# What is Dominoes?

Dominoes are a type of game set, like playing cards, but with markings on both sides instead of on just one. Each domino has a number of spots, or “pips,” that are arranged to form a particular tile value.

They can be used in a variety of games, including blocking and scoring games. Typically, the pips on a single tile are counted as a multiple of either 3 or 5.

## Rules

The game of domino is a family of games that share a common set of rules. Each player draws a number of dominoes from a pool of shuffled tiles.

When playing a set of dominoes, the first player places a tile in the center of the table which starts the line of play. The player to his left then extends the line by adding a matching tile at one of its two ends.

Depending on the rules of the game, tiles may be counted in their open ends or across the line of play. In some games, the pips on the tiles are counted to determine the score.

There are many different types of dominoes, and the rules vary from game to game. However, there are a few basic rules that are used in most games. These include:

## Variations

Dominoes are a type of game similar to playing cards. They are pieces of wood or ceramic which have a identifying face, with the same number of pips on each half of their face (called doubles).

They are usually played in pairs and may be scored or blocked depending on the game variation. In scoring games, players match a domino to one end of a chain of dominoes that is already in use, extending the length by a single domino.

The game can be played in pairs or in teams. In team play, all the members can see their own tiles but cannot reveal them to their partner.

Two to four players start by drawing seven dominoes from a face-down boneyard, then take it in turns to lay matching domino halves end to end. They score points any time the open-ended dominoes add up to a multiple of five, just like in a game of Straight dominoes.

## Materials

The game of domino is played with small flat, rectangular tiles that have dots on one side. These can be made from any number of materials, including wood or plastic.

The first domino sets were made from bone or ivory and were favored by wealthy people. French prisoners-of-war began carving these bone pieces and selling them to sailors and other merchants.

In the 18th century, these pieces were commonly carved from either sheep or cow bone. The dots, or pips, were inlaid with thin strips of ebony.

Today, modern dominoes are primarily made of metals, wood and plastic. They are usually painted and come in a variety of sizes.

Some manufacturers also make wooden racks to hold a row of oblong dominoes. These are useful for games with large numbers of players or for long domino games.

## Scoring

A domino (also known as a bone, card, man, piece or tile) is a long and narrow object consisting of a line across the centre which divides it into two “ends”. The pips or spots on either end may range from six pips to none or blank.

There are many ways to score a domino game, from counting the number of pips on your hands or on the tiles of your opponent, to calculating the largest total possible. A simple and reliable strategy is to play out the larger numbered dominoes first.

For example, a double-five is the most obvious choice, but a 5-6 will also work as long as it is played against a single-six in your hand.

Other scoring strategies include the muggins, which involves playing a piece that makes the sum of all open-end pips on a layout a multiple of five; and Holsey and Tidwell’s X, which uses a paper X-shaped structure to represent a single point.