# The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game played by two or more players. It can be stopped if one player cannot play anymore, or it may be continued until the specified point limit is reached.

When a domino is stood upright, it stores potential energy; when the domino falls, its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and causes other dominoes to fall.

## Origin

The origin of domino is not entirely clear. However, it is believed to have been developed in China around 1120 AD and later spread to the rest of the world through the 1700’s. It is one of the most popular games played in family parlors and pubs.

Dominoes evolved from cubic dice that were brought to China from India. They were constructed to represent all possible results of two thrown dice, and therefore had no blank faces. Compared to the 28 piece standard domino set which originated in Europe, Chinese sets also introduced duplicates of some throws and were divided into two suits: military and civil.

The game is known by several names and variations and is enjoyed by people all over the world. It is especially popular in Latin America.

## Rules

When playing domino, players must follow the rules of the game. Typically, the heaviest tile determines who begins. The first player must also make sure that he matches the pips of the end of his double with another domino that will join it to create a chain, called a “stitch.” The chain should continue to increase in length.

Generally, the first player to finish the game wins. However, if players are unable to match a domino or cannot draw from the boneyard, the game ends. Players count the value of all the remaining dominoes in their hands at the end of a round to determine the winner.

Players must be careful not to expose their dominoes to opponents, as this can lead to a blocked game. The number of rounds played is predetermined or a specified score limit is reached.

## Variations

There are many variations of domino. They all involve different game sets and rules for playing them. Traditionally, a domino is twice as long as it is wide and has a line down the middle dividing it visually into two squares with an arrangement of spots or “pips” on either side. The value of a domino is the number of pips on one side or blank, and the sum of both values may be referred to as its rank or weight.

The Block game is the simplest basic domino variant, and most characteristic games are elaborations of it. Initially, each player draws seven tiles from a double-six set and then places one on the table to start the line of play. Players then alternately extend it with a matching tile at one of its ends.

## Materials

A domino is a small, thumb-sized rectangular block of rigid material that is used for gaming. It is also known as a bone, cards, men, or pieces. It has an identity-bearing side, marked with a specific arrangement of dots or pips, and a blank or identically patterned side. A set of 28 such tiles form a complete domino set.

Modern mass-produced dominoes are mostly made of materials like plastics, metals, and stone. However, some manufacturers make them out of high-quality woods. These are considered works of art and come with hefty price tags.

In the past, European-style domino sets were traditionally made of silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony. The pips were painted or inlaid.

## Scoring

The player with the highest score at the end of a hand wins. Depending on the game type or setting, the number of rounds may be predetermined, or the players may play until a point limit is reached.

The points scored are based on the total of all the end tiles that have been played. Typically, doubles are counted twice to make a total of four or six. A blank tile is counted as zero points.

This scoring system is similar to the way nerve impulses travel through long neurons in your body. Similarly, the dominoes fall in a linear fashion and can only move in one direction. This makes them ideal for demonstrating the law of conservation of energy. As a result, the dominoes are considered to have zero momentum.