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How Dominion Works

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Author's Note: How Dominion Works

The box said Dominion would take about 30 minutes, and we blew past that marker before we were even halfway through the first game. Probably because of the snail's pace of the first several turns, reviewing the rules (and of course, the time it initially took to sort the cards). Truth is, I didn't have high hopes for this to be a favorite, until ... halfway through the first game, it hit me: There could be some real strategy at work. Before long, I was in a groove -- Action, Buy, Clean-up -- and the rounds went faster. I began to course-correct, first building my deck one way and then another, and in the end quietly amassing Province cards until the last one joined my deck. Although I didn't have them all, I had enough to score a dozen points more than my opponent. I'm pretty sure the next victory won't come so easy, but I'll be ready.

Related Articles


  • Hasbro. "Monopoly: 75 Years Young." (April 3, 2012)
  • Law, Keith. "Card Game World Domination: The Rise of 'Dominion.'" Mental Floss. Dec. 15, 2010. (April 1, 2012)
  • Mastrapa, Gus. "Boardgame Designer Donald X. Vaccarino is Pushing the Outer Limites of Human Comprehension." Pitchfork. Feb. 15, 2012. (April 1, 2012)
  • Rio Grande Games. "Dominion Rulebook." (April 1, 2012)
  • Thompson, Derek. "Game Designer Interview: Donald X. Vaccarino." Meepletown. Sept. 1, 2011. (April 1, 2012)
  • Varney, Allen. "Dominion Over All." The Escapist. Aug. 4, 2009. (April 1, 2012)


Dominion Game FAQ

Is Dominion easy to learn?
Dominion is easy to pick up but challenging to master because its modular nature (players choose which components — in this case, cards — to use each time) means that the basic rules never change, but every game requires different deck-building strategies.
How do you win Dominion?
The player with the most points at the end of the game triumphs. And to get points, all you need to do is buy more Victory cards — or more higher-valued Victory cards — than your opponents.
Is Dominion good for two players?
Dominion is designed for two to four players, ages 13 and older, and you can expect your first game to take an hour or more.
How many cards are in Dominion?
The original Dominion set has 500 cards.
Is Dominion worth buying?
Dominion has won many awards and went on to become a worldwide phenomenon, selling more than 300,000 copies and being translated into 19 languages in its first two years on the market.