# Playing Dominoes the Smart Way

Dominoes are a great game to play at home and in the classroom. It is a fun way to introduce students to different math vocabulary and also practice a little bit of problem-solving.

When playing dominoes, players must always match up the numbers (or blanks) on adjacent tiles. This means that if you lay down a tile that has 3 pips on one side and 1 pip on the other, you cannot play it unless someone else lays down a tile with both 3 and 1 pips.

## Rules

Most domino players are content to base their hopes of winning on a favorable distribution of the tiles. However, the game is rich in subtle strategy ideas and powerful positional maneuvering that can make a significant difference in how you score.

The first player places a domino from his hand in the center of the playing area. He must place it with a matching end or pass if the tile cannot be placed that way.

All other players then take turns placing tiles with a matching end. They must place the tile so that its two matching ends touch fully.

Typically, this means the big end of the tile is six and the smaller end is three. But in certain games, this is not always the case.

A variation called “Chickenfoot” is played where the players attempt to get rid of as many dominoes as possible before their opponents do the same. The player with the lowest score wins.

## Variations

Domino is a versatile game and can be played with different sets of tiles. While classic dominoes are made from stone, wood or ivory, modern sets are generally plastic or synthetic.

The earliest known mention of dominoes comes from China, where it is believed to have originated in 1100 AD. It quickly spread across Europe in the 18th century and was later brought to the United States by Italian missionaries.

Basic domino variants include the Block Game and Draw. In the Block Game, players start a line of play by drawing seven tiles from a double-six set. The first player places a tile on the table and extends it with one matching tile at each of its two ends.

In the Draw Game, players continue to draw until they find a match or the stock consists of exactly two tiles. Points are awarded to the winner based on the remaining pip count of their hand.

## Materials

There are many different types of domino sets available in the market. Some are mass produced for cheap production and others are forged by true craftsmen, often layering multiple woods with finely finished layers of lacquer.

Most modern commercial sets are made from plastics such as ABS or polystyrene, and phenolic resins. They are designed to approximate the look and feel of ivory, but also may be colored or translucent to make them more contemporary.

The pieces in these sets are oblong and measure about 24mm x 48mm x 7.5mm. They have a weight of around 8 grams and are used for building domino chains and world record attempts.

These dominoes are a little smoother than those from Maria Lamping and are well-suited for all types of line and field constructions. However, they are a little distracting for builders due to the debossed Mr. Domino logo on each piece, and they are a little more risky for larger stacking structures since their weight distribution is slightly unequal.

## Scoring

The game of domino is played by players drawing tiles from a pool and playing them off in a clockwise manner. The first player to make a winning move wins the round.

To score points, you must play a tile that is either a scoring tile or a double. This is the trickiest part of the game and it can be challenging for novices, especially if they donâ€™t have many doubles in their hand.

A good way to score points is by identifying and using dominoes in your hand that change the board count by a multiple of five. For example, if you have a 6-0 and a 5-1 in your hand, you can attach the 6-0 to the 5-0 for a total of eleven (plus a small X).

Another good way to score points is by playing a domino that is a combination of two pips. This is a little more complicated than the first strategy and involves counting suits to see if there are any tiles outstanding in the suit on the arm of the table.