# What You Need to Know About Dominoes

The game of domino is one of the most popular board games around. It has a number of variants, but all have one thing in common: they use tiles to play the game.

Each tile is rectangular with a line down the middle and dots on each side called pips. These pips can be used to connect ends of a domino tile or score points.

## Origins

The origins of domino are a matter of debate, though it’s believed that the game originated in China and that European versions appeared in Italy in the 18th century. Regardless of the truth behind their origins, dominoes are still played all over the world.

In addition to the typical blocking and scoring games that dominate most people’s thoughts about dominoes, there are also several other variations of the game. These include solitaire and trick-taking games.

Cascading dominoes are a fun way to explore the idea of cause and effect. When one domino tile is knocked over, it causes the next to fall and so on. This cascading effect is a metaphor for the progression of events and behaviors that occur in society.

## Rules

The rules of domino vary between different games. However, they generally follow a similar structure.

In most games, players take turns placing dominoes on the table in an attempt to match the numbers on them. If the end of one domino has a number that matches another, it is called a “double.”

Doubles are usually played crosswise. If a player cannot join a double to a matching domino, he draws from the boneyard until he can.

In a variation of the game, called Spinner Dominoes, players make a chain of tiles with matching ends touching. Each time one of the open ends of a tile (the end that is not touching any other tile) is a multiple of 3 or 5, players score points.

## Variations

There are many variations of domino, most of which are based on traditional positional games. Some are adaptations of card games, such as matador and muggins.

Block dominoes is the simplest basic game; it requires a double-six set and a block of seven tiles from which each player draws. Players then extend a single tile from each end of the line to one side.

Straight dominoes is similar; players begin by drawing seven dominoes from a bone yard and take it in turns to lay matching domino halves end to end. They score points whenever the pips on open-end dominoes add up to a multiple of five.

Another common variant is Mexican train, which involves taking turns in making your personal domino train as long as possible without playing other tiles. This allows players to use all their available tiles, even if they have drawn them from the boneyard.

## Materials

The material used to make domino tiles has changed dramatically since the game was first introduced. Back in the day, Chinese domino sets were made of actual animal bone, while wealthier players favored ivory tiles.

Today, dominos are available in a variety of materials including wood and plastic. Some of the less expensive sets are mass-produced and sold in department stores, while other sets are hand-forged by artisans with a keen sense of craft.

The most common type of domino set available on the market is a standard plastic set. These have the Domino Day-inspired size of 4.8 x 2.4 x 0.75 cm (1.8 x 0.94 x 0.3 in) with a weight of around 8 grams (0.28 oz) per piece and are available in a wide range of opaque and translucent colors.

## Scoring

The scoring system in domino is simple. At the end of each hand, the winning player (or team) adds to their score based on the number of dominoes in their opponents’ hands.

Some players play a variant of this game called muggins in which the sum of the open ends on the tiles is scored. In this version, if a player can place a piece that makes the sum of the open ends a multiple of five, then he scores the number of pips on the piece.

A similar strategy is used in the British social club game All Threes. In this version, if a doublet is played along a chain of other doubles, each side of the chain is counted in the final sum.