Card symbols on a dark purple field marked with faint X's


👤 Players:
⏱ Time to play:
40 minutes
♟ Equipment:
A set of double-9 or double-12 dominoes.
🧠 Designer(s):
Uncredited. Thought to have originated in Texas or Mexico.

Description: #

Chickenfoot is a branching domino game where players race to empty their hands before the other players.

Setup #

Each player draws a set of dominoes from a shuffled face down the pile to create their “hand”, making sure the domino values are concealed from their opponents. The number of dominoes each player draws varies with the number of players and amount of dominoes used (more players can be accommodated with a larger set):

Players 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Double 9 14 10 7 6 5 - - - - - -
Double 12 - - 12 10 8 7 6 5 - - -
Double 15 - - - - 12 10 9 8 7 7 6

Note: These draw tables differ from other rule sets because of the "No Draw" round ending rules specific to our version of the game. We need more tiles in the chicken yard to prevent the round ending too quickly.

The leftover dominoes are placed on the side and referred to as the “chicken yard”.

Beginning a round #

Chickenfoot begins a round with a starting “double” (a tile with the same amount of pips or the same number on each end) placed as the centerpiece. You begin with the highest double (for a double 9 set, you begin the first round with the double 9 domino.)

Subsequent rounds begin with the next highest double all the way to double 0 (10 rounds with a Double 9 set, 13 for Double 12, 16 for Double 15).

The starting double is set aside at the beginning of each round and placed in the center. The first player is randomly assigned and then rotates clockwise each new round.

Going clockwise, the next player must either:

  1. Play a domino that has a matching end to the starting double.
  2. Draw a domino from the chicken yard and play that if possible. If not, the player calls “Pass” and the turn moves to the next player.

The following player repeats the process of trying to play off the starting double and this continues until all 4 sides of the centerpiece are filled.

[diagram: Showing alternate methods of Hub and Double 9]

Subsequent Turns #

After all the sides are played off the starting double, play can continue off any exposed end domino as long as the ends match.

[diagram: Matching Dominoes end to end]

If the player is unable to add a domino, then the player must draw a domino from the chicken yard and play that domino immediately if they are able to. Otherwise, they must pass.

If there are no dominoes remaining to draw from, the round ends. (This is the 'No Draw')

Chickenfoot #

If a player plays a double, the double must be placed perpendicular to the domino played off of. The next three plays MUST be made off that double, creating an arrangement that resembles a chicken foot.

[diagram: showing completed chicken foot]

If the player is unable to play on that double, he must draw from the chicken yard and play that domino if possible or else pass. Once the Chickenfoot has completed, the plays can continue off any exposed matching end again.

Chicken Little / "Bok Bok" #

When a player places a tile and has one domino remaining, they must announce it by saying, "BOK BOK!" (or some other variant of a chicken noise) before their hand leaves the table (returns to pass their own dominoes).

If a player does not announce their last tile, other players can call them out and the player who failed to announce must draw a tile from the "chicken yard".

Completing a round #

A round is completed when one player plays the last domino in their hand (goes out) OR a player cannot make a legal play AND there are no dominoes in the "chicken yard".

Scoring #

At the end of a round, each player records their points for the round by totaling the number of pips from the dominoes remaining in their hand. The double 0 tiles scores as 50 points.

Completing the game #

The game ends after all rounds are played (through to the Double 0). The player with the lowest total score for all the rounds wins!

Nathan's Notes: This is a good low-brain family activity as it scales well with number of players and encourages social interaction (Chicken Little rule) and remains friendly to all generations without being painfully long.

Date added: | Modified: