A domino is a flat thumb-sized rectangular block, blank or bearing from one to six dots or pips. There are many games played with dominoes, including blocking and scoring games.

Typically, the player who draws the highest double goes first. However, the seating arrangement is sometimes determined by drawing lots or by using the heaviest domino to start play.


There are many different domino games, but nearly all of them fit into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. A domino game is usually played until a player has cleared their hand of doubles, and the winner is awarded the sum of the points on all other players’ tiles.

During a game, players take turns placing dominoes on the table. These dominoes must match the pips on their open ends, and they must be joined to other dominoes with matching pips. The chain of dominoes developed by this method can look like a snake, or it can be arranged in other ways.

After the dominoes have been shuffled, the first player draws a domino from the stock and makes the first play. Then, each player takes a turn adding a domino to the chain and then playing it. If a player cannot go, they draw from the stock and skip their turn.


Dominos can be made from a wide variety of materials. The most common are plastic, metal and wood. Plastic dominoes are mass produced and often not of the highest quality. They typically have a basic molded appearance and painted pips. Metal dominoes are usually of high quality and can be quite expensive.

Domino pieces, also known as bones, cards, men or tiles, are small rectangular blocks of rigid material, traditionally made from bone or ivory but recently manufactured with plastic or other materials. They are normally twice as long as they are wide and have a line in the middle visualizing two square halves, each bearing a number of spots (or dots) from one to six or blank (which is represented by an absence of pips, called a zero).

A domino set contains 28 pieces. Other sets may include more or less than this amount, depending on the type of games intended to be played with them.


There are many variations of domino. Some of them are based on the way the tiles are played. In most games, a tile must be placed on the line so that its two matching ends are adjacent. If a double is used, it must be played perpendicularly across the end of the line. This makes the chain develop a snake-like shape.

Others are based on the number of points scored in each round. The player with the lowest score after three rounds wins. Other variants use different rules for blocking and scoring.

For example, Mexican train is a variation of the game using a set with a double-twelve or double-fifteen set. The players alternately extend the line of play by adding one tile to each open end. A point is scored whenever the total of all open ends of a particular hand is a multiple of five. This is sometimes referred to as “the lead”. In some games, players can choose not to take a tile that has a match at the other end of the line of play.


A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block, the face of which is either blank or bears from one to six pips or dots: 28 such pieces make up a complete set. Dominoes may be stacked in lines and angular patterns. The winner of a game scores the value of the opposing players’ tiles, rounded to the nearest five.

Most domino games are layout-based, with the objective of emptying one’s hand while blocking the opponent’s. The game ends when the players’ total score reaches an agreed-upon number, such as 150 points.

Some dominoes are marked with a suit symbol; for example, the two-pip tile belongs to the’sevens’ suit, while the three-pip piece belongs to the ‘nines’ suit. The suits are also used to distinguish the different ‘ends’ of a domino, so that a player may play to one end or the other. A popular game called muggins or all fives scores each time the sum of the open-end pips on the layout is a multiple of five.