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The Many Benefits of Playing Dominoes: 19 Potential Advantages (for Everyone)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Dominoes originated in China back in the 1300s and have been adopted by people worldwide. Playing dominoes has many benefits and advantages, ranging from physical and neurological to social. We have uncovered many of the benefits for you and are eager to share them.

Dominoes benefit people of all ages with several skills. Advantages include calculating, memory work, social skills, strategy, arithmetic, prediction, sequencing, and fine motor control. Dominoes allow the player to be present and calm, receiving a rush of endorphins through playing.

Dominoes are a great way to keep children, teens, adults, and the elderly entertained. With multiple ways to play, the benefits and advantages are almost endless. We have selected nineteen of our top choices for you, and although the list is not exhaustive, we think you will find more than enough reasons to whip out a box of dominoes and get playing.

These are 19 benefits and advantages of playing dominoes (for everyone):

1. Dominoes Stretch And Strengthen Neurological Pathways

Working our neurological pathways is vital from birth. When we stretch our brains, we ensure that we keep learning, stay cognizant, and keep learning.

Playing dominoes helps children develop new neural pathways as they learn basic counting, ordering, sequencing, addition, multiplication, turn-taking, and more.

For the elderly, engaging in a regular game of dominoes can keep those neural pathways active. According to the Integrative Memory Enhancement Programme, stretching and challenging your brain as often as possible is vital.

People who participate in games like dominoes, stretching their neural pathways, making and maintaining connections, and learning and using new skills while interacting and having fun with others are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or similar diseases.

2. Playing Dominoes Helps With Memory

Playing dominoes involves using memory. Playing this game of strategy and wit enables players to retain information while keeping focus for periods that are manageable for children and those who struggle to maintain attention.

Dominoes are an excellent way to practice retaining information in a fun, non-threatening way for people dealing with memory loss.

3. Playing Dominoes Teaches Social Skills

We can learn social skills through pretty much everything we do. We learn and practice the basics from birth. Playing games like dominoes allows us to hone our skills and learn new ways of communicating and interacting with others uniquely.

Social skills we learn through playing dominoes include:

  • Taking turns
  • Gauging success
  • Accepting defeat
  • Being a gracious winner
  • Teamwork
  • Independence
  • Assessing others’ reactions
  • Self-esteem
  • Back-and-forth communication
  • Building bonds with other players
  • Respecting other players

4. Playing Dominoes Helps Build Strategic Thinking

Dominoes is a game of strategy. Depending on which variation you play, players need to try and trap their opponent and win the game by reaching the desired number of points.

Players must stay one step ahead of their opponent at all costs, which requires strategic thinking. Strategic thinking involves planning and thinking ahead to achieve a specific outcome or goal.

5. Playing Dominoes Helps Build Critical Thinking

Although closely related, critical thinking is different from strategic thinking. While strategic thinking involves thinking ahead to achieve the goal or success envisioned, critical thinking involves logical thought and the analysis of the situation at hand.

During a game of dominoes, you must clearly assess how the game is unfolding. You must then make decisions that will likely lead to your success.

6. Dominoes Assist With Physical Well-being

Playing games like dominoes can go a long way in keeping you physically healthy. One of the most beneficial elements of playing dominoes is that it compels you to remain physically and mentally present.

A calm and alert presence is a fantastic way to keep your blood pressure under control. By engaging in a game of dominoes, it is possible to boost your immune system. The immune system is supported by maintaining a calm and joyful mindset.

When we play games with the possibility of succeeding, we receive a rush of endorphins as a reward. Endorphins, a happy hormone, are vital in maintaining physical well-being and keeping us returning for more.

7. We Learn And Develop Language When Playing Dominoes

We learn language through every situation in our lives, but it is through playing games like dominoes that we get to develop and practice different forms of communicating.

Communicating respectfully, even under stress, can be practiced through a game like dominoes. While playing, we also learn to communicate about mathematical concepts, counting, sequencing, ordering, categorizing, and taking turns.

In a game of dominoes, we communicate the game’s rules and the variation to be played. We learn to read more subtle communication cues like facial expressions, tells, and body language about our opponents.

8. Dominoes Teaches Mathematical Concepts To Children

The benefits and advantages of playing dominoes are particularly noticeable in children. While they may not yet be able to fully grasp the addition and multiplication aspects of the game, they learn several fantastic mathematical concepts, both incidentally and consciously, through playing dominoes.

A few of the mathematical concepts children learn by playing dominoes include:

  • Sequencing
  • Ordering
  • Categorizing
  • Counting
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Calculating
  • Basic arithmetic
  • Maintaining focus
  • Number concept
  • Quantity
  • Pattern recognition
  • Sorting
  • Classifying
  • Critical thinking
  • Strategy
  • Cause and effect
  • Prediction
  • Concentration

9. Playing Dominoes Builds Relationships

While playing dominoes as a solitary stacking game is exhilarating and fulfilling, playing with others can be extremely enjoyable. When we play with others, we build relationships and form a bond.

