Dominoes are small rectangular game pieces with anywhere from 0 to 6 dots. They can be played as domino games or stacked on end in long lines to create elaborate patterns.

In a domino game, each player starts with a stock of 28 dominoes. When one player plays a domino, the next player must play a domino that matches the number of spots on one end of the first domino played.


In most domino games, players assemble a line of dominoes that match the numbers (or blanks) on adjacent dominoes. The lines can be made lengthwise, across the matching number, or perpendicular to the number showing at one end of the chain.

The game begins with each player laying a single domino on the table. The tile must be laid so that its end matches a domino that is already on the table.

For most games, doubles are played crosswise to the line of play and singles are played lengthwise to the matching number. In some cases, doubles may be played to both ends; in other games, the first double may be used only to one side, and later used to both sides.

Another variation is Mexican Train, in which each player plays a double to start the game, and adds a tile to their own train on every subsequent turn. Players can also add to other players’ trains, though they are limited to one tile per train.


Dominoes are made from a variety of materials including stone, wood and plastics. They can also be carved out of metals and other synthetics such as foam.

Most domino sets consist of a number of tiles, including singles and doubles. These are placed on the table making a line of play that can extend in either direction.

When a player places a domino, he must match its number (or blank) to the other adjacent dominoes. If he does not, he must pass his turn.

Some versions of dominoes use curved tiles, which may prevent players from placing the same tile in two consecutive turns. This is called a “lock.”

A popular game in Texas is 42, where players lay one domino per turn and score for each time open-ended dominoes add up to a multiple of five. If a round is blocked, points are calculated as if all players have lost.


There are many different materials that have been used to make domino tiles throughout history. These include ivory, stone, metal, and blown glass or crystal.

Modern commercial domino sets are typically made of synthetic materials such as ABS or polystyrene plastics, Bakelite and other phenolic resins, and even colored or translucent plastics. Some approximate the look and feel of ivory while others use a variety of colors to achieve a more contemporary look.

Some sets also feature a variety of dot patterns. For example, one-spot dominoes may have black pips while two-spots might be green, three red, etc.

The material of the dominoes can have a big impact on how fun the game is for people of all skill levels. For this reason, it is essential to know the type of material that is being used in a set. This knowledge can help players avoid the risks that can come with using cheaper materials or playing on a surface that might damage their dominoes.


In domino, the scoring system consists of laying the pieces end to end (the touching ends must match). If the dots on the exposed ends total any multiple of five, the player is awarded that number of points.

Alternatively, the dots on the open end of a domino may be counted and added to the score. However, many people prefer the muggins method: a player scores if he can play a piece that makes the sum of the open-end pips on the layout a multiple of five.

Players also have the option of combining a double and single tile into one, which is called crossing the “T”. This method is not always possible; some games require a player to play against a domino on its opposite side.

The game starts with the player who holds the heaviest single or double tiles beginning play. He may do so if no one holds a double, or if he has won the last game played.

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