Playing Dominoes is an integral way of life in the Caribbean, to such an extent that, in the past, there have been heated calls from that part of the world to have it elevated to an Olympic sport. And even though this exciting game is dominated by macho men, women are starting to show they are worthy opponents.
Dominoes is so popular in the Caribbean as the game can be extremely fun, and the rules are fairly simple. A Domino game requires thinking skills, is exciting and can become physical. A six-love score is a badge of honor. And it unites, builds friendships, empowers, is varied, inexpensive, enjoyable, therapeutic, a teaching aid, and can be played anywhere.
There’s no doubt that Dominoes has taken the Caribbean by storm, so if you genuinely want to know why they are so obsessed with this fun game – read on!
These are 15 reasons why domino games are so popular in the Caribbean:
1. Dominoes Rules Are Easy To Master
Domino rules are incredibly simple. It is usually played with a partner. A standard game begins when a player draws a limited number of dotted domino pieces. The winners are the first team to get rid of all their pieces by matching them like for like with the dominoes that are on the table.
2. Dominoes Requires Strategic Thinking Skills
Caribbeans typically play dominoes with their partners, which requires a lot of skill, and some foresight. They can read a table and strategically use dominoes to favor their partners. Their opponents will find it hard to match, so they will most likely lose the game.
3. Caribbeans Love Dominoes Because It’s Exciting
Dominoes is an exhilarating game in Jamaica where it’s an exciting combination of a competitive sport and lively entertainment. The players are incredibly expressive! So, you will definitely know when someone has scored, as there will be ear-slitting celebrations and a lot of back-slapping to cheer on the winners!
4. Dominoes Can Get Physical In A Good Way
Many domino games in the Caribbean involve hand waving and table slapping that typically sends dominoes flying! And many other physical antics when players start to win and get excited. So, there is never a dull moment!
5. A Six-Love Caribbean Domino Score Is A Big Achievement
The most special badge of honor in the Caribbean is to beat the opposing team with an outright six-love score. Even though the first dominoes player or team to win six consecutive games in a row is applauded. Any player that attains a stellar 6-0 winning score is seen as the raining champions, with bragging rights.
6. Dominoes Unites People From All Walks of Life
Domino games bring people together who would not typically meet. Unlike more challenging games, players don’t have to be highly educated or intellectually gifted to enjoy the game. Many players in the Caribbean excel in reading dominoes tables like a pro.
7. Dominoes Is Not An Expensive Game
Playing Dominoes is so prevalent in the Caribbean as the game is affordable. Many outdoor games are played on quirky DIY Dominoes sets, crafted from inexpensive materials, and adorned with unique decorations like seashells and other locally available items.
8. Dominoes Empowers Men In The Caribbean
Dominoes is predominantly a macho-man’s game and was traditionally played mainly by young and old males or fathers and sons. However, it unites men from all walks of life. It is seen as the great equalizer that empowers men who otherwise feel disenfranchised in their community.
9. Dominoes Can Be Played Anywhere In The Caribbean
Dominoes is an incredibly mobile game, so it can be played anywhere and anytime. All that’s needed is a flat surface, a board, and Domino tiles, and the game can begin. So, dominoes are played all over the Caribbean, where friends tend to congregate, even in highly unusual places.
10. Dominoes Is A Varied Caribbean Game
There are so many versions of Domino games, and each Caribbean nation has its own way of playing it and will boast that its version is the best! Although the most popular Domino game versions include scoring games, blocking games, and, in some instances, card games.
11. Dominoes Is A Great Teaching Aid For Caribbean Kids
Studies have proven that kids who consistently play Dominoes can develop photographic memory skills. Thus, Caribbean kids are thought to play the game as it enhances their ability to concentrate.
And it improves their strategic thinking and mathematical skills, with the added advantage of bridging the intergenerational gap.
12. Playing Dominoes Sparks Joy
Playing Dominoes is a national pastime all over the Caribbean because it is an affordable leisure activity that genuinely sparks joy. Especially in impoverished communities where their day-to-day life can be highly challenging.
13. Dominoes Is A Fun Family Game In The Caribbean
Children of all ages and abilities enjoy playing Dominoes with their families as there is always a good chance that they could win. However, even though the rules are simple, there is also a somewhat element of luck. So, even experienced players can lose the game, and small kids have a chance of winning.
14. Playing Dominoes Strengthens Friendships
Like poker players who always have game nights, playing Dominoes with old friends is a favorite pastime. Especially for Caribbean men and their groups of friends who have been playing it for decades.
15. Domino Games Are A Form Of Therapy
It is a well-known fact that macho men don’t reveal their feelings, although that rule does not apply when Caribbean men get together to play Dominoes. In a sense, it’s a form of therapy as the men tend to open up about their complicated family matters and share their pearls of wisdom.
Dominoes are so popular in the Caribbean as it unites people from all socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and genders. However, because it is predominantly played by men, it has become a great equalizer that empowers men from all walks of life.