The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are a type of game that’s played by laying down tiles in a line. When the first domino is tipped, the rest fall down and the whole game changes course.

While this game is simple, it can create complex designs if the spacing between the dominoes is right. This can lead to the popular term “domino effect.”


The rules of domino vary widely depending on the type of domino and the game variation. However, most domino games are a blocking game, where the objective is to empty your hand while trying to block your opponent’s.

The player with the lowest number of pips in his hands wins. This score is determined by subtracting the number of pips on the dominoes in his opponents hands from the total count of pips in his hand.

To play the game, players draw a number of dominoes from a pool (known as the boneyard) and set them up so that they cannot see each other’s hands. They then establish who is to go first in each round.

The first player makes a play by placing a tile in the middle of the table. He can then join it to a matching domino on either side or end. If he cannot, he passes his turn and plays a new one.


Classic dominoes are made from bone, wood, stone or ivory. Modern sets are often plastic or synthetic.

They are marked on one side with identifying marks and are blank or identically patterned on the other. The identity-bearing side of the domino is divided by a line or ridge into two squares, each of which is marked with an arrangement of spots, or “pips,” similar to those used on a die.

These pips are marked with a set of numbers, which is different for each domino in the set. The numbering scheme is typically based on a set of numbered dice, and each domino represents one of the 21 results of a throw.

Many variations of dominoes add new rules and strategies to the basic game. For example, Mexican Train adds a train of tiles to the table on each turn.


Dominos are small, flat, rectangular game pieces with dots on one side. These tiles can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, bone, ivory, and stone.

The most common domino sets today are made of polystyrene or other plastics. They often mimic the look and feel of ivory, or they use colored or translucent plastics to achieve a more modern look.

Some domino sets are also made of marble. These are typically more expensive than other types of dominoes.

A good playing surface for dominoes is a green felt table. This keeps the faces and backs of the tiles from getting scratched.


The scoring system in domino varies according to the number of players and the rules used. In some games, the player who scores the highest sum of points in a single game wins.

The aforementioned sum of points is calculated by adding together all of the open ends of the dominoes stacked on the table (and in some versions of the game, those held in each player’s hands). The winning player adds his or her score to that of each opponent and the winner is declared.

The most difficult part of the game is figuring out which pips on each of the open ends make up a multiple of five. This is done by using a simple math technique to determine the difference between the smaller and larger ends of each standard, non-double tile.