# Domino’s Dominoes – The Rules and the Art of Playing Domino’s

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A domino is a thumb-sized rectangular tile with one or more rounded ends bearing from one to six spots. 28 such tiles form a complete set.

## Rules

The rules of domino vary according to the particular game. Typically, players shuffle the tiles thoroughly before playing. They then draw from this pool of shuffled tiles (known as the stock) the number of dominoes they are permitted to take, adding them to the ones they hold in their hand. Some games have a spinner, which is a double that can be played on all four sides.

After drawing their dominoes, players determine who will make the first play (by the draw of lots or by who holds the heaviest domino). The player making the first play places one tile on the table, which starts the line of play. Players then alternately extend this line of play, matching ends together with dominoes in their hands. If no player is able to place any more dominoes, the game is closed and the player with the least number of points wins. Some games also award points to players for blocking opponents’ plays.

## Variations

The domino is a rectangular tile with identifying marks on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The identifying marks, also known as pips, are arranged like those on a die. Each domino has a value from zero to six based on the number of pips on each end. A double-six set contains 28 unique pieces.

The most basic domino variant is the Block game for two players. The dominoes are shuffled face down to form the stock, or boneyard, and each player draws seven tiles. The first player then starts the line of play with a tile that has an open end and the rest of the players follow by adding a domino that matches a free end on the line.

The Block game has different rules depending on the game variant. For example, some games use a puck or special marker to identify the last domino played and other rules for extending lines of play.

## Materials

The pieces of a domino set are made from many different materials. The most common are plastics and metals but wood is also used. High end wood dominoes are usually hand crafted and are considered works of art. They often have hefty price tags that reflect the amount of time and artistry that went into them.

Each domino is a small rectangular block that has one face that is marked with dots or pips. The other face is blank or patterned. Most dominoes have a line in the middle to divide them visually into two square halves. The value of each half is indicated by the number of spots or pips.

Traditionally, domino sets have been made from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony. These types of dominoes have a more unique look and are generally heavier than polymer dominoes.

## Scoring

A domino is a flat thumb-sized rectangular block that has two ends, one bearing from one to six pips or dots, and the other blank. A complete set contains 28 such pieces.

There are many variations of domino games. However, most fall into four categories: blocking games, drawing games, and scoring games. The goal of most domino games is to empty a player’s hand while blocking the opponent’s hands. In a scoring game, points are scored when all of a player’s dominoes touch.

To begin the game, players draw lots to determine who will play first. The player who draws the highest double, such as a double-six, begins playing. Afterwards, the other players seat themselves according to the seating arrangement they agreed upon before beginning the game. Players may also choose to play in a counterclockwise direction instead of clockwise. In either case, the player who plays the heaviest tile begins the game. In a tie, the players draw new tiles from the stock and start again.