The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are small blocks that can be stacked on end in long lines. When one domino is tipped over, it causes the next to fall and sets off a chain reaction. This simple concept has led to amazing designs.

The word domino first appeared in France around 1750, although it had earlier meant a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask at carnival season or at a masquerade. It also referred to a priest’s cape over his surplice.


The game of domino is a popular pastime that tests a player’s patience and skill. Its rules and regulations are complex, but it is a great way to socialize with friends. There are many different games to choose from and the rules for each one vary slightly. Some are more competitive while others require cooperation and teamwork.

Dominoes originated in China and were then brought to Europe in the early 1700s, probably by French prisoners of war. They quickly became a favorite in family parlors and British pubs. It is believed that the name “domino” is derived from the Latin dominus, which means master of the house, or from a mask that resembled the black and white domino half-masks worn in Venetian carnivals. The name may also have been inspired by hooded caps with white and black linings worn by French priests.


In most domino games the objective is to empty a player’s hand by blocking their opponents’ plays. A winning hand may consist of one or more rounds, with points scored in each end accumulating towards a total score. Some games also award bonus plays of an additional tile when a player makes a double play.

The winner of the last game may open the next round or a player with the highest double in their hand begins play. In other games the players draw lots to determine who starts the game, or the heaviest tile is set on the table.

Each domino has an identifying mark on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The identifying marks are called pips.


There are many different games that can be played with domino. Most of them are either blocking or scoring games. The winner is the player who reaches a set amount of points in a given number of rounds. These rules must be agreed upon by the players before play begins.

Domino sets have been made from a variety of materials, including stone, other woods, and metals. They also come in a range of styles and colors. Some are made from natural materials, such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) or ivory, with a contrasting dark hardwood such as ebony.

Domino logic circuits can be used to design high fan-in gates for high-speed microprocessors. They minimize power dissipation and improve noise immunity without affecting delay variations. This is achieved by using two keeper transistors in series with an evaluation transistor.


Dominoes are made from a variety of materials. Some of the most common are wood, paper, and plastic. Some sets are even made of stone. Modern domino sets are usually mass produced. Historically craftsmen used tagua nut, which looks like ivory, to make dominoes, chess pieces, and dice. In the 19th century, craftsmen used a type of plastic called bois durci to manufacture their dominoes. The next kind of plastic invented for domino production was Parkesine.

To make your own domino jewelry, you will need a set of dominoes (old fashioned or newer plastic ones), miscellaneous papers, scissors, decoupage medium, and jump-rings or pin-backs. Before you begin, work in a clean, dust-free and temperature controlled area. Prepare your resin according to the packaging directions.


The scoring system for domino varies from game to game. In some games, players may be scored individually, while others are scored as a team. The player with the lowest score is declared the winner. Often, rounds are predetermined or played until a specific number of points is reached.

The way the tiles are positioned also provides part of the entertainment. Each tile must be positioned so that it touches the two matching ends of the chain. This causes the chain to form a snake-line pattern.

Some players choose to subtract the value of their dominoes from each opponent’s, rounded to a multiple of five. This is a more complicated method, and beginners may find it difficult to count the outstanding pips in their hands.