The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game played by two or more players. The rules of domino vary considerably from place to place, although some games share the same name and basic rules.

The dominoes are rectangular in shape and have a set of numbered spots, or pips, on one side. The other side is blank or identically patterned.


There are many different types of domino games. The rules vary depending on the game type and the number of players. However, most domino games fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games. Some domino games have a more complex set of rules.

In block dominoes, the objective is to empty your hand of tiles while blocking your opponent’s. Each turn, you play a tile to the line and try to make it touch another of its matching ends. Then you score the points on the exposed ends of the tile, including the doubles (e.g., a double-six scores six).

The player who wins the most points in a hand or game is the winner. The players keep track of their ongoing scores on a score sheet. Players may also decide to settle a tie by counting the total number of pips left in the losing players’ hands at the end of a game.


There are many different types of materials that can be used to make dominos. Some are crafted by hand from woods such as mahogany or oak, and others can be made from plastics, metals, foam or stone. Some are even made from recycled paper. These are often more aesthetically pleasing than the standard dominoes sold in stores.

Many traditional domino sets are crafted from ivory, but the ivory industry has been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Ivory dominoes have small black dots, called pips, on their ends that represent numbers.

Modern commercial domino sets are usually crafted from synthetic materials such as ABS and polystyrene plastics, or Bakelite and other phenolic resins that mimic the look of ivory. They are also sometimes painted to match their theme or to create a more contemporary look. In addition to the standard sets, there are many specialty products, including domino tiles made from bamboo, reclaimed pine planks, and woods such as ash, cherry or walnut.


There are many variations of domino games. These are often based on the same basic rules, but some have unique twists to them. For example, a double may serve as a spinner and cause the line of play to branch in various directions. Other games such as Chicken Foot and Matador have unusual rules for matching, and Bendomino uses curved tiles that may block one side of the line of play for geometric reasons.

A Domino’s game starts with dominoes arranged in long lines on the table. Each domino has an arrangement of dots or pips on one face and is blank or identically patterned on the other. These pips are used for scoring purposes by the players. Each player places a domino in turn on the table by positioning it so that its pips match one end of the domino chain. The domino chain then gradually increases in length. As each domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino to tip and the chain continues until the whole set has been tipped over.


There are many different scoring systems used in domino. Generally, the player who draws the highest double goes first. Alternatively, the winner of the last game may start play. The order of play may also be determined by seating arrangement or by using the heaviest domino.

The basic set of 28 dominoes is shuffled and arranged face down to form the stock or boneyard. Each player then draws seven pieces and places them in front of them. Each domino has two squares, or ends, and each end has a value that is either zero, one, or six.

Players accrue points throughout the course of gameplay by touching exposed ends with their own tiles. Depending on the game, this may be the initial domino played, or the exposed ends of a spinner or other special tile. In a team-based game, the points of all members’ hands are added together at the end. In the case of a tie, additional scoring is done to determine the winning team.

You may also like