The Basics of Domino

Domino is a tile game played by two or more players. It is a classic example of a pattern-recognition game, where the players must match up a series of numbers on one end to a number on another end of a domino and then play a tile to create a chain that increases in length.

The most common domino games are bidding and blocking games, but there are also scoring games, and round games. The rules of each domino game are unique to that specific game. Most players draw the number of tiles permitted by the rules and then arrange them in their hand to form a line. When a player can no longer add to the line of play, he or she must “knock” (or rap on) the table, and play passes to the next player.

A domino is a rectangular tile with either a single or double row of dots. Each domino has a unique set of numbers, which are known as its pips, that are used to identify the domino in the line of play. The pips are usually color-coded to help the players distinguish the various types of tiles.

The number of pips on each end of the domino is determined by its type: a double-nine, for example, has 12 pips on both ends; a double-12 has 24 pips on both sides. There are a variety of ways to arrange the dominoes on the table to form a line, called the layout, string, or line of play. The open end of the domino that is used to begin play must be an even number, although there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Many games have different rules for scoring the winning player, but in general the winner is the person with the most pips remaining in his or her hand at the end of a domino game. Some games allow players to bye (draw additional tiles from the stock that can be added to the current line of play), while others require a player to “chip out” when the line of play is completed.

Students who are learning to count may also use the domino to demonstrate how addition and subtraction work. For example, a student can use the domino to show that adding three to five equals seven. The student can then use this understanding to create equations that will match the total number of dots on each end of a domino.

Dominoes are an ancient symbol of humanity’s innate desire for connection and camaraderie. Whether they are played in bustling city squares or quiet village homes, dominoes bring people together across cultural and linguistic boundaries and promote mutual respect. In a world where globalization has increased the number of differences between individuals, the shared experience of playing domino can be an important reminder that we are all human. For more information on the benefits of the game, check out our article, The Benefits of Dominoes.