How to Play Domino


Domino, also called bones, cards, men or pieces, is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic marked with groups of two identical shaped dots, called pips. Each domino has a line across the center to divide it visually into two squares. Each side of a domino bears a number that indicates its value, which is normally equal to the number of spots or pips on either of its ends, though some sides may be blank. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easier to stack and re-stack after use.

In order to play domino, you must have a set of tiles and know the rules of the game you are playing. The basic rules for many domino games are the same worldwide, but variations do exist. For example, some games require more than one player, while others allow players to pick from a larger pool of tiles.

The tiles used in domino are normally made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony. In addition to these traditional materials, modern sets are often made of polymer resins. These are cheaper to produce and can be more durable than a natural material. Traditionally, however, most domino sets were produced from natural materials, such as ivory or bone, and were hand-carved.

While there are many different ways to play a game of domino, most involve forming a line of dominoes on the table and then placing one tile onto another that has its open end touching a spot on the preceding tile. When a player places a tile in this line of play, it is then his turn to make another move. The domino that touches an empty space on the line of play is called a spinner, while the open end of the previous tile is known as the nipple.

After determining who will make the first play of a domino, as described above in Order of Play and according to the rules of the particular domino game being played, the players then determine the score for the game. In most cases, the winning player counts all of the pips on all of the dominoes left in his or her hand at the end of a hand or game. The number of pips is then added to the player’s score.

This method of scoring, referred to as the “score system,” is used by most of the domino games shown on this site. The rules for other games, however, may be very different and include other methods of counting pips. For example, some games count only the number of pips on the open ends of the dominoes and do not count the nipple. In these situations, a player may want to agree with other players that any double cannot be counted as an end if it has been placed on top of a double.