How to Play Domino


The game of domino is played with small rectangular game pieces. These tiles are usually made of wood or bone. They are half the width of their long counterparts, and have identifying marks on one side. There are several variations of the game, and they are used all over the world. However, the basic goal of most games is to get a set number of points.

In order to play, players must position their tiles so that they touch one end of a chain of dominoes. Depending on the version, the players can also add or subtract tiles from any line of the chain.

The most common type of domino set is the double-nine set, which includes 55 tiles. Traditional materials for these dominoes are dark hardwood such as ebony and ivory. Other sets, such as the double-18 and the double-15, have 190 and 253 tiles, respectively.

The first tile played is usually a double-six. This can be a vertical tile or a horizontal tile, depending on the layout of the game. A double-six can be paired with a double-four, which is placed perpendicular to the line, or with a double-five, which is placed across the end of the chain.

The player with the highest double leads with a double-six. Next, the player with the next-highest double leads with a double-four. As the game proceeds, other players can add or subtract from any line, and each time a player plays a trick, the total of the pips on the opponent’s tile counts toward the player’s score.

A straight dominoes game is played by two to four people, and a variety of other versions exist, including the popular Mexican train. Players are divided into teams and take turns picking out their dominoes from stock. When the last player chips out, the game ends. Some versions of the game require both partners to chip out.

Another popular variant is the block game, which is played with a double-six set. This game is easy to learn and is a fun way to teach youngsters about the math concepts that are at the heart of a domino game. For example, if the total number of pips on all the open ends is divisible by five, then the player wins the game. If it is divisible by three, then the winner gets the number of pips that corresponds to the size of the largest tile in his or her hand.

One variation of the block game involves a spinner. The spinner is a metal piece that sits in the middle of the dividing bar, and is used to help the player rotate the dominoes in their hands. Spinners are designed to hold two dominoes together, and can be used to play up to four dominoes on them.

One of the earliest forms of the game of domino is found in southern Germany and Italy, but it was not until the mid-18th century that the game reached England. French prisoners of war brought the game to Britain. It spread to Austria and France, and by the 1860s dominoes had made their way into American literature.

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