The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are small, black rectangular game pieces with white dots. They’re used in a variety of games.

When a domino is standing upright, its potential energy is stored. But when it falls, that energy is changed.


The rules for dominoes differ depending on the game. Most games use a double-six set of 28 tiles, but there are also many other domino variants.

To begin, players shuffle the stock or boneyard of dominoes and draw seven tiles from it. These are then placed on the table face up.

Before play begins, the player who will make the first play (usually referred to as the setter or downer) places his tile in the middle of the table. After this, each player makes his own play.

In most domino games, each player is required to join their dominoes together only when numbers match i.e. if someone puts down a 6:4, the next player can play a domino with a 6 on it down 6 touching 6.

Dominoes are laid end to end except doubles which must be played across the line of play, crosswise. The total number of dots on exposed ends is counted and the players are awarded points if the dots match any multiple of five.


The tiles used in domino are made from a variety of materials. Some are made from plastic, while others are made of metals or wood.

Some domino sets are made from natural materials, such as marble, granite or soapstone. These sets are more unique and have a higher value.

Alternatively, some sets are made from animal bone or ivory, or from dark hardwood such as ebony. They often have contrasting black or white pips and a metal pin called a spinner or pivot in the mid-region.

These sets are more expensive and less common than polymer dominos.

Other sets are made from paper cardstock similar to playing cards. These can have either colored dots or numbers, making them more easy to match.


Dominoes are an ancient game with many variations. Some of them are quite skillful and are often played in competitions or in leagues.

In some domino games, the players score by counting pips on the tiles that are left in their hands at the end of the hand or game. This is a popular rule variation that takes a bit of the luck out of the game.

Another version of dominoes that is very popular is Mexican Train, where each player starts off with a double and adds tiles to their own personal train on each turn. Then the player to their left does the same, and so on clockwise.

This game can also be played with doubles that branch off in different directions, allowing more control when stringing together personal trains. The doubles are also rendered equal to all other tiles on the first play, making it much easier to use them for speed.


The scoring system in domino is fairly straight forward and is not too complicated to follow. Each player draws a new domino from the pool and the game moves clockwise. In some variations of the game, players are paired up in teams and may be awarded bonus points for a score that is based on the total number of dominoes in each team’s hand.

The most important rule of thumb is to never let the last domino in your hand touch the table or you will be penalized. A good strategy is to play dominoes in the order of their value.

The most interesting part of the game is sizing up your opponents’ hand and deciding which one is your best bet for winning. There are several different methods of calculating your winning hand, but the most popular is to compare the count of your opponent’s hands and divide it by five to determine your winning hand. The other method is to use a computer based scoring system to determine your winning hand.

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