Domino is a fun game that can be played by children of all ages. It can help them develop their spatial awareness and learn the names of different colours. It also improves their hand-eye coordination.
To play domino, you must have a set of tiles with the same value. You may also use a single tile with multiple values, but this is not recommended.
There are many ways to play domino, but most of them fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. Each player takes turns placing a domino onto the table positioning it so that it touches one end of a chain which gradually increases in length.
A tile played to a double must be positioned cross-ways to it unless the rules of the game call for it to be laid square to it. A double played as the lead may be a spinner, or it could be a regular domino.
Some domino games allow players to buy tiles from the stock (the remainder of the set) which are then added to their hand. This is called byeing. A player may mark his own train (a group of tiles played together) as public or private, and can remove a marker from his train to stop other players from adding to it.
Dominos are rectangular blocks with a line down the center to divide them into two equal squares, called ends. Each end features a value, or pattern of spots, which range from 0 to 6. The most common domino set is a double-six, but other sizes are also available. The most common material for domino tiles is tinplate. This is easy to stamp or emboss, which explains why tobacco companies were among the first to make use of them for promotional purposes.
During the 19th century, craftsmen switched to bakelite, a type of plastic invented by Leo Baekeland. This was eventually replaced by plastic from petroleum, which continues to be the most common material for modern dominoes. However, many people still prefer the feel of wooden dominoes. These are often made by a master woodworker and are considered works of art, although they tend to carry a heftier price tag. There are even high-end dominoes that are layered in multiple woods and finely finished with layers of lacquer.
There are many different variants of domino games. Some have scoring rules that vary from one game to the next. For example, in the game of Muggins (also called Big 6 or Hi Five), players score whenever the ends of two dominoes placed in a row add up to a multiple of five. Another common scoring rule is that a double with a value of one or more spots on both ends counts as a spinner.
Usually, a player adds a tile to an existing domino chain by playing it so that its matching end touches the open end of a previously played domino. The resulting shape of the domino chain develops into a snake-line as each player places their tiles.
Typically, the game stops when one player “chips out” and cannot play his or her last tile. When this occurs, the winners are the partners whose combined total of pips on their remaining dominoes is the lowest.
There are many different ways to score domino games. Some scoring systems depend on the number of ends of the exposed dominoes, while others make no such restriction and simply count the total number of points. In straight dominoes, for instance, the exposed end of a domino that is not a spinner counts as two ends; however, the exposed end of a double that is a spinner counts only one side.
In some games, players can add to each other’s trains, but only up to a certain amount, usually four. A train is a line of matching dominoes in which the ends touch each other (for example, one’s touching two’s or fives touching threes).
In scoring games, at the end of a hand or game, the players compare their remaining domino tile values and subtract that number from their total. The first player to reach an agreed-upon number of points wins.