Dominoes are small, flat, rectangular blocks used as gaming objects. They are commonly referred to as “bones,” “pieces,” “men,” or “cards.”
The basic rules of domino games are similar in most parts of the world, with variations. The game begins with players drawing one domino from a pool of stock.
Dominoes is a popular game played by two or more players. Its rules vary depending on the domino variant being played.
The first player begins by placing a domino piece face up on the center of the playing surface. He or she then matches the number shown on the piece to the pips shown on one of the other dominoes.
As play proceeds, each player builds a chain of dominoes that have matching ends touching. This chain gradually extends and is called the line of play or layout.
A point is scored when the open end of a tile (the end not touching any other domino) has pips that are a multiple of three or five.
Depending on the domino variant being played, blank tiles may serve as wild cards, which can be matched with other dominoes. This allows players to score points or block opponents’ moves.
There are several different variations of domino, all based on the basic game rules. Generally, these variations focus on strategy and not luck.
In positional games, players take it in turns to place a tile edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent faces are either identical (e.g., 5 to 5) or form some specified total. If the player misses, he is obliged to recall his tile.
For many of these games, the objective is to be the first to play all of your tiles. There are also some shedding games, such as All Fives, in which the goal is to minimise the unplayed tiles you have when the play ends.
There are also games involving the matching suits of dominoes, where the aim is to set a domino on one of the free ends that matches the value shown on the other end of that domino. Often these games require a’spinner’ domino, where the tile being played is angled to ensure that the new dominoes are placed on all three open sides of the spinner.
Dominoes are made of many different materials, including plastic, wood, bone, and ivory. The earliest dominoes were carved from cow and sheep bones. Later, sailors began to make dominoes out of tagua nut.
Today, dominoes are usually made from cheap wood or common plastic. They can also be made from aluminum or thick paper-card.
Modern mass-produced dominoes are available in a variety of colors and designs. Most come in sets of 28 or 58 tiles with 6-6 to 0-0 markings on the edges.
There are also sets of 12-12, with 91 or more tiles. These larger sets are popular for games with more than one player or for players looking for long domino games.
The best playing surface for dominoes is a card table with green felt. The felt keeps the tiles from getting scratched, and it slows down skidding or flipping over. It also helps deaden sound.
A domino game is not complete without a scoring system. During the course of the hand, each player or team adds a score based on the dominoes they hold. When the dust has settled, a winner is declared.
The winning player or team is awarded a prize or points, depending on the rules of the game. The most coveted prize is a shiny new domino, usually a ginormous hulking six-inch long double.
The scoring system is a little complex, but there are a few reputable methods of measuring a player’s success. The most basic method is to count the number of open end dots – the same for both players. Using the count as a starting point, a winner is awarded points based on the following formula. The other important component is a timer to ensure that each turn does not drag on unnecessarily. The best scoring system is one that combines the aforementioned methods.