What is a Domino?


A flat thumb-sized rectangular block bearing from one to six pips or dots on either side: 28 such tiles form a complete domino set. Also called bones, cards, men, or pieces.

Lily Hevesh has long loved dominoes, setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first domino to watch them fall in rhythmic succession. Physicist Stephen Morris calls this a domino effect.


There are a great many games that can be played with a domino set. They often have different rules but all share some basic principles. The first is that the players must, in turn, play a domino into the table positioning it so that one of its ends matches a preceding domino. The chain that thus develops is called a chain or line of play.

When a player cannot make another play they “knock” (bang or otherwise tap the edge of a domino on the table) and forfeit their turn to the next player. They may draw new tiles from the stock if they wish but in the event that no tile is available they must pass.

Usually before each game the players shuffle the tiles thoroughly mixing them with their hands. The winner of the game scores by adding up the spots on his or her remaining tiles. Losers subtract the winner’s spot total and round to the nearest multiple of five.


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with one side blank and the other bearing an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. There are usually 28 such pieces in a full set of dominoes.

Modern commercial sets are made from a variety of materials, including plastics such as ABS and polystyrene, Bakelite and other phenolic resins. These resins often are tinted to create a unique look. In the past, dominoes were crafted from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory and dark hardwoods like ebony, with white or black pips inlaid or painted on them.

To make your own handmade domino necklaces, you will need a few supplies: dominoes (the old-fashioned kind, or the newer plastic kinds), scissors, a decoupage medium and a sponge brush or a paintbrush to apply it. You will also need a jump-ring or pin back to attach the piece of jewelry to a chain or necklace.


There are many variations to the game of domino, each with its own special rules and scoring. Some variants require the players to play all of their tiles in order to win the hand. This is called the “pip count” and is a key part of the scoring system in this type of game.

Another common variation is to use a larger domino game set, such as the Double-Twelve or Double-Nine sets. This increases the number of possible combinations of ends. This allows the players to make pairs that total more than 12 points, which makes the game more challenging and strategic.

In this variant, each player draws a hand of seven dominoes and takes turns placing them edge to edge on the table. This creates a line of play where the exposed ends all match, and scores are made whenever there is a domino on each end that adds up to a multiple of five.


The scoring system in domino is different depending on the type of game being played. For most games the winner gets points based on the value of all the remaining dominoes in the losing player’s hand rounded to the nearest multiple of five. For this reason, the best strategy for winning a game is to avoid high-numbers early on.

For example, say it’s your opponents turn and the board count is 12. You could either play the 1-2 tile (making the BC 13) or you could reduce the Board count by hooking the big end of the 1-6 tile (keeping the BC at 10pts).

Keep in mind that each time you reduce the Board count for your opponent you will limit the amount of points they can score on their next play. Keeping this in mind will help you to avoid making costly mistakes in your strategy. In addition, it is also a good idea to pay close attention to the number of tiles that are left in your opponents boneyard.