Domino – A Game of Skill


Domino is a game of skill. The game is usually played with more than one player, although it can also be a solitaire game. Players take turns to play dominoes in a line. Each domino must match the pips of the open end of the previous tile played.

It can be helpful to strategically use doubles. This can counter one of the basic domino strategies.


There are many different rules for domino, which differ between games and between players. When playing with multiple players, a single player starts the game by drawing a number of tiles that are placed on-edge in front of him (this allows each player to see their own tiles, but not their opponent’s). The winner of this initial draw then proceeds to make his first play.

The heaviest tile (determined either by lot, or by who holds the first double in their hand) is played to start a domino chain. The chain then continues as each player adds their tiles to it. In most cases, the new tile must match one end to an open end of a previous tile in the chain.

Some games end when all players run out of dominoes that can be played, and others continue until one player reaches an agreed-upon score (usually 100 or 200 points). The scoring method may also vary between games; for example, some games count only one end of a double, while other games count both ends.


Over the years domino has been made from a wide variety of materials. The most common are plastics, metals, wood and stone. Some sets are very colorful and resemble playing cards in appearance, while others are much more rustic.

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that have a line down the center and each end is marked with an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. Each side of the tile has a different number of spots or pips and some are blank, representing a zero.

The most common domino set is double six, which contains 28 unique tiles. These pieces are usually twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to stack and maneuver. They are also thick enough to stand on their edge. The most luxurious dominoes are often made from silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, bone or ivory and are painted with contrasting black or white pips. In the 19th century, basic aluminum and tinplate became popular as domino materials as well. In the 20th century, bakelite (a compound of phenol and formaldehyde) replaced the earlier Parkesine.


Dominoes are small rectangular wood or plastic blocks with a line in the middle to divide them visually into two squares. One side of the domino is marked with a number of spots or pips that resemble those on dice, and the other is blank. Each domino has a value that can be used to score points in various games.

During gameplay, players lay down tiles in a line by matching one end of their tile to the open end of an adjacent tile. Depending on the game, some doubles may be used as spinners (played at right angles to the rest of the line) with pips on both sides counted; or all of the sides may be played to form a complete domino chain.

The player who scores the most points in a given round wins the game. The game continues until a player is unable to play and must draw from the boneyard.


A domino that has a number on both ends is called a double, and the sum of the numbers on each end counts as one point. A double that is exposed sideways, and therefore has a number on only one of its ends, is called a blank.

In some games, a double is scored twice, once for the number on its left end and once for the number on its right end. If both sides of a double have different numbers, the domino is called a spinner.

Once a hand is over, the winning player subtracts the total pip value of all the remaining dominoes in his or her opponents’ hands from their score (rounded to the nearest multiple of five). The winner also adds his or her points from any outstanding dominoes in his or her boneyard. In many domino games, the player who is the first to play a double wins. This strategy is often referred to as playing to domino.