THE BEST PRICE
¨To stick with the lowest¨
In a Havana corner, living room, terrace or portal, it does not matter if with the comfort of a table or on a table on top of the legs; in low light or with public lighting as a witness, in a celebration or on a simple Sunday afternoon , in family or with friends, men, women, old or young, and dominoes have become par excellence the board game and the favorite hobby of Cubans, forming an essential part of the identity of the inhabitants of the Island.
The origin of the game has several versions. The oldest written allusion is located in China, while other versions explain that the domino is of French origin. The fact is that he arrived in Cuba and it is not known exactly whether he came from China, Italy, Spain or the United States.
Dominoes is a board game in which rectangular tiles are used divided into two squares, each of which is marked from zero to nine points. It is played by four participants in solitaire mode or in pairs, the latter being the most common variant used on the Island. The pairs are placed in parallel, facing each other, so that no one can see the other players’ pieces. They have to help each other during the game and get points at the end together. In this sense, there are several rules, depending on the group and the tradition that exists. The game can end when a couple wins 100 points, or when there are many people waiting to enter, they choose to play three games without scoring and the first one to win two wins.
The way you play may vary depending on the region of the country. Generally, in the eastern part of the island, the domino of the same name is played, which uses 28 tiles with combinations from zero to six. In this variant, players select seven tiles, leaving all the game pieces in their possession. On the other hand, in the western provinces the one with 55 chips is played, which extends its combinations to nine. In this version, the four players take 10 chips and another 15 are left out of the game, so the exact amount of chips is not known pieces of the same number as there are at the time of the game. This variant is more risky and depends on luck and even the intuition of the players.
More than being victorious in game, dominoes is a game that encompasses an entire art of strategies, exclusive vocabulary and a lot of rapport between couples. It is not usually played in isolation by the four protagonists of the tournament, there is always a group of spectators cheering and evaluating the plays.
It is said that “dominoes were invented by a blind man and a deaf man” to avoid comments or hints of mischievous looks. Players whose chips are mostly combinations with the lowest numbers are said to “be on the beach“, while those with a predominance of high chips say ¨they are fat.” When a game is over, the chips are removed face down on the table before being selected for a new one, an action which is called “giving water” and is generally performed by the losing pair in the previous challenge. Before starting the game, to choose the starting pair, two tiles are chosen at random and the pair that chooses the highest score is the winner. You can also choose a chip, before seeing it each pair, according to their intuition, predicts that it will be an odd or even number, and then the one who has guessed the correct option comes out.
Regarding the development of the game, the table is usually touched when there is no combination to play, a moment known as “a pass“, and the turn of the game is given to the next opponent. The first player who manages to put all his chips, is the winner, and when he places the last piece on the table it is said that he “hit”. When there are no possible combinations for any of the four participants, it is said that the “game is stuck“, and it proceeds “to turn”, at which point the points of each one are counted, with the lowest value winning the win.
It is undoubtedly a popular tradition, awarded for creativity and the jubilation of the Cuban. Where competing more than a priority is a simple art of sharing. It will continue to be passed on to subsequent generations, because it is undoubtedly a game that is enjoyed and that highlights the passion of an identity.