Muggins
Muggins


Muggins is a domino game played with any of
the commonly available sets. The object of the game is for each player
to rid their hand of dominoes, and additionally to score points by playing a domino that makes
the total number of pips on all endpoints of the board equal to a multiple of five. According to John McLeod of Pagat.com, the
name of the game differs according to how many “spinners” are in play. These are doubles that can be built from in
all four directions. Muggins is the name of the game played without
a spinner, All Fives has a single spinner, and in Five Up, all doubles are spinners. Scoring
Points are earned when a player plays a domino with the result that the count is a multiple
of five. The points earned are equal to the sum of
the ends. Therefore, if in the course of play a player
plays a bone that makes the sum of the ends 10, 15 or 20, the player scores that number. All pips on a crosswise double are included
in the count. Game play
Each player takes five dominoes, when playing with four players or more, or seven when playing
with two or three. The remaining dominoes are placed to one side
forming the “boneyard”. The starting play is determined either by
who holds the highest double or the highest-value domino; in either case, that domino is played
first. If that domino is a 6–4, 5–5, 5–0, 4–1,
or 3–2, the initial count is evenly divisible by five and so the player scores. Players in turn then lay a matching domino
on one of the endpoints. Each player must play if holding a domino
matching an end. A player who cannot match must draw until
obtaining a playable domino. Scores for endpoints are called and taken
as the play is made. Doubles: When a double is played, it is laid
with its long side against the end of the endpoint domino. Both halves of the double are counted when
adding up the sum of the endpoints for scoring purposes. A matching bone can then be played on the
double’s other long side, and then on each of the double’s ends when that domino is a
spinner. When this happens, one or more new endpoints
are created and figure into the endpoint total. This generally results in higher scores. The player who goes out wins additional points
based on the value of dominoes still in other players’ hands, which is figured by counting
all pips on those dominoes. Each opponent’s hand is rounded to the nearest
multiple of five; for example, the winner scores 25 for 27 pips in an opponent’s hand
and 30 for 28 points. These points are summed and awarded to the
winner. If all players are blocked, the lightest hand
wins, still earning points based on the pips in opponents’ hands. Variants of Muggins differ on the number of
tiles taken initially, the use of double-six, -nine, -twelve or -fifteen sets, whether the
initial tile must be a double, whether all four endpoints of the initial double must
be played on before further play can commence, and whether tiles can be played off the four
corners of the initial double only or off of all subsequent doubles as well. A common variation is knocking; when a player
cannot lay a tile, they have the option to “knock”; this conditionally skips the next
player. If the player after the skipped player can
score, he must do so, and play then continues as normal. If he cannot, even if he can play, that player
knocks and play reverts to the player who knocked first, who must draw until he can
find a playable domino, and then the player who would have been skipped is allowed to
play. This is common in a partnership form of the
game played with four players; a knocking player thus defers to his/her partner who
might be able to score. It is considered cheating for one partner
to signal the other that he/she should knock. Variations
All Threes is played in the same manner as Muggins, except that points are earned for
multiples of three. Fives and Threes is similar to Muggins and
All Threes, but points are scored for multiples of five and multiples of three at the open
ends. Multiples of five and multiples of three are
worth one point each. These can be scored in combination, however. If Player A plays the 6–5 and Player B the
6–1, then Player B scores 2 points because 5 and 1 sum to six. Player A then plays the 1–5 and earns 2
points because 5 and 5 sum to 10. If Player B then plays the 5–5 crosswise,
Player B scores 8 points, 5 for five threes and 3 for three fives. Fives and Threes can be played with or without
a “sniff”. Games are often played to 31, 61, or 121 points
using a cribbage board to score. References

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