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Domino Effect Puzzle

Spark your students’ problem-solving skills! Explore the Domino Effect puzzle: arrange 8 dominoes to create a balanced 4×4 square. I think you will enjoy this exciting classroom challenge!

When I shared a photo of the Domino Effect Puzzle (this week’s magnetic puzzle of the week) on twitter, someone was quick to point out that I need to share the file on my blog.

This week’s puzzle is from Brainteasers: 195 Puzzles to Keep You Sharp!

Domino Effect Puzzle - A Fun to Solve Domino Puzzle

Students are given 8 dominoes. The goal of the puzzle is to arrange these 8 dominoes to form a 4 x 4 square in which the number of pips in each row and each column is the same.

Domino Effect Puzzle - A Fun to Solve Domino Puzzle

I put magnets on the back of my dominoes and posted the puzzle on the dry erase board.

Domino Effect Puzzle - A Fun to Solve Domino Puzzle

But, I also made a tabletop version with smaller dominoes and a template to set them on top of.

Domino Effect Puzzle - A Fun to Solve Domino Puzzle

I had a handful of students give this puzzle a try this week, but there was much less participation than usual. I’m not sure why…

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.


Sunday 7th of November 2021

This one was easy once I did the math equation. Total number of pips, divided by 4 = total pips per line, vertically and horizontally. I even got one diagonal to add up also but not both diagonals.

Sarah Carter

Tuesday 9th of November 2021

I love hearing how people approach solving different puzzles!


Tuesday 29th of October 2019

Can the number of pips in each column be different than the number of pips in each row? Also, do all the dominoes have to be horizontal or can they be both horizontal and vertical? Thanks - as I am trying to work this one out myself before presenting it to my class.

Jo in OKC

Saturday 28th of September 2019

Do you think all your students know that "pips" = "dots"?

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