How to Play the Chicken Foot Game

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Chicken foot is a dominoes game that, depending on the dominoes used, can be played by as many as 10 people. The object of the game is to use all the dominoes in your hand and have the lowest score at the end of all of the rounds. There a many variations of chicken foot, but this basic game uses standard double-six dominoes and can be played by two or three people.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of double-six dominoes
  • Piece of paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Place all dominoes face down. Choose a scorekeeper, who will write down the players' names, followed by seven columns, one for each round of the game. Each player selects five dominoes from the pile and place them in front of him. Do not allow other players to see your dominoes.

  • The player with the double-six domino starts the game play by laying the domino in the center of the playing area. If no one has a double-six, each player must pick a domino from the "bone yard" (the unselected dominoes). This continues until a player draws the double-six. Once the double-six is played, a six must be played on all four sides of the double-six. If a player can't play a six, he must draw a domino from the bone yard. If he is still unable to play, he must pass.

  • Once all four sides of the double-six have been played, players may play off of any domino in play. When a double (same number on each side) is played, the player must call "Chickie" and the number of the domino and lay the domino perpendicular to the domino he is playing off of.

  • After a double is played, the players who follow must play the same number until three dominoes are played on the "Chickie": one perpendicular and the other two at a diagonal on either side, creating a pattern that looks like a chicken foot. No other dominoes can be played until the chicken foot is complete. If a player cannot play, he must pick a domino from the bone yard and pass.

  • The round continues in this way until either one player uses all the dominoes in his hand or no players can make any more moves. To score the round, players count the dominoes remaining in their hands. The domino count is based on the number of dots on the dominoes, except for the double-zero, which is worth 50 points. The scorekeeper will record the first-round score.

  • Round 2 and all subsequent rounds begin with the next lower double domino. The first round started with a double-six, so the second round begins with double-five. Play continues until the final round, which will start with the double-zero. The winner is the player with the lowest combined score after seven rounds.

Tips & Warnings

  • For larger groups of people, chicken foot can be played with larger domino sets. If you have four to six players, you will need a double-nine set; 10 players can play with a double-12 set.
  • If you are playing with the larger sets and more players, the first chicken foot begins with the first double in play. In the double-nine set, all players are required to play off the double-nine, with two dominoes perpendicular to it and four at a diagonal.
  • When using a double-nine set, you will play 10 rounds; a double-12 set will have 11 rounds.
  • Since the goal is to have the lowest score at the end of the game, the best strategy is to play your higher number dominoes first.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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