Winning the Game: Strategies for Going Out First as a Beginner

In the world of dominoes, one of the most satisfying achievements is being the first to empty your hand. Going out first is not only a sign of skill but also a key objective in many domino games. For beginners, this feat might seem challenging, but with the right strategies and a good understanding of the game, it becomes an attainable goal. In this guide, we’ll focus on strategies for beginners to help them go out first, ensuring that you’re not only having fun but also mastering the art of dominoes.

Understanding the Objective

To become a successful domino player, it’s important to understand the primary objective of many domino games: being the first to empty your hand. While specific rules and scoring can vary between game variations, the core goal remains the same. You want to play your tiles strategically, matching them with the tiles on the table and planning your moves to eliminate your tiles before your opponents do.

Strategies for Going Out First

  1. Tile Balance: Maintaining a balanced set of tiles is a fundamental strategy. Aim to have a variety of numbers and doubles in your hand. This balance allows you to respond to a broader range of situations on the table.
  2. High-Value Doubles: High-value doubles, like the double-six or double-five, are valuable assets. Keep them for strategic use later in the game. They can be powerful for blocking opponents or creating chains of matching tiles.
  3. Blocking Opponents: Pay attention to your opponents’ plays and use your tiles to block them strategically. If you notice an opponent is close to going out, consider playing tiles that disrupt their progress by forcing them to match specific numbers.
  4. Plan Your Chains: Creating chains of matching tiles is a key strategy. Instead of playing tiles individually, plan ahead to form chains that allow for more plays in subsequent turns.
  5. Using Doubles Wisely: Doubles can be pivotal in your quest to go out first. Use them thoughtfully to extend chains, block opponents, or secure the starting move.
  6. Tile Observation: Keep an eye on the tiles on the table and your opponents’ moves. Being observant of the available plays and potential chains is crucial for successful gameplay.
  7. Think Ahead: Successful domino players think several moves ahead. Consider not only your current play but how it will impact the layout of the tiles and your opponents’ options in the next few turns.
  8. Adapt to the Game: While planning is essential, be ready to adapt your strategy as the game unfolds. Unexpected opportunities and challenges can arise, and flexibility is your key to success.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As you work on your strategy to go out first, be aware of some common mistakes that can hinder your success:

  • Overlooking Available Plays: Failing to notice opportunities for matching tiles or missing plays can limit your options and potentially lead to missed opportunities.
  • Ignoring the Board: Ignoring the layout of the tiles on the table and the moves of your opponents can result in poor decisions. Always stay aware of the board’s status.
  • Playing High-Value Tiles Too Early: Playing high-value doubles or tiles too early in the game can limit your strategic options later. Consider the timing of your moves.

Specific Game Variations

Different domino games have unique rules and strategies, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the variation you’re playing. Here are a few common game variations where going out first is a key objective:

  • Mexican Train: In this game, the goal is to go out first by playing all your tiles or having the lowest possible score when an opponent goes out.
  • Draw Dominoes: In this game, the objective is to empty your hand as quickly as possible, typically by matching tiles to those on the table or using strategies like blocking your opponents.
  • Five-Up: In Five-Up, the aim is to score points by matching open ends with a multiple of five, making strategic plays to go out first.
  • Block Dominoes: In Block Dominoes, players aim to empty their hands by playing tiles that block opponents or create chains.


Going out first in a game of dominoes is a gratifying achievement that showcases your understanding of the game’s strategies and objectives. By focusing on tile balance, using high-value doubles strategically, blocking opponents when necessary, and creating chains of matching tiles, you can increase your chances of achieving this goal.

As a beginner, keep in mind that practice and experience are your best allies. The more you play and apply these strategies, the more proficient you’ll become. Embrace the rich world of dominoes, sharpen your skills, and work toward the ultimate goal of going out first. Happy playing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *