The Basics of Dominoes


The domino principle refers to a cascade of events stemming from one small trigger. It was originally used in politics when Eisenhower cited the domino effect to explain America’s decision to offer aid to South Vietnam.

Dominoes are usually played on a flat surface, such as a table or floorboard. Before each game, players shuffle the tiles face down on the playing surface, thoroughly mixing them with their hands.


The rules of domino are generally agreed upon by the players and may vary by game. However, there are certain fundamental rules that are common to most games. They include: Order of Play, Line of Play and Scoring.

The player making the first play is determined by the rules of the game being played. He is often referred to as the setter, downer or lead. He places his tile on the table positioning it so that one of its ends touches the end of a previously played tile or an open side of a double. This results in a chain of dominoes that is usually either vertical or horizontal depending on the game being played.

After all players draw an equal number of tiles for their hand, any leftover unseen dominoes are discarded. Each player then looks at their hand carefully so that only they and the other players know what they hold. The game continues until one player has no more dominoes to play and is declared the winner.


A domino (also known as bones, cards, men, or tiles) is a rectangular piece of wood or a plastic tile. Its surface is divided visually into two square halves by a line, with one of the squares marked with an arrangement of dots called pips. The other is blank or identically patterned. Dominoes have a variety of uses, including a wide range of games.

Most modern domino sets are made from materials such as metals, plastic, or stone. They are typically mass produced, and are inexpensive and durable. In contrast, high-end wooden dominoes are handmade and are considered works of art. They have hefty price tags that reflect the time and labor involved in their construction.

Most people prefer to play domino on a felt-lined table, which helps protect the backs and faces of the pieces from scratches. A felt-lined table also prevents the pieces from sliding and allows for quicker connection of tiles. A good quality felt-lined table can be purchased from most retailers that sell dominoes.


There are many different ways to play domino. Each game has its own unique set of rules, and the way the game is played varies by region and culture.

The rules of the game may differ in how dominoes are placed, what pips count as 1, 2, or 0, and how pairs form. There are also variations in how the game is scored. Some games, for example, require each player to subtract the total value of the tiles remaining in his hand from a running total, which must always be a multiple of five.

Other variations in how the game is played depend on whether or not a single tile can be added to the end of an existing domino. The word “up” is sometimes used for adding a tile to the side of an existing domino, while the words “down,” “snake-line,” and “the lead” are used for placing a domino that straddles or touches an end of another already played domino.


Dominoes (also known as bones, cards, men, or pieces) are rectangular with a line in the center and a number at each end. The most common domino set contains 28 tiles with values ranging from six pips to zero or blank. When players attach a domino from their hand to the exposed ends of those already played, they score points. In most games, the first player to reach a target score (usually 150 points) wins the game.

Domino chains develop in a snake-line pattern as the players link tiles together by matching their exposed ends. If the chain includes a double, the two matching ends must touch fully to be joined. The value of each tile is its number of pips unless the game specifies otherwise. There are two main strategies in domino, scoring and blocking. In the scoring game, players try to get the largest possible score without considering who will dominateo at the end of a hand.