The Basics of Dominoes


Like playing cards, dominoes have a set of identifying markings on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. Traditionally European-style dominoes are made from bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony.

Players draw a hand of dominoes and then play them according to the rules for the game being played. Normally the winner of a hand or game scores based on the total number of dots remaining in the losers’ hands.


There are many different types of domino. Each type has its own unique rules and strategy, but they all share some common principles. The game begins with players drawing a number of tiles from the stock, and determining who will make the first play according to the rules of the particular domino game being played.

Then the player places a domino in front of him or her, matching an end to one on the line of play. The other end of the domino is then “cut off” for scoring purposes, and only the spots on the open ends are counted in a domino’s score.

When the players reach their target score, the game is over. The winner adds up the total of their remaining spots in unplaced pieces, and scores the difference between this amount and their opponent’s spot total. The loser subtracts their own spot total from the winner’s, and then carries over the remainder of their points to the next hand.


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks made of wood or plastic that are used as a gaming object. Each domino is distinguished by its back, which is either blank or decorated with a design, and a face that is divided into two square halves, each marked with an arrangement of spots, called pips, similar to those on dice.

Children can build their pattern recognition and artistic expression skills by making their own designs with the pieces. They can also practice their hand movements as they stack them up. For games that require keeping score, players can use a narrow, open box to hold their winnings.

Dominoes can be used in many hands on activities to teach students about a variety of topics, from the relationship between distance and speed of a sound wave to the effect that one person’s actions can have on a group. A good place to start is with a ruler and some ruled dominos.


Dominoes (also called bones, men, or tiles) are rectangular, with one side showing a number of spots or pips and the other blank or empty. The pips are counted, and the value of a domino is its rank or weight. A higher ranking domino has more pips than a lower ranking one.

Several different variants of the game exist, with different rules and scoring systems. Some of the most common include straight, muggins, matador, and moon. The basic objective of these games is to match adjacent dominoes, with the winner being the player who scores the most points.

The draw game is considered to be one of the two basic forms of domino, and most characteristic games are elaborations of this variation. In this game, each player draws seven tiles from a double-six set. The first tile played establishes the line of play, and players alternately extend it by adding tiles with matching ends to either side of a double. In many variations, doubles also serve as spinners, allowing the line of play to branch.


Dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men or pieces) are usually twice as long as they are wide. They feature a line down the middle to visually divide them into two squares, called ends. The end of a domino with more spots, or pips, is worth more than an end that has fewer or none. Each domino belongs to a suit, usually the 3, 4, 5, or 6 suit, but there are exceptions.

In scoring games such as bergen, muggins or chicken foot the player with the most tiles in their hand at the end of play wins. The total number of points in each opponent’s hands is determined by adding up the value of all of the exposed pips on each domino that has been played and that remain unplayed.

Maintaining the initiative is important in scoring games. If you are able to score immediately after your opponent, it will force them to play a miss and give you another chance to score.

Continue Reading