# What is Domino?

A domino is a small rectangular wood or plastic block with either blank sides or dots that resemble those on dice. 28 such blocks make up a set of dominoes.

Players draw dominoes from the stock and place them on the table, positioning them so that they form a line of play that gradually increases in length. This line of play is called the layout or string.

## Origin

Domino is a mutant who uses her ability to shift probabilities in her favor to help others. She was born as a result of the U.S. government’s Project Armageddon, and was raised by a priest in Chicago.

The game of domino is thought to have originated in China in the 12th Century, and then moved to Italy in the early 18th Century where it became a popular fad. The word domino is derived from the Latin dominus, meaning lord or master. The name may also be based on a type of hooded mask worn by French priests in winter.

The fourth version of the Domino logo is square. It is a bit more modern than the earlier versions, and it has an overall lighter feel.

## Rules

There are many variations of domino games. The most common set has twenty-eight tiles with a total of twelve pips, but it can be expanded to include progressively larger numbers of ends. Each end has a different number of spots and can be joined to either the other ends or the blank. A domino that has both matching ends is called a double.

After dividing the dominoes equally among players, they begin placing them in a line, joining the ends of each tile to the other. The winner of the previous hand starts the next, or in the case of blocked games, the player holding the highest double begins.

When a player loses their last domino the round is over and their score is the value of all the pips in their opponents’ hands. A variation of this scoring method is to count only one end of a double.

## Variations

Many different variations of domino exist. Some are blocking games, others involve scoring. In some, the players combine strategies from dice games to win. The most basic domino game uses a double-six set. The tiles are shuffled and form a stock or boneyard. Each player draws seven tiles. If you draw a domino that cannot be laid, you mark it with a marker. This makes the train public and allows other players to add to it.

The player then adds a domino to the chain, making sure that the joining half bears the same value as the domino on one of its open ends. A tile placed on a double must also be positioned so that the two matching sides are touching fully. Some games use a spinner double to create chains on all four sides.

## Materials

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of rigid material with a pattern of dots or blank spaces on one face and an arrangement of values (known as suits) on the other. They are also sometimes known as bones, cards, men, or pieces.

Most modern domino sets are made of plastics such as ABS or polystyrene, or phenolic resins similar to Bakelite. These are often colored or translucent, with different colors used for the various suit values.

Many people prefer to play on a traditional green baize surface, as used on billiards and snooker tables. This protects the backs and faces of the tiles from scratches and wear. A domino table also requires a score pad and pencil for keeping track of points. In some games, players can use their hands for this, but most prefer a dedicated scorer’s pad.

## Scoring

In many domino games, the player or team scores points based on the total number of dots in their opponents’ hands. Those with the lowest count win the game. The scoring system may vary between games.

Each turn a player places one of their tiles on the table, positioning it so that it touches only one end of the previous tile. The resulting chain, called a “domino chain,” develops snake-line patterns on the surface. If the pips on the exposed ends total any multiple of five, the player is awarded that score.

The next player then adds a tile to the chain by placing it perpendicular to the first double (one six touching another six, or four touching two). This allows players to join their tiles together.