OBJECT OF MATADOR: The objective of Matador is to be the first player/team to reach 100 points.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players

MATERIALS: double 6 domino set, a way to keep score, and a flat surface.

TYPE OF GAME: Domino Game



Matador is a domino game for 2 to 4 players. The goal of the game is to be the first player or team to reach 100 points or more.

A 4-player game can be played as individuals or as two teams of 2 players each. If playing with teams, partners sit across from each other.


The dominos will be shuffled and dealt. Each player will receive a hand of 5,6, or 7 dominos each. 5 dominoes for a 4-player game, 6 for a 3-player game, and 7 dominoes for a 2-player game. The remaining tiles form the boneyard.


There are four special dominos called matadors. These are 0-0, 1-6, 2-5, and 3-4. These can be played to any end, regardless of the tile they are connecting to. When a player adds to a matador, however, they must follow standard rules of play. Matadors are the only tiles that can connect to blank tile sides.


The game starts with the player with the highest-ranked double in hand, and they may play any tile to start the train. On a player’s turn, they may add to the train by matching a tile to one open end of the train. To lay a tile the end of the newly placed domino and the open end of the train must sum 7. So, if a player is adding to the end of the train and the open end is a 3, they must play a 4 to connect to it. The only exception to this rule is playing a matador, which may be played to any open end.

A player is never required to play a matador, and if a player does not have a playable tile, they can draw a tile from the boneyard and pass. There is also a variation that requires a player to draw from the boneyard until they pull a playable tile, or the boneyard is empty.

The game ends either when a player dominos and plays all tiles from their hands, or the game becomes blocked and there are no more tiles in the boneyard.


After the round ends, the number of pips remaining in each player’s hand is calculated. The player with the lowest total scores the total of all other players pips minus their own, but if multiple players have the same low score, no player scores this round.


The game ends when a team or player reaches 100 or more points. They are the winner. 

Amber Crook
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