The Basics of Domino

Domino is a family of games with many variations and rules. Regardless of the variation, the basic rules are similar.

Players draw tiles from a shuffled set of dominoes called the stock or boneyard. Each player draws a number of tiles permitted by the game rules. Some games allow for the buying of extra tiles from the stock.


The basic objective of domino is to be the first player to get rid of all your tiles. Usually, players decide on a score goal before the game starts (ie 100, 150 or 200 points). The player with the lowest total of spots wins.

Each player draws seven tiles, looking at them carefully so that their opponents do not see what they hold. Each domino has identifying marks on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. After the tiles are drawn, they are placed face down on the table and reshuffled.

Each player places a domino in turn, positioning it so that its end touches another domino’s exposed end. A new line of play is then formed and a new set of matching numbers is created. The ends of the exposed dominoes may be used for scoring, depending on the rules of the game being played. A double that is used as a spinner is counted on all four sides, whereas other doubles are only counted on the exposed ends.


There are a large number of variations to the game of domino. These vary from the basic blocking games of a standard double-six set to more complex scoring and solitaire types of game. Many of these were developed as ways to circumvent religious prohibitions on playing cards.

Normally play stops when one player chips out, although some variants require the players to chip out in pairs. When this happens, the winners are the partners whose combined total of all their remaining dominoes is the lowest.

Another popular variation is Mexican Train Dominoes, which uses a double-six set and allows each player to start their own personal train. The train marker indicates which tiles are public, so other players may add to it. If a player can’t play, they must leave their train open and make it public for the other players to use. This speeds up the game and makes it more interesting. However, this variation also increases the difficulty of winning the game.


There are many different materials used to make dominoes today. Most modern mass produced sets are made of plastics but there are a few companies that still produce wood dominoes. Wood dominoes are usually crafted by true craftsman, and are very expensive due to the amount of time and work that is put into them.

Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide and have a line that divides them visually into two squares, each of which is marked with an arrangement of dots, called pips, on one side, while the other side is blank or identically patterned. The pips distinguish each domino from its sister tile and indicate its value.

Most domino players keep track of their score with a sheet of paper or a special sheet designed for the specific game they are playing. However, some people may prefer a smaller, narrow box that is open on both sides to store their stacks of dominoes.


Domino games have a variety of scoring systems, and the system used will depend on the game being played. Generally, each domino must be placed so that its ends match up (unless it is a double, which must be played cross-ways). Each domino in the chain then scores points based on the number of dots it shows on its exposed end.

Normally, the number of times a player can play a tile will be limited. The player with the lowest score wins the hand. Alternatively, the game can be played until a set number of rounds is predetermined or until a certain point limit is reached.

In some domino variants, players may be allowed to buy tiles from the boneyard, and these will add to their total score. Likewise, some variants allow teams to share dominoes. In these cases, a team’s score will be based on the sum of its members’ hands. The heaviest domino in the team’s hand is considered to be the starting point for the next round.

By admin1989