents’ options and maintain control of the board.

3. Use Doubles for Maximum Impact

Doubles, which have the same number of pips on each end, are powerful blocking tools. They can only be played on one side, effectively blocking the opposite end. Save doubles for key moments when you want to control the board or limit your opponents’ moves.

4. Create Point Barriers

Point barriers are strategically positioned tiles that are challenging for opponents to play without providing you with scoring opportunities. These tiles may have low-value ends or be part of a sequence that requires specific numbers to continue. Point barriers force your opponents to find specific tiles to break through.

5. Predict and Counter Opponents’ Moves

Advanced blocking also involves predicting and countering your opponents’ moves. Anticipate their goals and strategies, and position your tiles to disrupt their plans. By blocking the tiles they need or creating obstacles, you make it difficult for them to advance.

6. Control the Boneyard

The boneyard, the pool of tiles from which players draw when they cannot make a play, is another strategic element to consider. If you can force your opponents to draw from the boneyard, you gain information about the tiles they hold, allowing you to block more effectively.

7. Mix Defensive and Offensive Blocking

Effective blocking is a blend of defensive and offensive strategies. While you aim to limit your opponents’ options, also look for opportunities to position tiles that will benefit your own scoring and future plays.

8. Adapt to Changing Conditions

Dominoes is a dynamic game, and the board’s configuration can change rapidly. Be prepared to adapt your blocking strategies as the game progresses and new opportunities or threats arise. Flexibility is key to mastering the blocking game.


In the world of dominoes, mastering the art of blocking is a critical skill for advanced players. It is a strategy that empowers you to control the board, limit your opponents’ options, and create scoring opportunities for yourself. By understanding the key techniques of blocking and practicing them regularly, you can gain a competitive edge and become a formidable force in the world of dominoes. So, the next time you sit down to play, keep these techniques in mind, and watch as your blocking prowess leads you to victory.

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