Guide to Concentration (using dominos)
Domino tiles games date back to China from the 1100s.
The word ‘domino’ is French and most likely to derive from the Latin – dominus (master of the house). It initially referred to a type of black and white monastic hood worn by Christian priests in winter which is probably where the name of the game derives from.
Eventually referred to a hooded masquerade costume with a small mask, then to the mask itself, and finally to one of the pieces in the domino set, namely the tile.
The game moved to France and Italy in the early 18th century and became a fad. Domino puzzles were being produced in France in the late 18th century – from there the game arrived in Britain and quickly seems to have become popular in inns and taverns at the time.
This is an adaptation for dominoes of the card game Pelmanism also known as Concentration or Memory.
The game uses a standard 28 double six domino set and is usually played by two players, but any number can play.
Players get no hands. Instead all the tiles are dealt face down into a grid layout of 4 by 7 tiles.
In his turn, each player exposes any two tiles in the grid.
If this pair totals to 12, he removes them from the grid and takes another turn, continuing to expose pairs of tiles and take them until he fails to get a total of 12.
If the pair of exposed tiles does not total to 12, he turns them face down again and the next player takes his turn.
The hand is over when the grid is empty.
The winner of the game is first one to reach a total of 50 captured tiles (25 pairs), or another predetermined total.
Comments & Strategy
Obviously, this is a test of memory, so that the player who can envision the tiles correctly without seeing their faces is the player who will win.
One important trick in play is to remember the total and not to think about the two halves of each tile.
The other trick is to realize that a set of dominoes does not break down into simple pairs, like the playing card or picture card version of this game. The [0-0] and [6-6] have to pair up with each other, as do [0-1] and [5-6]. All other tiles have some options. For example, let’s go for a total of 12 by getting a seven and a five. A seven can be made by picking any of the [1-6], [2-5] and [3-4] tiles; a five can be made from any of [0-5], [1-4] and [2-3] tiles. This gives nine possible combinations which will add to 12.