5 Best Dominoes Sets (Reviews)
Last Updated: 26th Dec, 2019
The game of Dominoes had to travel the globe to evolve into its universal version. Its earliest rendition came from the Song dynasty in China during the 12th century. It was eventually adapted into its modern-day form when Italian missionaries brought it back with them from China - Talk about your useful souvenirs!
Christmas eve has always been one of the best nights of the year for me. It's when all my family get together for food, merriment and hours of tabletop fun. Among the many boxes we blow the dust off, I am always itching to get the dominoes out so that I can continue the long-existing rivalry between myself and my brother. There is nothing more satisfying than when you can place that final piece from your hand on the board and claim victory, holding it over him for an entire year!
With rules that are simple to understand, and the capability to be played by 2 – 7 players, dominoes is a must-have at any gathering or holiday.
Here are the top 5 sets I would recommend if you want to start playing or deciding to replace an old tired set.
Our Top Picks for The Best Dominoes Set
- "Mariner" Classic Domino Set with Black Walnut Case- Our Premium Pick
- Marion Domino Double 6 Set w/ Spinners - Editor's Choice [Best for Most]
- Red Double 6 Jumbo Size Red Domino Tiles - Best For Value
- Alex Cramer Travel Domino Set - Best travel friendly set
- Spinner: The Game of Wild Dominoes - Bargain Choice
1. "Mariner" Classic Domino Set with Black Walnut Case
This is by far the most paramount set on the market. Each of its luxurious 28 ivory-look blocks has smooth rounded edges and a vintage look to them. The black 'pips' are engraved into the plastic and painted to a gleaming finish. If this set had been handed to me and told it was an old family heirloom, I would believe it.
The Black walnut case boasts flawless woodwork made from tough American grown trees. The brass hinges and details accentuate the vintage feel, with the blank front plate waiting to be personalized with its new owner or family name.
A feature I love about this model is the scorekeeping notches on the lid of the case, which comes with 2 x 18 karat gold-plated scoring pegs and 2 x nickel-plated scoring pegs.
This set also includes a high-quality cribbage board, a rulebook and a "Certificate of Authenticity & Guarantee". This means you are covered if any pieces get damaged, with the Alex Cramer company happy to send out replacements if needed - You can't get much fairer than that!
- Exquisite Ivory-Look Blocks
- U.S. Grown Black Walnut Case
- 18 Karat Gold & Nickel Plated Pegs
- Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage
Conclusion: Whether sat on a desk, bookshelf or used for decoration, this set screams pure elegance and class. The sturdy manufacture of its pieces and case means it is built to last. If you want the most superior set available, then the "Mariner" is undoubtedly the best!
2. Marion Domino Double 6 Set w/ Spinners
Dollar for dollar, this is the best dominoes set in the market. I personally own the exact same set, and I can tell you the build quality, finishing, and coloring doesn't get any better than this. The tiles are made of high-quality plastic, which is sure to withstand years of play.
Each dominoes measure precisely 2.24" x 1.10" x .47" and comes with a brass spinner for easy mixing. These are regulation sized tiles with the exception that they are slightly thicker, which gives it a firmer feel and adds to the durability. The dimples on the tiles are bigger than usual, making it easier to spot without much eye-strain.
The set is available in two color options - white tiles with black spots or black tiles with white spots. Personally, I like the white tiles due to the classic touch and better visibility.
It comes in a beautiful black velvet case for easy storage. And if you don't know how to play dominoes, a game instruction manual is also included. We've also included a handy guide on how to play dominoes at the bottom of this page.
- Thicker and more durable than any other set in the market
- Brass spinner
- Elegant case
Conclusion: You'll be hard-pressed finding a better value dominoes set than Marion Domino Double 6 set.
3. Red Double 6 Jumbo Size Red Domino Tiles in Snap Vinyl Case
This no-nonsense set is affordable and has a cool vibe. The chunky red dominoes that measure at 2.2" x 1.1" x 4", are made of robust plastic and will not break easily. The fact they are larger and chunkier makes them perfect for people with bigger hands or with impaired eyesight.
There are no ball bearings molded into these dominoes. This makes them safer for glass surfaces, and won't dent the playing board if you happen to have a slammer in your company.
Costing just $13, this is by far the best bargain you will find, that will not skimp on quality. Even the box is of sturdy quality, that has a very suave leather-look finish. Also, the clasps that snap closed tightly will stop the pieces from falling out and getting lost.
What I love about this product is that it comes in a variety of colors. With its very reasonable price, you can afford to get one of each variation to mix it up, or to have multiple games happening at once.
- Bargain Price
- Attractively Colored Dominoes
- Sturdy Case
Conclusion: Because of their increased size, they are perfect for children and the elderly. The vibrant colours and extremely reasonable price makes this a very fun and cool set.
4. Alex Cramer Travel Domino Set with Caramel-coloured Leather Case
The Alex Cramer Company has been crafting excellent quality Dominoes since 1975. Everything about this travel set is attractive, even down to the gold foiled box it arrives in. The Dominoes are impeccably finished, with rounded corners and delicately painted 'pips'. The sizes of these completely uniformed blocks are official tournament regulations, making them perfect for competitive players or those who take their Dominoes seriously! The much thicker and larger blocks mean they stand easier when playing.
The attractive walnut stained cribbage board included is a great addition, and definitely beats using a pen and paper to keep score. The 4 brass pegs sit nicely in the notches, and can be stored away in the base of the board to stop them getting lost between games!
