So you’ve decided to accept the invitation from your Jamaican friends to join them in a game of dominos. But do you really know what you’ve gotten yourself into? Here are five things that you definitely should know before playing dominos with a Jamaican.
1. It will get loud
Jamaicans are very expressive but this is most evident whenever we are involved in any kind of sporting activity. Dominos is a very exciting combination of sport and entertainment in Jamaica so there’s hardly a time when it’s just a simple domino game. For us, it’s almost always a given that each play, point, or score must be loudly celebrated with shouts and cheers of jest at the other players.
2. Be prepared for things to get physical
No, you won’t get hit! But we will jump up, wave their hands and carry on all sorts of antics as the excitement of the game builds. And if the domino is placed gently on the table, you can rest assured that that player isn’t Jamaican. As a matter of fact, it’s not a Jamaican domino game until someone slams the table so hard that the dominos scatter in every direction.
3. You’re the target of a six-love
As far as Jamaicans are concerned, the aim of every domino game is to beat your opponents with the ideal score of six-love. Of course, the first player to win six games is usually the winner, but 6-0 is the sweet score that every Jamaican domino players wants to boast about.
4. You’re playing with bones!
It wouldn’t be a Jamaican domino game if we didn’t have our own name for what the rest of the world calls dominos. If you’re going to play the game, you should know that some Jamaicans call them “bones”. Whether it’s the ivory colour or the hard surface of the dominos, the name has stuck and you’ll probably hear it during the domino game with your Jamaican friends.
5. We know which ‘bones’ you have in your hand
Reading the dominos is a common tactic that Jamaicans use in their strategy to get to six-love. By studying the “bones” that each player plays, they can deduce which player has which “bones” and adjust their tactics to ensure a win.
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