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Domino – A Game of Skill and Luck


Domino is a game of skill and luck in which players place domino tiles on a grid. Each domino has two ends that are numbered, from one to nine, or blank.

The player who draws the highest domino goes first. If the first tile played is a double, it is called the spinner.


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The word domino is believed to be derived from the appearance of the domino pieces, which feature contrasting black spots on white backgrounds. The contrasting colors resemble a kind of hood worn by Christian priests in Europe, called a domino.

The term eventually evolved into the name of a game and then, finally, the playing piece itself. The modern domino set consists of thirty-two identical double-six-sided tiles, which are traditionally made from bone or wood but now are more commonly manufactured from heavy plastic.


Dominoes have a ridge or line on one side that divide them into two squares, each with an arrangement of dots (or pips) like those on a die. The pips on the two ends of each domino must match to link pieces in a chain.

The winning player is determined by drawing lots or, in some games, by the highest double in a hand. The winner of a hand then starts the next.

In some variants, players score points by counting the pips on the losers’ remaining tiles. In other variations, players score by subtracting the value of their own dominoes from the total value of the opponent’s. The game continues until a certain number of rounds are completed or until one player has accumulated the most points.


In the most basic form of the game, players place a tile on the table, then extend the line of play by adding matching tiles to either end. This gives rise to most characteristic domino games. In this form of the game pairs must be made of two tiles whose pips sum to twelve, or (in the case of doubles) to eighteen.

The starting double is usually a spinner, and the winner of each round is the player with the least number of points when all players can no longer continue. Depending on the rules of the particular game, this may be calculated by counting the total number of pips left in the losers’ hands at the end of a hand or the game.

This variation is most often played with the double-six set, but should be possible with the Double – nine and Double- twelve sets as well.


There are many different materials used to make dominoes today. Some of the most popular include wood, metal and plastic. There are also specialty materials such as foam for large yard domino sets. These are typically used in the case of a game that has multiple players or requires a lot of scoring.

Most modern mass-produced dominoes are made from wood or plastic. The quality varies greatly. Some are very thin and cheap, while others are thicker and more expensive. High end wooden dominoes are hand carved and often have a hefty price tag to match.

A good domino table should have a green baize surface. This is the same material that high quality snooker and billiard tables use. Baize provides a good surface for rolling and sliding, and it’s nice to the touch. It also cushions and mutes sound, making it a great choice for dominoes.


Dominoes are rectangular blocks with a fixed number of points in each square and a blank or identically patterned surface on the other side. They are often marked with a single number, and those that repeat this number are called doubles. The value of each domino is determined by summing the dots on both ends.

Most domino games are blocking games, and the winner is awarded points by counting the pips in his or her opponent’s hand. Alternatively, players may add up the total spots of all dominoes in their hands and round this amount to the nearest multiple of five.

When a player lays a piece on top of another, the values on the touching ends must match (ones touch ones and twos). A domino with exposed sides facing out is also scored by summing the points in both squares.

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