# Domino – A Game of Chance and Skill

Dominoes are rectangular tiles with identifying marks on one side and blank or identically patterned sides. The identifying marks are usually arranged in a circle, but may also be dots or pips.

Each player draws a hand of dominoes and the first player plays the first tile. The remaining tiles are drawn until all players have a complete hand.

## Origin

Domino is a classic game that has remained popular throughout the years. Its origin is unclear, but it is believed that the game was first invented in China in the 12th century. It was later introduced to Italy in the 18th century and then spread to Europe.

A domino is a thumb-sized rectangular block with one or six pips, or dots, and may be blank or carry from one to six results of throwing dice. A set of 28 such pieces makes a complete set. Domino is also a popular name for the various games played with these blocks.

Among the more famous fans of the game are King Tutankhamen and President Lyndon B Johnson. The oldest known domino set was found in the tomb of this Egyptian pharaoh and dates from 1355 BC.

## Rules

Many domino games have different rules. Some are blocking games while others involve scoring. The player who wins the most points in a given number of rounds is declared the winner.

The first round of play begins when each player draws a domino from the stock. The player with the heaviest domino makes the first play. If a player cannot make a play, they must draw a new domino from the stock.

Each domino placed on the line must touch an adjacent tile at both ends. The total number of dots on the exposed ends is counted to determine the winning score. Depending on the game, this may include both sides of the spinner or only one side (i.e., a 5-5). The game may also use other scoring methods such as counting the pips in losing players’ hands.

## Variations

Domino is a game of chance and skill. It is played with a standard double-six domino set, which contains 28 tiles. The dominoes have a line down the middle, dividing them visually into two squares that are each marked with an arrangement of dots, called pips, that are arranged differently on both sides of the tile.

The goal is to add a domino from one’s hand to an end of a played tile, so that the sum of the pips on both ends equals five or three. When this is accomplished, the winning player scores a point.

Some variations of the game use a matador, which is a double-nine or double-twelve tile that can be played on any end. Another variation requires a spinner, which is any domino that can be played on all four sides.

## Materials

Various materials have been used to make dominoes over the centuries, including bone, ivory, wood, and plastic. The typical domino is a thumbsized rectangular block with one side bearing an arrangement of dots (known as “pips”) and the other blank or identically patterned. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 pieces. The pieces are usually made to be twice as long as they are wide and can be stood on edge.

The most common domino sets are made of white tiles with black pips, but many sets are made in a variety of colors. Historically, dominoes were also made of natural materials such as stone (e.g., marble or granite); other types of wood; metals; and ceramic clay. Before the invention of tinplate, craftsmen used a material called Parkesine.

## Scoring

In some domino games, part of the score is obtained by counting the ends of a line of play. This is done by adding the value of each end tile to the count. For example, a double five at one end and two at the other makes nine and is divisible by three, resulting in three points.

Other scoring methods include counting the number of pips in a losing player’s hands at the end of a hand or game, rounded up to the nearest multiple of five. This method is often used in blocking games, such as bergen or Mexican train. It requires a high level of concentration and math skills to calculate the score. Some games also use a timer to determine the winner’s score.