# Domino Basics

Domino is a game played with small rectangular blocks with one side blank and the other marked by dots like those on dice. They are stacked on end in long lines.

The basic rules are simple: dominoes are scored when the exposed ends (one’s touching 1’s, 2’s touching 2’s) total a multiple of five.

## Rules

There are many different kinds of domino sets and a variety of games that can be played with them. This website provides basic instructions for two of the most common types of games that can be played with a standard double-six set. Other rules may apply for games with a smaller or larger number of pieces.

Once the order of play has been determined (see “Order of Play”), each player draws a number of tiles from the stock according to the rules of the game being played. Depending on the rules of the game, these tiles may be added to the player’s hand or bought from the other players (see Passing and Byeing).

Each player attempts to place one of their tiles next to an open perpendicular side of the starting domino. If the player does not have a tile that matches, they draw from the boneyard until they have a match. Then they play that tile.

## Variations

There are many different domino games, but the basic rules are similar. The only differences are in how the tiles are used and in scoring. The game also has several variations that affect how the line of play is set up on the table.

A standard domino set has 28 unique pieces with one end having a number of spots, or “pips,” arranged like those on a die, and the other end blank. This arrangement allows for seven possible combinations of ends.

Larger sets, such as double-nine and double-12, are also used to play positional games. These larger sets have more than 28 tiles, and some use the more readable Arabic numerals rather than the traditional pips. This makes the game much faster for players.

## Materials

Dominoes are small, thumb-sized rectangular blocks of various materials that are used to play a wide variety of games. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, and have a line down the center that divides the face into two square halves with an arrangement of spots (also called “pips”), with some squares blank or empty (indicated in the listing below by a zero). A set of dominoes typically contains 28 pieces.

A modern domino set is generally made of synthetic materials, such as ABS or polystyrene plastics, or Bakelite and other phenolic resins. Many sets also use colored dots to distinguish the different ends of a domino, so that they can be more easily found and matched up.

A good place to play dominoes is on a card table, which has a felt surface that helps keep the tiles from scratching each other and the tables. Some people prefer to use a special plastic Domino table, which has a built-in spinner.

## Scoring

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In domino, a domino is a rectangular tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends, each bearing a number from one to six pips (or dots). A piece with the same number on both ends is called a double.

Most domino games involve blocking an opponent’s tiles or scoring points by counting the exposed spots on their hand. The player with the higher score wins the game. However, the game can end in a draw if no player is able to play their final domino. In this case, the winner is determined by the total sum of all the opposing players’ spots on their dominoes. In partnerships, the total of each partner’s score is computed and added to the dominoing player’s score.