# The Basics of Domino

The players shuffle and draw domino tiles to determine who plays first. The player drawing the highest double goes first.

A tile played to a double must touch both matching ends. The open ends are then counted.

When a domino is laid so that its exposed dots are a multiple of five, the player announces it and scores. The players then take turns playing their remaining dominoes.

## Origin

Domino possesses mutant probability-altering powers, and has appeared in various comic books and movies, most notably as the friend, confidante, and love interest of Cable. She also serves as a member of the superhero team X-Force.

The name “domino” may be derived from the Latin word for dominus, meaning master of the house, or it may be named after a half mask worn by French priests. The name was certainly a popular choice for the games when they arrived in Europe in the late 1700s, where they were likely introduced by French prisoners of war.

The oldest confirmed written mention of domino comes from the Chu sz yam (Investigations on the Traditions of All Things), which states that the game was invented by a statesman who presented it to Emperor Hui Tsung in 1120 CE. It was then circulated abroad by imperial order during the reign of his son Kao-Tsung (1127-1163 CE).

## Rules

There are many different domino games, but most fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games. The first player to lay a domino sets the tone for the hand. If a player is unable to make a play, he or she announces “I pass.” The game ends when one player passes and no other players can continue. The winning player is the partner whose combined sum of all their remaining pips is the lowest.

In the Block game, each player starts with seven dominoes. The rest are placed face down in a boneyard. The first player puts down a double and begins playing to it. Each subsequent tile played must be matched to the other end of the double. When a cross is completed, the players can pick up sleeping tiles as they please.

## Variations

There are many variations on the basic Domino game. Generally, dominoes are numbered on one face and blank or identically patterned on the other. The numbering scheme may be based on the arrangement of dots or pips, which determines the value of a tile. The number of spots or pips on each half is called the “rank” of the domino.

A domino that has a match on either end is called a “double.” If a double is played to a line of play, the two matching ends must be adjacent. The line of play will then develop into a snake-like shape.

Matador is a variation on the Domino game which incorporates a special tile known as the “matador.” Another variant is Bendomino, which uses curved dominoes.

## Materials

Dominoes are made from a variety of materials. Most dominoes are plastic, but there are some that are made from metal or stone. Some companies also make specialty dominoes for use in different games. These include large ones that can be used for a Rube Goldberg machine or other mechanical displays.

The most popular domino brand is Bulk Dominoes, which has a large color palette and many shapes and sizes. The company also offers a variety of special accessories for building larger fields and structures. The only disadvantage of this brand is that the pieces do not come with a logo, which leads to unexpected light reflections and unequal weight distribution.

Some people prefer to buy a special felt table for domino play, which protects the tiles from scratching and makes them easier to stack. Other players may prefer a wood or marble table.

## Scoring

Depending on the game-type or setting, scoring in domino may take many forms. In general, players accrue points during the game by blocking opponents and emptying their own hand.

In games like bergen and muggins, the player scores each time one of the exposed ends of a domino is divisible by five. Other games have a more complicated system that counts the total of all exposed spots in a line of dominoes, which can be a bit confusing for beginners.

Another way to score is to subtract the total pip count in a player’s hand (rounded up) from their running total. This method is usually used in paired teams. Once a player has dominoed by playing their last tile or the game becomes blocked with no legal plays remaining, the winning team is determined.