How to Play Dominoes

In most domino games, the player with the highest double makes the first play. The next player then lays single dominoes on the board until they cannot make a match for the other side of the tile. This first domino is referred to as the’spinner’.

Domino is a term that earlier denoted a long hooded cloak worn with a mask at a masquerade. The word has now become synonymous with the game of domino.


Before a game of domino begins, each player must draw the number of tiles permitted for his hand according to the rules of the particular game being played. A player must continue to draw from the boneyard until he finds a domino he can play and then adds that domino to his hand.

Each domino must be played so that it matches the corresponding number on a previously played domino along its long side. This ensures that the entire length of the domino chain is completed. If a player is unable to make a match, the tile must be returned to the boneyard.

Some games, such as Mexican Train, have players build trains of dominoes by adding a new tile to their hand each turn. When a player clears his hand of all but one domino, he wins the game and scores an amount equal to the value of the remaining Dominoes in his opponent’s hand.


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, marked with dots resembling those on dice. They can be used for a variety of games. The most common domino set contains 28 tiles, called “pieces,” that represent different numbers. Each tile features two values, known as ends or pips, which range from six to none or blank.

Most domino sets also come in a storage case. These vary from simple cardboard boxes to vinyl snap lock cases. They can also be made of wood, and some even include a cribbage board built into the case’s lid.

The risk analysis of domino effects is a complex process, and it requires multidisciplinary expertise and know-how, an adequate mindset, an eye for both the detail and the big picture, thorough collaboration efforts, and a generalistic perspective with specialist knowledge. To make this analysis more manageable, methods for quantifying uncertainties are introduced. This article discusses these methods, including Bayesian network technology and Monte Carlo simulation.


Dominoes are marked with an arrangement of spots, called pips, on one face and blank or identically patterned on the other. Each domino has a different value depending on the number of pips on each side. Some dominoes have only an odd or even number of pips.

Players take turns playing a domino onto the table positioning it so that it touches one end of the domino chain which gradually increases in length. A player may also add to their own personal train on their turn if they can.

This is a popular variant that works well with Double Nine sets. It begins the same as Cross dominoes and allows two new chains to form after any doublet that is placed. Play continues until the hand of a player becomes empty and the winner is whoever has the fewest dots in their hand. This can be a very strategic game! Blocking works the same as in other domino variants.


Whether you play domino for fun or as part of a tournament, scoring is an important aspect of the game. Each player draws a certain number of tiles from the stock (also known as the boneyard). Then, in turn, each plays a domino on the table positioning it so that its matching end touches one or the other end of the chain. This way the chain gradually grows in length.

Each end of a domino has a value of either dots or blanks. A tile with more dots is a heavier piece than a blank or zero-pointed one. The resulting value is counted when summing the ends of the domino chain.

In most domino games the first player to reach a predetermined target score wins. If the game becomes blocked, then each player counts the value of their remaining dominoes to determine a winner. The loser will get a negative score. To avoid this, try to block your opponent(s) by playing the highest numbers early on in the game.