What is Chicken Foot Dominoes?
Chicken Foot Dominoes, also known as the Chicken Game, is a variant of the “Trains” domino game, and is suitable for 2 – 8 players.
How to play Chicken Foot Dominoes?
All you need to play Chicken Foot Dominoes are a set of classic dominoes. The common double-nine sets are preferred, though other sets can be used. For 2 – 4 players, a single set is enough, however for 4 players and above, an extended set is required.
Before beginning, dominoes are placed face-down and shuffled. Each player then forms a hand of 7 dominoes. The remaining dominoes are then put aside, forming the boneyard.
The first domino is then placed at the centre of the board, and this is the highest double domino tile. In the case of a double-six set, this will be the double-six tile. For each subsequent round, the centre tile is changed to be the next lowest double.
On the first round, every player draws a tile from the boneyard, revealing it to all other players. The player drawing the largest value goes first.
Each player must play a domino with an end with the same value as the centre tile. The following players then continue the process. The first 4 turns have to be made surrounding the centre tile, and no other moves are permitted until all 4 sides are filled.
If a player is unable to play a tile on their turn, they must draw a tile from the boneyard. If that tile cannot be played, the turn then passes to the next player. If the boneyard is empty, the turn is passed.
Once all 4 sides are filled, players can play dominoes to any exposed end of a domino.
When a player places a matching double at an end, the player can call “Chickie” followed by the number on the double, indicating that they have formed a new Chicken Foot.
The round ends once a player plays all dominoes from their hand.
If no player can play or draw dominoes, the round ends.
Chicken Foot Rules
The rules for Chicken Foot are:
- Each round cannot end with a double. If a player wins a round using a double tile, the player is penalized 50 points.
- At the end of a round, a player holding the double blank tile (double wild tile) will be penalized 50 points.
- Before the 4 sides of the initial tile are filled, no other tiles can be placed.
- The player with the least amount of points at the end wins.
Scoring & Points
The goal of Chicken Foot Dominoes is to end the game with the least amount of points. Points are scored per round, and are based on the total number of remaining dots on the unplayed domino tiles in each player’s hand. Since the winning player has cleared all tiles from their hand, that player is awarded 0 points. A Chicken Foot score sheet is helpful in calculating scores. An example showing how to calculate hands is shown below.
This hand has a total of 15 dots, and hence gives the player 15 points.
Part of the strategy involved in Chicken Foot Dominoes is to lock out other players from making plays. Since the use of doubles limits the possibility of matching tiles, it is recommended to “Chickie” using double tiles, as illustrated below.
As observed above, using the double-4 tile locks out many possibilities on the far right of the board, potentially locking out other players from playing tiles.
It is also important to remember that the 4 sides around the initial domino have to be completed before other moves are made available.
Strategy & Tips
- One of the key aspects of Chicken Foot strategy revolves around counting and visualizing what tiles remain, particularly when you have access to doubles in hand. This ensures that you can lock out moves from other players.
- Do not hesitate to draw from the boneyard early on, even if you have good plays. Filling up the first 4 sides can be difficult early on without many tiles, especially in later rounds where the initial tile is a low-value-double.
- Remember not to end the round with a double, and remember to play out your wild tiles. These specific conditions gain you extra points, which is a detriment in Chicken Foot Dominoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Must I use the double-6 sets when playing Chicken Foot Dominoes?
You can use any set of dominoes to play Chicken Game, but using different sets might result in more drawn-out games due to higher tile-count, and players will find the double-6 sets to be the best for strategy, since tile counts are more manageable.
How many rounds does each game of Chicken Foot Dominoes last?
It depends on personal preference, though since each round reduces the number of the initial domino, most people prefer to play games in rounds of 6.
What happens if no player manages to play all their tiles?
If no player can clear their tiles, and the boneyard is also cleared, then the round ends and scores are calculated as if no player has won.
How do I win in Chicken Foot Dominoes?
As with most domino games, remembering what tiles remain is key, since you can plan around other players and lock out potential moves by playing carefully.