Whether playing with family or friends, playing dominoes helps us build relationships with others. We learn to read their cues and communicate respectfully. We also learn how to win or lose gracefully.

10. We Gain Patience From Playing Dominoes

Dominoes is not the slowest-moving game, but it does require a fair amount of patience to play. When you find yourself holding all the “boneyard” tiles and still have to sit your turn out, patience is what sees you through.

As you watch and calmly assess your opponents’ moves, patience is what allows you to clinically make your next move and hopefully win the game.

For younger players or those who struggle with patience, we may find that simply waiting for our turn to come around helps us develop this much-needed life skill.

11. Children Learn Pre-Reading Skills With Dominoes

Pre-reading skills are vital for children to learn and practice before beginning their journey into reading. These skills are mental and physical and allow children’s brains to grasp the necessary concepts to fully comprehend written language.

Essential skills they may learn by playing dominoes include:

  • Left-to-right tracking of their eyes
  • Fine-motor control
  • Turn-taking
  • Cause and effect
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Pattern recognition
  • Pattern creation
  • Creativity
  • Similarities and differences

12. Dominoes Develop Creativity

Playing dominoes allows our brains to become active in ways that may be a little different from the norm.

By allowing our minds to work on different problems and create unique patterns, we will enable them to stretch beyond the norm and move beyond their comfort zone.

Our minds love routine and sticking to what they know. By providing something different, like a problem to solve, a little friendly competition, or the desire to build a wondrous stack of dominoes to knock over, we give it the shock it needs to wake up and create.

13. Dominoes Teach Us To Calculate

Playing dominoes allows us to work on our addition and multiplication. Scoring in dominoes works in multiples of five, so we need to keep our minds sharp to calculate correctly and keep the correct score.

The game also teaches us to hone our more subtle skills of calculation. Calculate our opponents’ winning odds, facial expressions, body language, and moves.

When we play a game of stacking dominoes, we calculate where and how each tile will fall. We consciously or subconsciously calculate each piece’s cause and effect and angle as we place it, ready for the end result.

14. Dominoes Provide Us With Company

For many, the daily grind of our busy lives can become monotonous. For the elderly especially, having regular games of dominoes can force them to interact and socialize.

Children often struggle to make connections outside of the classroom. When games like chess or dominoes are offered by community members or friends and family, children have the opportunity to form friendships, have conversations, and have the company that might otherwise have been denied.

15. Through Dominoes, We Solve Problems

Even the most basic versions of dominoes have options for solving problems that inevitably arise while playing.

By having a “boneyard” of extra tiles available for players, we are taught that there is always a plan B. Through counting the numbers to keep score, we learn that we can manipulate our moves to gain points of our own and still potentially come out on top.

There are multiple opportunities to learn to solve problems while playing dominoes and these skills carry over into our lives as valuable life skills.

16. Learn The Art Of Prediction With Dominoes

When we mention the word “prediction,” we do not mean prediction of the psychic kind. (Although you may find that your powers are suddenly activated, and you can predict your opponent’s moves!)

When we refer to learning prediction, we mean in the sense of mathematical skills. Prediction is a valuable skill learned in the early years of school. By predicting numbers and quantity, we allow our brains to pre-empt calculations necessary in life and in a game of dominoes.

17. Hand-Eye Coordination Is Trained Through Dominoes

Playing dominoes, alone or with an opponent, allows us to train our hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is a valuable skill for everyday life, and it is imperative to keep it in check at all stages of life.

For young children, dominoes allow the development of the skill. Playing dominoes keeps this skill in check for teens and adults of typical ability and enables the development of even greater control.

For the elderly, playing dominoes allows the practice of hand-eye coordination to slow the decline of the skill and keep the agility needed for daily tasks. For those challenged with neurological or other disabilities, playing a game like dominoes can go a long way in helping to mend or train hand-eye coordination in a stress-free, fun way.

18. Dominoes Helps Us Reach Agreements

Being able to reach agreements respectfully is integral in societal life. By playing dominoes, we subconsciously learn to manage our emotions and come to agreements in a communal way.

Even before the game begins, there is communication about which version to play, the number of players, and more. Finding a way to reach an amicable agreement on how to play benefits all concerned.

We communicate communally when tallying scores, taking turns, and more. All of the communication we learn and practice through playing dominoes helps us reach agreements in a way that will serve us for the rest of our lives.

19. Dominoes Are Entertaining

We left this point to last, but it may be the most important of them all. If dominoes weren’t entertaining, there would be no desire to play them.

With all the benefits and advantages we gain through playing dominoes, being entertained and having fun is paramount. Having fun often is a vital part of being alive. It releases feel-good hormones, keeps our health in check, and keeps us striving for success in all areas of our lives.

All In All

Playing dominoes has multiple benefits and advantages. This unassuming game holds excellent power within its tiles and nips. Learn and develop numerous skills and values that will carry over to your daily life, and have a wonderfully fun time playing.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.