Dominos is an all-Caribbean game, played from Cayman round to Curaçao, and particularly via Cuba, where even El Jefe, Fidel Castro, was known to be partial to a game.
You will see it in action in bars around the islands, at taxi stands and under trees on afternoons of leisure.
Actually, more accurately, you will hear it being played – West Indian dominoes is played with customary Caribbean demonstrativeness. A ‘card’ as it is called in Barbados, is not laid down on the game table. Most of the time it is slapped down and then slid into place.
It looks so simple...and yet...there is far more strategizing than you would ever imagine, and most importantly there is also an active mind at work. Even players clearly the worse for wear - or is that the worse for beer? - will be counting off the dominoes that have already been used and finessing the ones that remain, judging who might be holding them.
A word of warning, then. Do not ever, ever, take a West Indian on at dominos for money. Regular players just beat you every time.
Interested in the game rules? Have a look at John McLeod's Rules of Domino games: Jamaican and Caribbean Dominoes.
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