Food & Drink

How to swindle someone at a secret dominoes bar (also: we found one of those!)

el garage urbano

You've probably played dominoes at least once in your life, but you probably don't remember how, and you certainly wouldn't be able to hustle someone out of money playing it... or at least that's what you're gonna say to the sucker you totally do hustle at super-secret dominoes bar El Garaje Urbano! And you're gonna do it after reading this sweet-ass guide, which not only shows you how to swindle a dude at dominoes, but also how to get in on tons of super-secret dominoes bar amenities (honor bar FTW!).

garaje urbano

First off, you should know that this bar is an offshoot annex of La Urbana, and -- per the name -- it's literally in a garage space with two roll-up doors that they can open up to the street whenever it's nice sorta nice out.

Dominoes at Garage

Secondly, in case you need a refresher, the basic dominoes game everyone plays (Draw) is where you and up to three other players draw dominoes (if two people, each player gets seven-to-eight tiles, if three/four people, you draw five-to-six tiles), then the rest are pushed off to the side in the "bone yard" (tiles are also called "bones" because dominoes was invented by fourth graders).

More dominoes at garage

You then take turns placing bones (tee-hee!) until you can't match numbers anymore, at which point you draw until you can. This is bad for you, because the first person to place all their tiles wins, and they get the sum of all the loser's tiles as points. If you reach a point where there're no more tiles in the boneyard and neither player can go, you count up all your tiles and the person with the least points wins.

Honor Bar Beer at Garage

Phew! That was a lot of instruction, let's take a break with a beer from the Honor Bar.

Honor jar at Garage

Seriously, it's an ice chest full of beer that you can take (and pay for by putting five bucks in the tin bucket hanging over it). Or you can grab sangria if you're confident in your manhood and love delicious wine punches with fruit.

Always play dominoes

Okay, back to how to dominate dunces at dominoes (alliteration!):

1. Always play if you can; don't try to strategically hold onto tiles to create a long series, because you could end up still waiting to execute that perfect play when your opponent is down to none.

Domino doubles at Garage

2. Always play a double if you dare(!)/can. They're rarer pieces and harder to play, so you want to get rid of them ASAP.

Chili beer at Garage

... wait, this beer has chili in it?! Do we drink it or give it to our unsuspecting mark? Decisions...

Domino suits at Garage

3. Every time a suit (number) is played, there's a decreasing chance that there's another in the boneyard, so in order to strategically block your opponent, try to play suits that have already been played a lot, since they'll have less chance of having that suit.

Chili lime popcorn at Garage

... they also serve chili-lime popcorn for free here, which is delicious. And if you're super hungry, you can order tacos from La Urbana, since...

Entrance to Garage Urbano

... it's right next door to El Garaje Urbano through this little hallway!

Dominoes Weaknesses at Garage

4. Pay attention to when your opponent draws. If they draw when a One and Six are showing, keep those numbers showing, because chances are, they can't play on it/will hate you because you're a smart jerk.

Domino Chain at Garage

5. Even though a lot of people would tell you to keep a range of numbers in your hands, having a lot of the same will allow you to keep playing off of them... and if you still lose, just make one of these domino chains because it's more fun anyway.

Cribbage at Garage

Plus, they have other games like cards and... whatever this is? We opened up the bottom and pins fell out... Cribbage? What the hell is that?