The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that have an arrangement of spots on one side and a blank or identically patterned other side. They can be matched with other dominoes to form a line, which is the line of play for many games.

Standing a domino upright gives it potential energy. When it falls, this energy is converted to kinetic energy that causes other dominoes to fall.


Dominoes are a set of 28 tiles that feature two groups of spots on one side and can be used for a number of different games. They are also known as bones, cards, men or pieces. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, and their values range from six pips to none or blank.

The history of domino is uncertain, although it appears to have originated in China. The game developed in Europe during the early 18th century, and it became a popular pastime in places where puritanical attitudes made card games unacceptable.

There is no agreement as to the origin of the word “domino.” Some etymologists believe it is derived from Latin’s domo-dominus, or master of the house; others think it may be inspired by the black domino half-masks worn by priests.


There are many different rules and regulations that apply to domino. These vary depending on the type of game played. For example, the rules governing the order of play may differ from those governing scoring. In addition, the number of rounds a game is played to may vary. Some games are played until a specific point total is reached; others are played until a particular player wins.

Players must thoroughly shuffle the tiles before each hand. They must also keep their dominoes visible to all other players. If a domino is discovered to be misplayed, it must be recalled by the owner.

A basic rule of domino is that each tile must be positioned so that its two matching ends touch. This is known as a “snake-line” domino.


Dominoes are a popular game with many variations. Some are more strategic than others. Some allow players to block other lines of play with a single domino. Others are played with more than one color of domino. These variations can affect the strategy of the game and increase the excitement.

Hevesh creates her mind-blowing domino installations following a version of the engineering-design process. She makes test versions of each section before putting them together to make sure they work.

For example, she tests the first domino before playing it to determine whether it will have the desired effect. Then, she works out how many dominoes will need to fall for the result to be achieved. She also considers other factors, such as the shape of the installation and the surface on which it will be played.


In the early 19th century craftsmen fashioned their dominoes from thin pieces of animal bone glued to ebony. When ebony became scarce, they switched to a wood called tagua, or vegetable ivory, which is made from the bark of six different types of palm trees that grow in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.

The tenons in dominoes are joined with mortises, which hold them in place. Leaving too much space between the slots weakens the connection and weakens the domino’s overall structural integrity. It’s best to leave at least two times the tenon thickness of material between the slots.

Many games use a special table that has a felt surface, which keeps the backs and faces of the tiles from getting scratched. Those who play a lot of domino might also want to consider buying a box to store and organize their sets.


A domino game’s scoring system is important to understand, as it can be the difference between winning and losing. In most cases, the goal is to empty one’s hand of dominoes while blocking the opponent from doing so.

In most games, the winner is determined by the total value of the pips on the exposed ends of dominoes in play. Depending on the rules of a particular game, this value may be calculated in a number of ways. For example, some versions of the game allow players to count all pips on a double, while others only consider the number of pips on one end of a domino. The number of rounds played in a game is also important to note. Some games are played until a set point limit is reached, while others have no point limit.

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