The Basics of Domino


Domino is a game in which players compete to empty their hands by blocking opponents’ play. The winning player accumulates points from combinations of the pips (or spots) on exposed ends of matched dominoes.

Dominoes are traditionally made of ivory or ebony with contrasting black or white pips. They can also be made from a variety of other materials.


There are many variants of domino, but almost all of them fit into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games. Some of the most popular include Draw and Block, Fives, and Cribbage.

When a player places a domino, the values of its matching ends must match. In addition, doubles must be placed perpendicular to the other pieces in the chain. Often, this results in a snake-line pattern, but players may wish to place a domino a different way to create an unbalanced chain.

When a player draws more tiles for his hand than he is allowed to, this is called an overdraw. These extra tiles are returned to the stock and must be reshuffled before play begins again. In some games, the losing players’ total number of pips counted from their remaining unplayed dominoes is added to the winner’s score. This is known as the “closed” method of scoring.


Dominos are rectangular tiles whose face bears an arrangement of dots, called pips. They are divided by a line or ridge into two squares; the side that faces out carries a value based on the number of pips, while the other is blank. Dominoes may be made of any material, including pressed clay, wood, or even paper and plastic. They can be very cheap and simple to use, or they may be crafted from precious materials and be quite expensive.

Domino construction is an exciting activity that requires creativity, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. It is also an excellent way to improve concentration, attention to detail, and patience. Players can create straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures, and 3D structures like towers or pyramids. They can also choose from a variety of domino colors, shapes, and styles. Dominoes can be painted, etched, or decorated. There are even online communities that encourage domino artists to share their designs.


Dominos are small rectangular blocks with a face divided into two squares, each bearing an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. A domino has a value of one through six, ranging from black to white. Some tiles have no dots at all, representing a blank or zero.

Dominoes are used to play a variety of games, most of which involve one or more players. Many of these games are played in a line, with each tile falling against the next in sequence until all have fallen. This is often referred to as the domino effect or chain reaction.

The term also refers to the act of toppling a set of dominoes, an activity which requires skill and practice to perform well. A large number of records for domino toppling have been set, including by the Finnish acrobat Salima Peippo and former Polish President Lech Walesa. There are also some mechanical devices that can be used to create domino effects.


A scoring system is used for domino games. Each player accrues points during play for certain configurations or moves, as well as emptying their hand. The first player to reach a set number of points wins the game. Several different scoring systems exist for domino, including one where players score each time they make the ends of a line add up to a multiple of five or three. This variant, known as 5s-and-3s, is played in a number of British public houses and social clubs.

The most common way to score a domino chain is when the exposed ends of the tiles total any multiple of five. The players then score the sum of the pips on each of these ends. Other versions allow a player to score the sum of the exposed ends of two adjacent pieces (one’s touching one’s) or the total number of points on all four sides of a double. The latter is often referred to as the spinner.

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