The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a type of game piece, similar to playing cards, that bears identifying marks on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other.

The identifying marks on each domino are called spots or pips. These pips range from six spots on one end to none or blank on the other.


Dominoes are a popular game around the world. They are a cousin to playing cards and are considered one of the oldest games.

It is believed that dominoes were invented in China in the 12th century. They were originally made from wood or bone, and were very popular at the time.

However, they have since been replaced by heavier plastic pieces. These are much more durable and can be used for a variety of different games.

The name of the game varies by country, but it is often called Mexican train dominos or Longana in Cuba. It is a very popular game in Latin America, and many people come from these countries when they move to the United States.


When playing a game of domino, players must first draw lots of tiles. These are placed face down, then shuffled.

After the shuffle, players draw the number of pieces required for their hand, normally seven. This is called “setting.”

Once the pieces have been drawn, the player who holds the heaviest hand, usually a double six, sets the first domino.

The next player then draws, and so on, until all hands have been drawn. After this, the remaining dominoes are referred to as the stock or bone yard.

A common and unusual variation of the game involves blocking off the ends of a double tile in an attempt to score pips on these exposed halves. This can be a good strategy for playing larger numbered dominoes, as points are awarded according to the amount of remaining dots.


A domino is a small, rectangular tile used as a game piece. They can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, paper, plastic, and rubber.

They have identifying marks on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. The dominos are usually divided into two squares, each of which has a number of dots called pips.

These pips are added or subtracted for scoring purposes, as well as being used for matching. The pips on each domino are arranged in an order that represents the 21 results of throwing two six-sided dice.

Dominoes were originally made from bone, but today they are typically made from wood or stone. They are also commonly made from other materials, including plastics and synthetics.


Domino tiles come in a variety of materials. Some are made of wood, while others are made from plastic or rubber.

Some domino sets are also made of stone, which are considered antiques and are not found in stores. They are primarily handmade by skilled craftsmen and are often very expensive.

In some countries, such as Puerto Rico, special moulded plastic tables are used for domino games. They are softer than wood and less likely to scratch.

Most modern domino sets are made of plastic or wood, but some are still made from bone. These were popular in the 18th century when French prisoners-of-war began making dominos from cow and sheep bones.


The winning player is determined by the total of the dominoes held at the end of a hand. This total is then rounded to the nearest multiple of five (5), added to the winning players or team’s match score, and compared to the total count of all of the unplayed dominoes in their opponents hands.

The most common method of scoring is to count the number of open ends of each domino. If the count is a multiple of five, you get one point; otherwise you subtract the number of pips on the open ends from your running total. This is also the method used in muggins, also called all fives domino, where you try to make the sum of the open-end pips on your layout a multiple of five.