Double-Hand Dominoes

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According to Scarne's Encyclopedia of Games, when playing with a standard set of double-six dominoes, "all dominoes are valued at their sum total: 6-5 is 11 points, 4-3 is 7 points, etc."  That was until now.

Double-Hand Dominoes (a.k.a. Twist 'Em) is played with a standard set of 28 double-six dominoes.  Like Pai Gow, each player's goal is to form two hands which respectively outrank the dealer's hands.  The ranking is done as in Baccarat or Pai Gow: by adding the total of each hand and using only the ones digit.  Nine is high, zero is low.  Unlike Pai Gow, the tiles won't be physically separated into two hands.  

How To Play

  1. Each player wagers and is dealt three dominoes.
  2. Each player arranges the orientation of the dominoes to form a top hand and a bottom hand.  As an example, if the player held the 2-3 domino, she could arrange it so the 2 was above the line and the 3 was below, or flip it and have the 3 on top and the 2 below.  Here's an example of how the two hands are formed:
    Top hand = 3
    Bottom hand = 7
  3. When the player is finished arranging the tiles, they are placed face-down on the table.
  4. The dealer exposes three banker dominoes and arranges them in the same way, to form a top and bottom hand.
  5. In turn, the dealer exposes each player's tiles and compares them with the banker's tiles.  The player's top hand is compared to the banker's top hand, and the player's bottom hand is compared to the banker's bottom hand.  If the player has set the tiles incorrectly by having the top hand outrank the bottom, the dealer simply turns all the player tiles 180 degrees -- the player does not automatically lose.
  6. If both player hands win, or if one hand wins and the other ties, the player wins even money.  If one wins and the other loses, the wager is a push.  If neither player hand wins, the player loses the wager.  The banker gains the advantage by winning when both hands exactly tie.
  7. In house-banked jurisdictions, each player plays only against the house dealer and no commission is necessary.  In player-banked casinos, a fee is collected prior to the deal and the player-banker position should rotate in a regular fashion.

Key Benefits and Facts

  • In player-banked play, Double-Hand Dominoes can outperform Pai Gow by 12.5%. Why? Once learned, the game is just as fast as Pai Gow, but with 28 tiles in the standard double-six domino set, the game can accommodate a maximum of 1 dealer or player/banker and 8 other players. Pai Gow can only accommodate 1 dealer and 7 other players. All other things being equal, one extra player means significantly extra handle.
  • In house-banked play, Double-Hand Dominoes can outperform Pai Gow by over 25%. As above, the extra player capacity improves the handle. In addition, the push percentage drops from around 40% in Pai Gow to under 22%, meaning more hands are won and lost than pushed. More wins and losses means significantly more action for the house.
  • The ranking of Double-Hand Dominoes is far easier to learn than Pai Gow's ranking scheme. Players can begin play immediately and without fear of misunderstanding the rules.
  • The House Way for Double-Hand Dominoes is remarkably easy to understand. It can be described in two sentences, can be taught to a dealer in under 10 minutes, and requires no lengthy training or memorization aides.
  • Unlike some Pai Gow games, and Pai Gow Poker, there is no penalty for improperly setting the hands. If a player sets the tiles such that the top hand outranks the bottom, the dealer will simply flip all the tiles over, swapping the hands instead of declaring the hand foul and removing the wager. This makes the game more player-friendly and forgiving.
  • Double-Hand Dominoes is protected by U.S. Patent #7,335,099.

To find out more about Double-Hand Dominoes, including a table of statistics that shows how it outperforms Pai-Gow on a hold-per-hand basis, please contact us.



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