The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes, also called bones, cards, men, pieces or tiles, are rectangular blocks that display a number of dots on each end. These numbers, called pips, are used to identify and rank each domino in a game of domino.

Each tile in a line of play must have matching exposed ends (one’s touching one’s, two’s touching two’s). Otherwise the game is not scored.


The game begins with all players drawing seven tiles that only they can see. These are set aside as a boneyard (or sometimes called the “draw”) for use during play. The first player to a certain number of points wins the game.

The object of the game is to score by laying dominoes end to end so that the exposed ends match: one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, and so on. Typically the free ends of dominoes are counted as multiples of five, and doubles count as one or two depending on the rules of the specific game being played.

If a domino is placed such that it makes a domino train public, other players can remove that tile from the train to prevent them from scoring. A domino may also be removed from a train to allow it to be used for other purposes, such as forming a cross. This allows for greater flexibility in play and can add to the excitement of the game.


Dominoes are made from a number of materials, including wood, metal and plastic. Many people prefer to use a wooden set because of its natural look and feel. It is also more durable and easier to handle than a polymer domino set.

Each domino is a thumbsized rectangular block that has one or more sets of dots, called pips, on it. These are usually molded or drilled into the surface of the tile. The color of a domino depends on the material used to make it, although the most common domino set is white with black pips. Other color combinations are available, such as blue with white pips and brown with black pips.

Dominoes originated in Italy and were introduced to England in the late 18th century via French prisoners of war. The domino game has become popular worldwide, and many countries have their own variants. In the United States, domino is played in schools and churches.


A domino has a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares, each with a number of spots (or pips) on either end. Each end has a value which ranges from six pips to none or blank. A domino can also be described as being heavier or lighter depending on the number of pips it has on each side.

Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide. Those that are not used in a game are placed in a boneyard or called the “train.” Each player has a personal train and, on each turn, may add one tile to it. Alternatively, a player can draw a playable domino from the boneyard to start a new train.

Many domino sets include a combination of tiles that represent all the possible combinations of two thrown dice. Other domino sets are extended by adding tiles with different numbers of pips on each half of the face. This increases the number of possible end values, allowing for more variations of domino games.


A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block that is marked on both sides with dots resembling those on dice. It is used in games for two or more players. In a domino game, the player scores points by scoring on his or her opponent’s exposed ends of lines and tile halves.

When a player has no more tiles in his or her hand, he or she plays a new one onto the existing line of play. This is known as the set or down, and it is also known as the lead.

When playing in teams, the winner is determined by drawing lots or by starting with the heaviest domino. The winner is then awarded the first turn in the next game. In addition, each team member must remove any obstacles that block his or her progress. These include other dominoes, a non-matched double, or a negative bonus domino that activates during a loss.