What is Domino?

Domino is a game in which players lay out a line of tiles and score points. Similar to playing cards, dominoes bear identifying marks on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other.

In a game of dominoes, each player has a hand of seven tiles. Before each player draws his hand, the tiles are shuffled. The player who shuffled draws first.


Dominoes are a type of game played with rectangular blocks marked with two groups of spots, similar to those found on a die. A number of different games can be played with dominoes, some more complicated than others.

European dominoes first appeared in the early 1700s and were designed to mimic the results possible from throwing two six-sided dice. They also included duplicate combination tiles to allow for more than two players to play at a time, such as double six or double nine sets.

The word “domino” may have evolved from either Latin’s ‘dominus’ or from a hooded cape with black and white lining that French priests often wore during winter, but there is little agreement as to its origin. Like languages and diseases, there were many variations of dominoes at different times and in different regions, and they shaped our lives for centuries.


Domino games are a variety of layout games in which players add matching tiles from their hands to a table or layout in the center of the table. They can be blocking games, scoring games, or trick-taking games.

The most common domino games are block and block-like games. These are played with a single or double set of dominoes.

In block and block-like games, the goal is to play all of one’s dominoes. Each player is given a certain number of turns in each round and the winner is determined when all of the rounds have been completed.

The players must place a single or a double on the line of play to start a new round. Each single must be played end-to-end; a double must cross a single and must be perpendicular to its matching tile end.


The game of domino uses a variety of materials to make the tiles. These can include ivory, wood, stone, metal, and blown glass or crystal.

In the earliest versions of dominoes, these pieces were made from animal bones or ivory. Wealthy players favored ivory dominoes, and today they are rare and expensive.

Modern dominoes are made from a range of less exotic materials, including plastic, aluminum, and paper cardstock. They are also commonly adorned with images and pictures instead of dots, making it easier to identify the pips on each tile.

While dominoes can be made from a variety of materials, the most common ones are made from plastic or wood. They are also available in a variety of colors and designs.


There are a number of variations to domino that differ from standard play. Some are variants of block games, which rely on a double-six set, while others involve more complicated rules or require different sets of dominoes.

For example, in a block game with the double-6 set, players alternately extend a line of dominoes by placing one matching tile at each end. The sum of the pips on these tiles is used to determine if a player scores points.

Another variation is the Mexican Train, a game where players add dominoes to their personal train on each turn. They can also create a public train, which is always available to other players. This version is quite popular, because it adds more strategy to the game, and removes the luck involved in deciding when to play a double tile.


The etymology of domino is a bit of a mystery. It has been attributed to a variety of origins, including a black cloak and hood worn by priests, or by women in mourning.

In any case, a black robe with white spots, like a domino, has a long tradition in the Western world. Often used as a mask at masquerades, it was also formerly worn by ladies traveling in cold weather.

The earliest known European domino set dates from the 14th century, although some historians believe they originated in China and were imported into Europe much later. They were likely inspired by spotted dice, but it is not clear how they became the game tiles we know today.