I’m a little ashamed to say that in 10 years of travel to Jamaica I have never taken the time to learn how to play dominoes the way they do. I’ve played several different versions back home, including Mexican Train which is a riot. But not Jamaican dominoes…..and I claim to know the country!
One evening I was sitting at Chicken Lavish in Negril with a couple of girlfriends having dinner. It was late in the evening and we were the only ones in the place besides a table next to us where some locals were minding their business and playing dominoes. This is an ultra-common thing to see in Jamaica no matter which restaurant or bar you end up at.
I turned around in my chair to watch and after a while they noticed I was watching. If you’ve ever watched or played the game in Jamaica you would know it’s a fast and emotional game. Players slap their domino tiles hard on the table and there’s always loud chatter going on. It’s very fun to watch. They invited me to join them and I admitted I didn’t know enough about the game to join them, I didn’t want to slow down their flow so I declined the offer. But these guys were really cool and assured me it’s totally okay to join and they would slow down and teach me. So….I moved over to their table and we started.
My friend Brenda decided it would be fun to film so here it is. I still laugh when I watch this video back because I’m so lame! I can’t even hold all the tiles in my hand so I have them spread out on my lap too. Not even aware of the fact that I’m not hiding my tiles very well and anyone could look at them. This was a lot of fun though, and I’m grateful for their patience!