Domino – A Game of Skill and Chance


Domino is one of the most popular games. It is a game of skill and chance. It can be played by two or more players. It is a fun way to spend time with friends.

The first player begins the game by playing a domino of his choice. This piece is known as the set, down, or lead.


The origin of domino is a mystery. It seems to have developed independently of ordinary dice in Europe and China. There are many accounts of its invention. Some are probably legend, but others may be true.

The thirty-two piece traditional Chinese domino set was designed to represent all possible combinations of two thrown dice, so it does not contain any blank faces, unlike the Western set that originated in the mid-18th century.

It arrived in England toward the end of that period, possibly brought by French prisoners of war. The word “domino” probably comes from the contrasting black spots on a white background that reminded Europeans of the hood of a priest’s cape worn over a surplice. It is also derived from the Latin word dominus meaning “lord” or “master”. The term has since come to mean any game involving dominoes.


In most domino games a player can only play a tile when there is another in his hand that matches it. This is called “stitching up” the ends of a domino chain.

Each domino has a specific pattern of spots that identify it. These are often called pips. Each domino is also blank or identically patterned on the other side.

Depending on the game, the domino stock may remain face down, or, as in the case of some games, it may be passed to an opponent (called “byeing”). This allows players to make plays that would otherwise not be possible.

The winner of the game is determined by counting the total number of pips on opposing players’ tiles. This number may be counted either as one or two, and doubles may be counted as either 0 or 14. Players who hold the heaviest double begin the next round of play.


A number of different domino variants exist. Some have special rules to make the game more challenging. Others focus on skillful play and are used in competitions. They aim to be the first to reach a set number of points in a round – often 61.

In the Draw domino variant, players begin with a double-six set and take turns placing tiles to extend the line of play. Then, they score whenever the exposed ends of all their domino halves add up to a multiple of five.

Another variation, called Branching doubles, makes the game more like Chickenfoot and allows players to use their own marker to start the game. It also lets them branch off their doubles in two directions, giving the double a matching domino endpoint on four sides instead of just one.


In the 19th century, manufacturers experimented with different materials for dominoes. These included wood, tinplate and aluminum. Some of these sets resembled the look and feel of ivory, while others had colored dots.

A domino is a rectangular tile marked with an arrangement of spots (also called pips) on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. It is typically twice as long as it is wide, which makes it easier to re-stack them after use.

Most modern domino sets are made of plastics. They are available in a variety of colors and accessories. They are smoother and more consistent than the dominoes from Maria Lamping, and they are well-suited for building all types of lines, fields, and structures. They also come with a debossed logo for identification, which can lead to unexpected light reflections when viewed from different angles.


A domino has a line in the middle to divide it visually into two ends, which are labeled with a number of spots or pips. The value of a domino is determined by the number of pips on both ends, and the highest end is called a ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ domino.

Dominoes with matching values are matched together in a domino train or chain. New tiles may be added to the train on each turn, although players are only allowed one tile per train. The first player to empty their hand wins the game.

In some variants, the first double domino played is a spinner. When the exposed ends of this double match a number that is a multiple of five, the player scores points.

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