How to Play Dominoes


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, with one face marked with an arrangement of spots or dots that resemble those on dice. The other face is blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are often used for playing games in which players score points by laying adjacent dominoes edge to edge, so that the exposed ends of the dominoes match (e.g., a single-six domino touches two sixes, and the player scores points when the exposed numbers total a multiple of five). Dominoes may also be used to make shapes such as a house or a crown.

Lily Hevesh started playing with dominoes when she was 9 years old. Her grandparents had the classic 28-piece set, and she loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first domino over—and then watching the whole row fall.

Since then, she’s grown to become a professional domino artist, creating spectacular setups for movies, TV shows, and events. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers.

The game of domino is a great way to pass the time, whether with friends or family. However, it’s important to understand the rules of each game before you start playing. If you’re not sure, ask your friends or family for clarification. Then, be sure to practice the rules before you play for real.

In general, the game is played by a group of people sitting around a table or other flat surface. Each player takes a turn placing a domino on the table. The next player then plays a domino that matches either the number of spots on a previous tile or the number of spots on the left-most side of the table. The first player to cover all of the spots on their remaining tiles wins the game.

Usually, a domino is divided visually by a line into two squares, each of which is marked with an arrangement of spots or dots. The number of these spots or pips determines the value of the domino; a domino with more pips has a higher rank than a domino with fewer or no pips. A domino may also have an additional, blank square that is not counted as part of the rank.

There are a wide variety of games that can be played with dominoes, including positional games in which each player places a domino so that the adjacent sides match (i.e., a six-sided domino is played against another six-sided domino). Other games include rummy and solitaire. These games are sometimes played to circumvent religious prohibitions against card-playing.

The term domino effect is most commonly applied to the idea that one event can cause a chain reaction that leads to many different results. However, the principle can be applied to any situation in which one small trigger may lead to a large series of related outcomes. This is the premise behind a technique for managing task lists called the domino effect, developed by Lee Schwab in the early 1990s. This task management strategy is based on the idea that a small, high-impact task receives Schwab’s full attention until completion, and then its results flow into other tasks throughout the day.