Domino – A Game of Skill and Chance


Domino is a game that requires skill, coordination, and planning. It can help develop spatial awareness, colour recognition, and fine motor skills.

When a game begins the player who draws the highest double (also known as the spinner) goes first. Some rules allow players to begin play with any double from their hand.


Domino is a game of skill and chance. It is played with a standard double-twelve or double-nine set of dominoes. The rules for different types of domino vary slightly, but the basic principle is that each player tries to empty their hand while blocking their opponent’s. Generally, the first to do so wins.

After the tiles are shuffled, each player draws seven from the stock and begins with a domino that is either double or single. The person with the heaviest domino will make the first play.

Then, the players take turns placing dominoes on the table, connecting them by matching ends. When playing to a double, the tile must be placed so that the two matching ends touch fully. The resulting chains can develop into snake-line patterns with many branching and rejoining possibilities, depending on the game’s rules. Some recently invented domino connection games require the creation of a network shape and use specific rules for where the tiles may be played.


Dominoes are rectangular blocks with a number of black or white dots on each end. Unlike playing cards, which have identical patterns on both sides, dominoes have one side with an arrangement of spots that indicates the domino’s value. A single domino’s identifying marks cause adjacent dominoes to line up and fall down, creating a chain reaction known as the “domino effect.”

Craftsmen in the 19th century used animal bone or a dark hardwood, such as ebony, for their domino sets. They later replaced those materials with tinplate, which was easy to stamp or emboss.

Today’s commercial dominoes are made of a variety of synthetic materials, including ABS or polystyrene plastics and Bakelite and other phenolic resins. Some sets are molded in bright colors to facilitate finding matching pips. Others feature special designs, such as the vivid kaleidoscope patterns of the Russian artist Kandinsky. The colorful patterns of these sets may draw the attention of young players.


The rules of domino vary greatly, allowing for a large number of games and strategies. Most domino games are played until a player cannot play a tile and then declares victory. Typically, the winning player has a higher dot count than his or her opponent.

Dominoes have a pattern of dots on one side and are blank on the other, like playing cards. The dots are arranged in suits, similar to poker ranks. Each suit has a different color or symbol. Some tiles have doubles, which may be played on all sides or only the two matching ends, causing the line of play to branch.

A typical set of dominoes consists of 28 tiles, each with a combination of dots from 0 to 6. Some sets include double-blank tiles and have larger numbers of pips, called extensions. These larger extensions increase the maximum number of unique combinations of ends and thus of dominoes. The most common extended set is the double-nine set.


In many domino games, the winner is determined when one player clears their entire hand of tiles. The winning player then gains points equal to the number of dots in their opponent’s remaining dominoes.

Depending on the game variant, different numbers of dominoes are used. For example, a ‘double six’ set contains 28 dominoes: one tile for every integer pair from zero through six.

When a player connects a domino to a standard end of an already-existing chain, that particular end of the chain is scored immediately. All other ends of the chain remain unscored.

Some players also add to other players’ trains, though only at a limited extent. Then at the end of a hand, the remaining dominoes are totalled and rounded to the nearest multiple of five. The total is then added to the scoring total of the winner. There are a few types of domino that do not work well with this scoring system.

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