1. Is BIGSTAKES5 just another way to play dominoes?
BIGSTAKES5 is not another way to play dominoes. While based on the traditional domino game, BIGSTAKES5 features elements and creates strategies of play that may not be included in traditional play. BIGSTAKES5 is an offensive based game where the number one objective of the game is to score more points in a given game (hand) than any other play…period. This mindset makes it necessary to take full advantage of opportunities when presented, despite that “play” being considered irregular. Further, there are no pairs play in BIGSTAKES5. Every person plays for themselves. Also, as suggested in the name, all stones are not pulled to begin play. This inherently creates intrigue because it is far more difficult to know what player has what stones in their TRAY.
2. How many “STONES” does each player pull to start the game?
To begin any new GAME in BIGSTAKES5, each player DRAWS a TRAY of five (5) stones from the WASHED pile. (See Rule 14 in the Official Game Rules)
3. What happens if no DOUBLES are drawn?
If no player holds a double stone in their TRAY, all stones are returned to the table, RE-WASHED and new TRAYS are DRAWN. The player with the highest double stone makes the first PLAY, and the player sitting to the immediate left of the player having made the first PLAY is the next to PLAY.(See Rule 14 in the Official Game Rules)
4. Who plays first?
The player who DRAWS the Big Five (aka the “double-five” of the set) PLAYS it as the lead stone. If the Big Five is not DRAWN, the second highest double (the double-four) is PLAYED. If the second highest double was not DRAWN, the third highest double (the double-three) is PLAYED, and so on down and through the double-blank and then to the double-six, until a double is PLAYED.(See Rule 14 in the Official Game Rules)
5. Why is the game started with the “DOUBLE 5?”
In the BIGSTAKES5game, everything is based on multiples of “5”. In the beginning of the game, only 5 stones are pulled; in order to score, you must place stones in a manner where the ends equal a multiple of 5. To keep the consistency of “5” the inventors made it such that the BIG 5 / DOUBLE 5 starts the game.
6. What is the “SPINNER”?
The SPINNER is the first double-stone (double-six, double-five, etc.) played in an individual GAME. The SPINNER is easily identified because play must begin with a double-stone and it is the first of the DOUBLE stones played in the GAME. (See Rule 15 in the Official Game Rules)
7. How many “SPINNERS” are allowed in a game?
There is only one SPINNER per GAME. (See Rule 15 in the Official Game Rules)
8. What is the minimum number of players needed to play a game?
If playing the electronic version of the BIGSTAKES5game, the minimum number of LIVE players is one. That player will then play against 3 virtual players. If the Table Top version of the game is being played, the minimum number of players is two. With any number less than 4 players, the participants must pull a given number of stones and leave the remaining stones in the QUARRY. For example, if there are three players playing the Table Top version of the game, each player pulls 7 stones and leaves seven (7) stones in the QUARRY. If there are only two players, each player pulls 10 stones, and leave eight (8) stones in the QUARRY.
9. In what direction is play?
Play in BIGSTAKES5is always clockwise. The player to make the first PLAY in an individual GAME will always vary. However, once the determination of who will make the first PLAY has been made, the player to the immediate left of that player makes the next PLAY. (See Rule 9 in the Official Rules Guide)
10. Is there any time limit for each player’s turn?
There is no official clock in the BIGSTAKES5game, however, players are encouraged to keep a nice, consistent pace of play on level par with that of their playing partners. There will be a timer during online play, as well as during LIVE and online tournament play.
11. How do I score?
In BIGSTAKES5, a player scores by placing matching stones in a manner where the ending dot count of the stones in the line equals a number that is a multiple of five (5). For example, if the first stone to be PLAYED is the 5-5 (The BIG 5 aka the Double 5), both ends of that stone are ends in that LINE OF PLAY. The total dot count is 10 and because that is a multiple of five, the player is REWARDED with 10 points. These points are placed in the REWARD area. (See Rule 5 in the Official Rules Guide)
12. How do I record my score?
BIGSTAKES5 assigns color-coded chips to each player that are valued as 5-points each as its scoring mechanism. The chips are used to keep score instead of using pen and paper for the same. In tournament play, there may also be an official electronic tote-board or scorecard used to help keep track of the total scoring. Each player is given 40 total HOUSE chips to start each GAME. There will be a total of four (4) different colors at each table, one (1) color per player. The scoring chips are called the HOUSE chips. As a player scores during the GAME, their chips are rewarded from the player to their right and placed on the scoring player’s REWARD section of the game board. Points are rewarded to a player collecting the total value of the score that was made on a given PLAY. (See Rule 6 in the Official Rules Guide)
