The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a small thumb-sized block of wood or other material bearing anywhere from one to six pips or dots, which together form 28 pieces to make up a set. They’re used for positional games in which one domino is placed edge to edge against another domino edge-to-edge against its opposite, matching adjacent faces or totalling some specified total; with its open end serving as the starting point for future plays; such a configuration of dominoes resulting from these sequences of plays known as its layout string or line of play; one may also choose just playing single tiles without creating lines of play!

There are various domino games you can enjoy with a set of dominoes, each of which have their own rules and structures. Most domino games fall into four main categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games.

Dominoes have long been a timeless pastime. Easy to learn, with minimal special equipment requirements, Dominoes provides hours of fun for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds alike. Dominoes is also a fascinating study of patterns between individual tiles or along the line of play – offering both mental stimulation and an enjoyable pastime experience!

For those without the space or time to build their own sets, commercial versions are also readily available. Most commonly sold versions include double-nine (55 tiles), double-12 and double-18 with more extensive sets containing over double the amount of tiles available.

Common scoring strategies in most domino games involve counting the losing players’ total number of pips at the end of a hand or game and adding that total to their winner’s score. Sometimes this method may be modified by not including double (e.g. 4-4) in its total count.

Dominoes are typically played on a square table with the open ends of two adjacent dominoes touching. A string or layout formed by these dominoes is known as the “line of play” while any domino placed along this line is known as its lead. Opening of dominoes, known as a “pip” or “lead.” On double dominoes this is usually known as either the “with” end; on singles it could be either the “crosswise” end. The term domino has an intriguing history behind its creation! English and French terms originally refered to a long, hooded cloak worn with a mask during carnival season or a masquerade; some scholars speculated that its name alluded to black dominoes being juxtaposed against white surplices – hence its definition as an allusion. It’s likely that the term was borrowed from similar garments worn in Italy and France during the 1750s; its initial appearance appears in a French publication. It wasn’t until sometime during the 19th century when dominoes and dominos first entered English parlance.