This is a trick-taking game, very similar to Hearts, but played with a set
of double-9 dominoes.
Suits & Values
"Suits" are treated very similarly to how they're done in the dominoes
game "42". Basically, the "high" number on the domino is the suit and the
number that is less-than-or-equal-to the high number is the value. (A blank is
worth zero.) Thus, the 9-3 would be in the 9s suit and have a value of 3. A
'double' (a domino with the same number of pips on both sides) is the highest
value in that suit and will always take a trick of that suit (like playing an
Ace in Hearts). Not all suits have the same number of dominoes, for example:
the 9s suit has 10 dominoes in it (numbered 0-9), the 6 suit has 7 dominoes
(numbered 0-6), and the "blank" suit has only a single domino (the double
The object of the game is to have the fewest points at the end of the game
(just like Hearts). Each domino in the 7s suit is worth one point, the 8-7
(a.k.a. the "little sister") is worth 8 points, and the 9-7 (a.k.a. the "big
sister") is worth nine points. Thus, there are 25 points total in a single
Remove the following dominoes based on the number of players. You'll need
to do this to ensure that each player has the same number of dominoes in their
hand. Players can pass one-fourth of the dominoes in their hand (dropping
| # Players
|| Hand Size
|| # Passed
|| 0-0, 1-0, 1-1
In Hearts, players can pass 3 cards: to the left on the 1st round, across
on the 2nd round, to the right on the 3rd round, and then no pass on the 4th
round. With the variable number of players in Unlucky 7s, it gets a little
- On the first round, pass to the player on your left.
- On the second round, pass to the player that is two players to the
left of you ("left-left"). Thus, you will end up skipping the player to
your immediate left.
- On the third round, pass to the player that is three players to the
left of you ("left-left-left").
- This pattern continues for subsequent rounds.
- If you discover that you're skipping so many players that you've come
all the way back around to yourself, it's a no-pass (holding) round.
- After the no-pass round, begin by passing to the left again.
Start of Round
- Shuffle the dominoes face down and deal them all out, such that each
player has the same hand size.
- Players can pass a number of dominoes equal to one fourth of their
hand size (drop remainders), per the rules above.
- The player holding the 6-0 is the start player and must lead that
domino into the first trick (just like the 2 of Clubs).
- The player in the lead plays a domino from their hand. A domino in
the 7s suit can't be led until a domino with a 7 has been sloughed on a
previous trick (just like "breaking hearts") Note that 7s can also be
"broken" when someone plays the 8-7 or the 9-7.
- Play proceeds clockwise around the table.
- Subsequent players must follow suit, if they have a domino in the led
- If a player can't follow suit, they may play any domino they like
(called "sloughing"); a player that sloughs cannot win the trick.
- Dominoes worth points cannot be sloughed on the first trick.
- The player that played the highest domino in the led suit wins the
trick. (There is no trump suit.)
- The winner of the last trick leads into the next trick.
- As a convention, players should place their dominoes such that they
look like petals on a flower with the suit toward the outside (pointing
toward the person that played it) and the values in the middle. This way,
players can easily compare the values without wondering which side is
End of Round
- A round is over when all the players have played out all the dominoes
from their hands.
- Each player counts up total points in all the tricks they've taken
and adds that to their score.
- If only one player takes all the points, they get zero
and all the other players get 25 ("Shooting the Moon").
End of Game
The game is over when one or more players meet or exceed 77 points, at
which point, the player with the fewest points wins. In the event of a tie,
the tied players share the victory.
If you're pressed for time, just play to a time limit instead of playing
to a maximum number of points. At the end of the time limit, the player with
the fewest number of points is still the winner.