# The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game of skill and strategy. The goal is to score points by laying dominoes end to end so that the exposed ends match: one’s touch two’s, etc.

Many domino sets are made of natural materials such as silver lip oyster shell (mother-of-pearl), bone, ivory, or dark hardwoods like ebony. They have a more elegant look than polymer-based sets.

## Rules

There are many different types of domino games. Each game has its own rules, but there are a few basic principles that apply to all of them. First, you must shuffle the dominoes before playing. Then, each player draws five dominoes for their hand and sets them up so that the other players cannot see them. The person to the right of the player who made the first play makes the next move.

Each player places a domino in a line of play, end to end except for doubles, which are laid across the line of play. The player who plays a double must place another domino on its end so that the ends match.

Generally, domino games are played until a player has no more tiles left or until the game is blocked and no legal play remains. The winner is determined by adding up the sum of the spots on the remaining tiles in each playerâ€™s hand.

## Materials

Dominos can be used in many different ways to reinforce math concepts. For example, first graders can practice the commutative property of addition by creating equations with the dominos. This helps them transition from using moveable manipulatives to only symbolic representations of numbers and equations.

Students can also use the dominos to demonstrate how spacing affects how a sound wave travels through a substance. They can stage a race between closely spaced and spread out dominoes to observe how the distance between them affects the speed of the wave.

Most domino players hold a set of dominoes in their hand, stacked side to side in a column. This works well for smaller domino sets, but larger games require a tile rack. These are small narrow wooden or cardboard boxes that fit a full stack of dominoes and provide a ridged backstop to support the tiles in place. Some even include space to keep score for the game.

## Variations

The domino game has many variations, each with different rules. Most domino games are positional, in which each player places a domino edge to edge against another domino that either matches the domino’s identifying marks or forms a specified total.

Dominoes are generally twice as long as wide and have a line in the middle dividing them into two squares. Each of the squares has an arrangement of spots, or pips, which indicate the value of the domino. A domino with more pips on one side is referred to as a heavier domino, while a domino with no pips on one side is a lighter domino.

The most basic domino game requires a double-six set and 28 tiles, which are shuffled to form a stock or boneyard. Each player draws seven tiles from the boneyard to begin play. The remaining tiles are not used for the duration of the game. In some variants, players take turns picking dominoes from the stock until an opening double is picked and played. The domino that is first played is referred to as the lead.

## Scoring

In many domino games the pips or spots on a domino are divided into two equal parts, called ends. The value of each end is usually determined by the number of pips it contains or, in the case of a double-six set, by its rank (or weight). A tile with more pips is considered to be “heavier” than one that has fewer pips.

In most scoring domino games a player can score by forming a chain of end tiles that add up to a divisible multiple of five or three. The first such chain is scored as a single point, and additional points are awarded for each subsequent chain that is formed from the same initial domino.

Reducing the Board count to limit your opponents scoring play is a recurring theme in domino games. This can be done by selecting a non-double tile that connects to a standard end, then manually adding up the available hook ends.