The 8" x 3" x 3" case is of exquisite quality. It is made up of finely stitched brown leather with a black velvet lining, which latches tightly closed with magnetic clasps.
If you're like me, there is the risk of them being played with by children who may be a little heavy-handed, the lifetime guarantee that comes with this set will give you peace of mind.
- Tournament Regulation Dominoes
- Fine Quality Pieces & Leather Case
- Coverage Against Breakage
Conclusion: Having been manufactured in the U.S. by the Alex Cramer company, you are promised no less than perfection. Costing just under $70, this set is an absolute steal for the quality you get and should be the choice for any serious players, or those who want to impress your friends and family with its stylish look.
5. Spinner: The Game of Wild Dominoes
A modern take on an ancient game, 'Spinner' will introduce your friends and family to a fun new way to play with Dominoes. It was a breath of fresh air to test this variation, and will undoubtedly inject some more excitement into your games night with it's fast-paced and flexibility.
The Art Deco design on the tin is a work of art in itself, and entices you to raise the lid and get stuck in! It has ample room to fit all the pieces inside, as well as the rule book, pen and paper. I did find it was a little oversized for its function, but I suppose it is better to have too much room than too little!
The blocks are smooth, rounded and have indented 'pips' to stop scratching the other blocks. The quirky addition of the 'spinner' dominoes brings a uniqueness, which you will not find in any other traditional set.
So what is the big difference with this 'Texas Wild' version of Dominoes? You use the 'spinner' block as any number which can throw the direction of a game at any minute. If you were looking for a fast-paced, innovative and exciting way to play Dominoes, this set is perfect for you.
- A Fast-Paced & Original Version Of Dominoes
- Attractive Art Deco Tin Design
- High-Quality Pieces
- Tin Is A Little Oversized
Conclusion: A modern take on the classic arcade machine, this device's wireless functionality will make it more appealing to younger generations. It will undoubtedly have them hooked (excuse the pun) on this Claw machine!
Buyer's Guide to Dominoes Set
While choosing a Dominoes set, you need to keep in mind a couple of factors. The games you intend to play will decide the type of dominoes set you should choose. Aesthetics and quality are more or less dependent on the price. But you can get a high-quality domino set under $30.
<Double 6, Double 9 or Double 12>
There are three types of dominoes set you can find.
- Double 6 which comes with 28 tiles and has 168 pips
- Double 9 which comes with 55 tiles and has 495 pips
- Double 12 which comes with 91 tiles and has 1092 pips
There are several games you can play with a dominoes set from muggins to Mexican train and everything in between. For starters, I would recommend going for a double 6 set. It's ideal for two to four players, there is less calculation involved, and the game is short. Perfect for recreational and casual players.
Double 9 or 12 are suitable for larger groups and playing more complex games. You can play games like Mexican train or chickenfoot, to name a few. But again, there would be too many tiles to handle, and the calculations would get complex. Also, such sets are costlier than a double 6 set. On the plus side, you can remove the extra tiles and play double 6 and make smaller sets.
<Dimples or Pips>
Some sets come with ball bearing molds for the 'pips'. Though visually, both can be appealing, it may worth thinking about which ones your set should have. If played on a scratchable surface, molds can leave marks as well as scratching other pieces when they are shuffled. Indented ones will not do this, and will be much smoother when shuffled before a game.
Are you looking for a set with a spinner? Traditionally Dominoes were made from ivory and ebony, with a pin or 'pivot' which would go through the center to hold them together. Keeping to that tradition, many still look for a spinner. The plus side of not having a spinner is that they don't scratch the table when shuffled.
Are you looking for an official regulation set to play competitively? Or larger scale pieces to play with children or the elderly? Be sure the size you choose is suitable for the intended players.
- Standard size dominoes measure at = 1-7/8" Long x 15/16" Wide x 1/4" Deep.
- Tournament size dominoes measure at = 2-3/16" Long x 1-3/32"Wide x 1/2"Deep.
How to play:
'Straight Dominoes' is the most common way of playing, and can be played by 2-4 players. If you are playing with 4 players, you can partner up in teams of 2.
You start by placing the dominoes face down and shuffling all the blocks together.
Each player draws seven dominoes for his hand. The remaining blocks make up the boneyard and are left face down on the table. They can be drawn later if a player is unable to play a piece from their hand.
The player who drew the highest double piece plays first, which lets them play whatever domino they wish from their hand.
You score points by laying dominoes end to end, as long as they match the side they touch (2 on a 2 etc.)
If the 'pips' on the exposed ends total any multiple of 5, the player is given that number of points.
All sides of the first double (the spinner) can be used 1 piece to each side and later 1 to each end.
All other doubles are played at right angles to the line, and the added points on both ends are counted.
'Dominoing' occurs when someone goes out by playing all of their dominoes. The sum of the 'pips' of all the other players is added to the 'Dominoing' player's score, rounded to the nearest 5.
If the 'Dominoing' player has a partner, their points are not added to the 'Dominoed' player.
If by the end of the game, it is impossible for any player to play any more blocks, it means the game is 'Blocked." The player (or partners) having the least 'pips' in their hands (combined if its a team) scores the total of the 'pips' in the opponents' hands, rounded to the nearest 5.
Whoever gets 250 points is usually considered the winner.
Shuffle the blocks and start again. The player who won first gets to play first!
Let's Wrap Things Up:
Dominoes is a versatile and cultured game that demands strategy and skill. Its rules are simple to understand, which means anyone can play, making it perfect for any tabletop gaming sessions. So why not pick yourself a brand new set of 'bones' and have hours of strategic fun with your family and friends.
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