The Basics of Domino


Domino is a game of skill and strategy. It has been compared to bridge or poker, in that players must work together to build a chain of dominoes. The chain must be complete before the other player is able to play. The more dominoes in a chain, the higher the score for the player. There are many different ways to play domino and the rules for each vary slightly. The word domino comes from a Latin phrase meaning “fall or knock over.” Dominoes are also known as bones, cards, men, pieces or tiles and are normally twice as long as they are wide. They feature a line down the center that divides them visually into two sides, called ends. Each end has a number on it, from six pips down to blank or 0 or none. A single domino is a member of one suit; a double or more is a member of two suits and may be referred to as being a spinner.

When dominoes are stacked, they can form lines that are curved or straight and arranged to create 3D structures such as towers or pyramids. In addition, a piece of paper may be used to create an image of the desired structure or design and pinned to the board. Creating the pattern on the paper helps the players visualize how the dominoes will fall, which is a vital step in the planning process for many domino games.

Most dominoes are made from a type of polymer such as polystyrene or a similar material that is often molded into various shapes. They are available in a wide variety of colors and can be customized with company or team logos. In some instances, ceramic tiles or other more expensive materials can be used to make dominoes.

The most common domino sets commercially available are double six and double nine. Larger sets of dominoes exist that can be used for playing longer domino games. The most popular types of domino play are layout games, which fall into two main categories: blocking games and scoring games.

In most domino games, a line of dominoes is formed as players take turns making their plays. The player with the heaviest domino in his hand makes the first play. A tie is broken by drawing a new domino from the stock according to the rules of the game.

When a player places a domino, it must touch another tile in the chain so that both matching ends are touching. The shape of the domino chain then develops into a snake-like shape, depending on the whims of the players and the limitations of the playing surface. When a tile is played to a double, it must be placed square to the domino on which it is being placed, or perpendicular to the edge of the double.

As a result of the way that dominoes are positioned and played, there is an established lexicon that has developed. A few of the most commonly used words are listed below.