What is Domino?

Domino is the name of a game played with small rectangular blocks that have one or more sides blank or marked by an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. The term can also refer to a hooded costume worn with a mask at a masquerade or to a type of teddy bear.


A domino game consists of a series of rounds with a winner declared at the end of a set. Its rules vary between different versions, but the basic goal is to be the first player to reach a target score.

Players draw seven dominoes from the pool and start playing with whichever one has the highest double (although some people prefer to draw lots to establish who starts). They take turns placing a domino on the table, positioning it so that its ends match a previously played piece. If a player cannot play he or she “knocks” and play passes to the next player.

The goal is to create a chain of matching dominos across the table that extends as far as possible. The first player to do so wins the round and scores based on the value of the opposing players’ dominoes. Scoring rules differ between different games, but they normally involve adding up the number of pips on each player’s tiles.


Although there are many different variations to the domino game, they all fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games. Each category has its own rules and nuances, but they all work to create the same outcome: a domino chain developing into a snake-line on the table.

The first player to complete a full train is called the winner. A player may only play a tile to a double when it has a number showing on both ends (this is known as “stitching up” the ends). The chain develops into a snake-line according to the rules of the game.

In most domino games, winners are determined by the total sum of all the spots on their remaining tiles. The winner is typically the partner with the lowest amount of spots, but it is possible for a domino to end up block or locked down – in which case the players who played all their tiles will share the winnings.


Today dominoes are made from a variety of materials. The most common are plastics, metals and wood. There are many variants of each of these types. For example, some plastics are colored and others have a smooth surface for a better grip. Metals may be engraved with numbers or have an attractive design. Wood dominoes can be inexpensive, mass produced for applications like classroom domino mosaics or highly crafted works of art that command hefty price tags.

A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, the face of which is marked with dots resembling those on dice. Each domino is divided visually into two square halves and the number of spots (also called pips) on each side represents a particular value from one to seven. Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide. This makes them easier to re-stack after use. Some games also require a special marker to identify the player’s stake or “bank” and to help keep track of points scored in some games.


There are many different ways to score a game of domino. In a scoring game the player attempts to get as many points as possible, regardless of who has the most tiles or who dominoes. In a blocking game, the player attempts to keep opponents from getting points by attempting to block their dominos.

Before a hand of domino begins, the tiles are shuffled. This is usually done by placing them face down on a table and moving them around in a random way without maintaining contact with any particular tiles. The players then draw a hand of dominoes and the person who draws the highest double goes first. The remaining unused tiles are called the boneyard.

The value of a domino is determined by the number of pips on its two ends. These ends may be numbered or blank. A domino with a single pips is sometimes referred to as a spinner. The idiom domino effect, originally a political reference, refers to any situation in which one small trigger starts a series of events.