Cuban dominoes is a cultural tradition and a game often considered Cuba’s second national sport (after baseball). In Cuba and places like Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood it is common to see Cuban men, young and old, playing dominoes in the park and hear the soothing click-clack of tiles being placed.
The game itself is strategic and involves counting your own fichas, or tiles, guessing those of your opponents, and placing tranques, or blocks, to prevent your opponent from advancing. The Cuban game uses 9 point tiles and the double-nine tile (or highest number double tile), or caja de muertos, as it is called in Cuban Spanish is played first.Each mano, or hand, is won when a team gets rid of their tiles first. If no more tiles can be placed, the team with the lowest total wins.
Domino! is yelled out by the victors upon winning the game, but the real indicator to the end is more often a Spanish expletive or two from the losing side.
Come play a round of dominos (or learn how to) at ¡AZÚCAR! — our Caribbean celebration on Friday, June 1st. Get your tickets now!