The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game in which players play tiles with numbers on either end, forming a square. Each player tries to get rid of their own dominoes and is the winner when all rounds have been played or when a point limit has been reached.

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There are many variations in domino rules, but most include the basic elements of a game. The rules of the game dictate how the game is played, who begins the first play, and what types of matches are allowed. A basic match is a double touching one or two adjacent doubles on either end. If the exposed ends total any number of multiples of five, the player scores points.

A player may draw more tiles for his hand than he is permitted to according to the rules of the game. If this is discovered, the extra tiles are removed from his hand and returned to the stock and reshuffled before he draws his next hand.

Players may choose to play to score or to block. In the scoring game, a player tries to get as many points as possible without regard to who dominates or blocks. In the blocking game, a player tries to force a blocked game with the goal of getting the lowest negative score.


Many variations of domino exist. These include matador, where the goal is to play a number that totals seven when added to an end, and muggins, in which players attempt to make the sum of the open ends on the layout a multiple of five. In most of these games, the player with the highest score is declared the winner.

Another variation is straight domino, in which two to four players draw from a boneyard and take turns laying domino halves side by side on the table to form a chain. One point is scored every time the chain contains a tile that has an exposed end that is divisible by either five or three. A chain that is completely filled with dominoes belongs to the winning player. Some sets are “extended” with additional ends so that more combinations of numbers can be made. This makes the game faster and more interesting. But it also requires a larger number of tiles than the basic double-six set.


Many domino players use a special tile rack made from wood with ridges and backstops cut into it to hold a row of six to nine tiles stacked side to side. This allows people with smaller hands to handle the tiles without strain. High end wooden dominoes that are hand carved by true craftsmen are also available, but they have hefty prices that reflect the time and artistry put into them.

A domino table is usually covered with green baize for the playing surface. This is one of the best materials for a gaming table, being both pleasant to touch and providing a good level of friction that resists skidding. It also cushions and mutes sound, which is important for games like snooker.

Festool has developed a wide range of useful accessories to work with the Domino joiner, including flat and corner connectors that enable you to make quick connections and to quickly adjust the height of your fence. These can be purchased separately or bundled into sets with the Domino machine.


The winner is determined by counting the total of spots on all opposing players’ dominoes. These totals are rounded to the nearest multiple of five. The number of spots on a domino is called its rank or weight. The higher the rank, the more points the domino is worth.

There are many different ways to determine who starts the game, including drawing lots or seating arrangements. The game can be played until one player wins or until a predetermined point limit is reached.

A scoring system may be used based on the number of exposed ends on each domino, or in relation to another domino in the same line. For example, if a domino has two exposed ends (not including the spinner), and the pips on these end total eight, you score that amount. This method makes the score for a domino clearer and easier to understand. Moreover, it does not depend on whether the exposed ends are doubles.