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How to Play Muggins

The Muggins is a point game that is normally played with the standard Domino set or the double-six set. Larger sets can be used to support more players. Two to four players can play the game. Four players can team up into two teams and play partners in the game or play individually.

The basic rules for playing Muggins are very similar to All Fives and Draw Dominoes. The first player to go out or reach a set goal is declared the winner. The basic Domino rule of connecting identical number of dots is still followed but the scoring gets a twist. Players would only earn scores if the ends of the tiles all total up to factors of five (5, 10, 15, 20…).

The game will start with each player drawing one tile to determine who gets to play first. The player drawing the highest or heaviest tile will go first. Tiles drawn will then be returned to the pile for re-shuffling. Each player will then draw their initial hand. The number of tiles to be drawn depends on the number of players. A game with two players can draw seven tiles each, three and four player games will draw five tiles each for the initial hand.

The remaining tiles will serve as the boneyard or the reserve tiles.

The first tile played need not be a double as other Domino games rule. But it should follow the Muggins rule of ends factor in fives, meaning, the total of the dots should be a factor of five. Tiles for the first play can be 5-5, 5-0, 2-3, 3-2, 1-4, 4-1, 0-5, 6-4 and 4-6. The score for this play is the total number of dots. If the player’s tile is 3-2, the score is 5. If a double is played, then this is a spinner where all four sides of the tile can be played.

Subsequent players will need to play tiles with matching dots to the open ends or edges but will only earn a score if the ends totals to factors of five. If the first player played a 6-4 tile and the next player placed a 4-0, no score will be earn as the resulting total is 6 (6+0), but if he played a 6-1 tile, the player will be scored 5 for the play (4+1). Double tiles played will count all dots, a 5-5 will be counted as 10 and 1-1 will be considered 2 points. Blocked players without playable tiles will draw from the boneyard, one tile at a time, until he draws a suitable tile. Scores or “muggins points” should be recorded else another player could declare a “Muggins!” and get to steal the points earned.

The game ends when a player is able to play out all his tiles or when all players are blocked with no tiles remaining in the boneyard. The scores will remain with all the players but only the winner will receive additional score. The winner in a blocked game is the player with the lowest tile/s. The bonus score will be the total of all remaining tiles less that of the winner’s hand, if any and rounded to the nearest five and then divided by five. See sample computation.

Winner’s hand – 1-3; Losers’ hand – 1-6, 5-4, 6-3, 5-6 and 4-5 Total of the losers’ tiles is 45. 45-4=41. 40/5=8. Where 4 is the total of the winner’s tile and 40 is the rounded value of 41. Additional 8 points will be awarded to the winner.

A game can also end when a player or a team reaches a pre-set score goal. This will be agreed upon by the player prior to starting the game. If they agreed with a 200 points goal, the first player or team to reach that score wins.

The winning player also gets to play first in the next set. If the game ended with a block, the player with the lightest hand can play first or can also be settled with another drawing.

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More information

Muggins Wiki

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