# How to Play Dominoes

A domino is a rectangular tile with pips on one or both ends. The pips may be printed or drawn. Dominoes are used to play games of chance and skill. The game can be played in groups or alone.

Most domino games require players to match the pips on their open end to those of another tile. The number of matched pips determines the count, which is part of the winning score.

## Rules

There are many types of domino sets in use throughout the world and a wide variety of games that can be played with them. The basic rules shown on this website apply to most of them, but some exceptions exist.

In most of the games, the players draw a domino to establish who begins. The player with the highest double usually starts, although some people prefer to draw lots for this position.

Each player then adds a tile to the line, positioning it so that its matching end touches one of the open ends of an already-played domino. Some games make it a rule that only certain numbers may be added to the end of the line, while others do not restrict this.

The game is won when no player can lay another domino, or when the line reaches a point where the players cannot continue adding tiles to it. When this happens, the players count their points and the person with the lowest score wins.

## Variations

Like playing cards, dominoes are rectangular wood or plastic blocks with identifying markings on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The identifying markings are arranged in a pattern similar to those on dice. Modern commercial sets often use colored dots to distinguish different end values.

The most common game uses a double-six set. Pairs are made of tiles whose pips sum to 12. Each player must put a tile so that its exposed ends match those of adjacent tiles. If they cannot match a tile, they must draw another from the boneyard.

Many variants are based on blocking or scoring. Some are purely strategy games, such as matador or bendomino. Other games are more arithmetic in nature. For example, Mexican train requires players to build a chain of tiles extending out from a cross-ways double. Once the chain is complete, a player earns points. However, the other players may block the player’s play by placing a tile on the same line of play.

## Materials

A domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used for gaming. Its faces are divided into two parts, each bearing from one to six dots resembling those on dice. A complete set of dominoes contains 28 such pieces. Depending on the game, each domino is usually twice as long as it is wide. It is also known as a bone, a card, a piece, or a stone.

In the modern world, there are several different types of dominoes made of a variety of materials. The most common are plastics, metals, and wood. However, specialty materials like foam are used for giant yard dominoes and are not included in this list.

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## Scoring

Depending on the game variant, scoring is based on whether or not the exposed ends of the dominoes in a row add up to a multiple of five. In some games, doubles are played perpendicular to the line and count as two individual dominoes for scoring purposes.

As the number of dominoes increases, it becomes more difficult to count them. For this reason, some larger sets use more readable Arabic numerals on the pips instead of the more traditional rounded dots.

When players are paired up, they compete to clear their hand of dominoes by blocking opponents’ play. This allows the winning player to score more points than their opponent. Other scoring systems, such as bergen and muggins, are based on the number of dominoes left in each player’s hand. Domino is a fully managed cloud service that scales to meet the needs of your business. Run it on-premises, in your private or public clouds, or in a hybrid multi-cloud environment.