What is Domino?


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks with a number of dots on each end. They can be stacked on their edges to form long lines or in 3D structures like towers and pyramids.

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Domino is a popular game with a long and varied history. Its origin is unclear, but it seems to have first appeared in China as early as 1120 AD. There are conflicting accounts about how the game came to be, but one legend involves a statesman who invented the dominoes and presented them to the Emperor Hwui tsung. The games became widely circulated under the rule of his son Kao-tsung seven years later.

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Depending on the game being played, there are many rules to be followed. In general, the player who has a complete set of dominoes that can be played wins. The winning player is also awarded points based on the value of his opponent’s unplaced dominoes.

After the dominoes have been shuffled, each player draws seven tiles from the stock and places them face down in front of him. Any leftover tiles are discarded into the boneyard. The first player to play is determined by drawing lots or by who holds the heaviest double (or a single, if no one has a double).

Players then take turns placing dominoes on the table in line. They can join them to matching ends, but not at the corners. They can also put a marker on their train to stop other players from adding to it.


A domino is a flat, rectangular block with two equal ends that carry a value represented by dots. Also known as bones, men, cards or pieces, dominoes can be used for a number of games.

The first domino sets were made in the 18th century by French prisoners-of-war who carved sheep and cow bone into dominoes to pass the time while on shipboard. Later, dominoes were crafted from silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) or dark hardwood such as ebony with contrasting black pips inlaid or painted.

The 19th century saw a leap in domino manufacture when Charles Lepage invented the first type of plastic, Bois Durci, for use in making dominoes and other toys. The next year, a second plastic called Parkesine was developed.


There are many different variations of domino, which vary from blocking to scoring games. Regardless of the variation, the object of a domino game is to play a tile that matches one of the open ends of a chain already played. Each time this happens, the value of the chain is increased and the player scores points.

The most basic version of the draw game is known as the Block game. Players start with seven dominoes, and they continue to build a line of play until they cannot play a tile. They then pass their turn. At the end of a round, players compare the total pip count of their remaining tiles and score. The first player to reach a set number of points wins the game.


Some games use a scoring system that counts the number of spots or pips on a domino. The score is accumulated during play, and a running total may be kept on a cribbage board.

The earliest known manual for Domino, written by Qu You in the Xuanhe period, describes a scoring system. Each domino has two square ends with a value of one to six pips. A double has one end with a value of four and the other with three pips.

When playing the Mexican train variant, each player adds a tile to their own domino train on their turn. If they cannot match a piece, they draw from the boneyard until they have a matching tile. Then they continue with their turn.