The Basics of Domino


Domino is a fun game of chance and strategy. It is also an excellent way to introduce math concepts to kids. It’s not hard to see why domino has remained popular for so long.

There are many variations of the game, but nearly all the games fall into four categories: blocking and scoring games, domino chains, and a few solitaire games that are often played to circumvent religious prohibitions against playing cards. Generally speaking, the rules of domino are easy to learn, but it can take a long time to master all the games.

A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, thumb-sized in size, with one side blank and the other bearing from one to six dots or pips, resembling those on dice. A complete set consists of 28 such blocks. It is common to extend the basic set by adding more pips to the ends, giving a total of double-nine (253 tiles), double-12 (91 tiles) and so on.

Each domino has a value indicated by the arrangement of its pips. The pips may be all of the same value or they may be different values, ranging from six down to none or blank. The value of a domino is also referred to as its rank or weight, although this term is not generally used in the United States.

When a domino is played, it starts a chain reaction that causes the rest of the dominoes to be tipped over by the force of gravity. A chain reaction of this type is called a domino rally. Domino rallies can be very exciting, but it is important to remember that they are a result of the prior action of the player who laid the first domino. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every player to be sure that he or she plays his or her tile before starting a domino rally.

In many games of domino, the number of pips on the open end of a tile determines its ranking or weight. A tile with a large number of pips is generally considered to be heavier than a tile with few pips.

Some games of domino require players to count the pips on the losers’ remaining tiles and add this amount to their score at the end of the hand or the game. Other games require the losing players to count their own remaining pips and subtract this number from their score at the end of a hand or game. In either case, it is the responsibility of the losing players to be certain that their scores are accurate.

In some games, a domino is described as being a spinner if it can be played on all four sides. Depending on the rules of the game, some doubles are spunners and others are not. When a player is required to make a play on a spinner, it must be placed in such a manner that its matching end touches the matching end of the previous tile. This is called “touching” a double.