13. What is a “LOCKED” board?
A board is considered to be LOCKED when there is no PLAY that can be made by any player or if a player has strategically placed the stones in a manner that no other opponent can make a play. A LOCKEDBOARD occurs when the ends of stones are of the same number and no player has a playable stone in their TRAY. NOTE: There are seven (7) stones per number in a total set of stones. If all of the ones (1’s) for example, have been played and the end of every line has a one (1), this means no other stones can be played. The board is locked. (See Rule 20 in the Official Rules Guide)
14. What happens if the Board is LOCKED?
In BIGSTAKES5 play, when it is determined the board is LOCKED, the GAME can be considered “Over”, unless the player to “LOCK” the board also happens to have the ability to “UNLOCK” the board. At that point, it is that player’s option to either keep the board locked and call SET & SLIDE! or; if in the event the player realizes they do not have enough points and locking the board is disadvantageous, that player may opt to unlock the board and continue to attempt to accumulate more points. Otherwise, the player that made the last PLAY of a LOCKEDBOARD gains the advantage in the determination of the winner of that GAME, as the respective opponents must reward that player the same way that would be done by a player that SET & SLIDE! in a traditional manner. That player receives the points from each opponent’s TRAY by way of the SET &SLIDE! and is additionally awarded all points remaining in the QUARRY. (See Rule 21 in the Official Rules Guide)
15. Must I play or can I pass my turn?
There may be occasion that a player simply does not want to make a play and there are stones in the QUARRY. If a player chooses to PASS and the “PASS” occurs while stones remain in the QUARRY, said player may only PASS their turn once without pulling from the QUARRY. If and when it is time for this player to make another play and stones still remain in the Quarry, the player may not decline to make a play if there are stones in the QUARRY. The player must play one of their own stones; or if they have no legal play, they must pull from the QUARRY until they can make a legal play. Once all stones are pulled from the QUARRY the player can then choose to PASS. (See Rules 13 and 18 in the Official Rules Guide)
16. What constitutes a “game?”
A player is declared the winner of a GAME by scoring more points than all other opponents, irrespective of which player is the first to SET & SLIDE! (see definition for SET & SLIDE! in the glossary of terms to follow). It is important to note that a player can attain SET & SLIDE! status and not be the highest scorer for the GAME. See Scoring. In some tournament formats, the first player to attain SET & SLIDE! status, irrespective of the number of points that player scored over the course of the GAME, may receive bonus points for the achievement. Players may also be rewarded with an additional 50 BONUS points for each GAME-win in the tournament. After all GAME points are tabulated, the player with the highest total is declared the winner; a separate title may be also be awarded to the top MONEY winner, meaning that player won the most money during the tournament duration. (See Rule 3 in the Official Rules Guide)
17. What is “RISK”?
The RISK is the mechanism by which a player takes BIGSTAKES5 dollars and wagers an agreed upon amount prior to the start of each game. The players are wagering on which of them will score the most points for that GAME.
18. Am I required to “RISK”?
Yes. Each player must be prepared to RISK a minimum amount during each GAME.
19. What is the “VAULT”?
In BIGSTAKES5, the players will accumulate MONEY chips over the course of the GAMES played. The VAULT is where a player’s earned chips are held on the board. As the MONEY chips in a player’s VAULT grow, the player then has more MONEY CHIPS to RISK to try to ultimately become the total Money “Winner” during tournament play. (See Rule 32(a) in the Official Rules Guide)
20. What is a “BOGUS”?
In BIGSTAKES5, a BOGUS PLAY is recognized as a player having made a mistake during the course of play that, if completed, could possibly have a negative impact on the other players. This mistake can be executed in a multitude of ways and the resultant penalty is dependent on the infraction. When a BOGUS PLAY occurs, the player must place the BOGUS stone in the area as indicated on the Board, indicating a loss of turn. There are a number of ways to make a BOGUS PLAY. Consult the rules to make certain to avoid these infractions. (See Rule 24 in the Official Rules Guide)
21. What is the “QUARRY”?
At the beginning of GAME play, the players will each draw 5 stones. This leaves 8 stones unaccounted. These stones are placed as designated on the game board in the QUARRY. Each QUARRY on the board shall hold four stones at the beginning of the game; players can pull as many stones as they desire from the QUARRY as long as it is their turn.
22. How do I win?
A player is declared the winner of a GAME by scoring more points than all other opponents, irrespective of which player is the first to SET & SLIDE!(See Rule 3 in the Official Rules Guide)
23. What is “SET & SLIDE”?
In BIGSTAKES5, a player collects the points from their opponent’s TRAY by announcing to the table, “SET & SLIDE!” This means they are the first to have eliminated all of their stones. At the end of a given GAME when a player attains SET & SLIDE! status, that player’s opponents will have a stone and/or stones left in their respective TRAY. These individual stones have a point value that must be rewarded to the winner of the GAME. To transfer these points, opponents must execute the SET &SLIDE! maneuver. (See Rule 22 in the Official Rules Guide)
24. Who currently is the Number 1 BIGSTAKE5 player in the world?
Michael “Hurricane” Watkins, Dallas TX – They call him HURRICANE, because he simply cannot be stopped!!