How to Play Dominoes


Dominoes, sometimes called dice, are a type of playing card used in many games. These cards are made up of rectangular pieces with a line down the center, and have a number on each of the two sides. Some large sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips.

The game of dominoes originated in China around the 12th or 13th century. They were first seen in Italy in the early 18th century, and moved to France and England by the middle of the 18th century. There, they became popular as a fad.

Dominoes are made from a variety of materials, including ivory, bone, and wood. European-style dominoes are traditionally made of dark hardwood such as ebony. In the Inuit tribes of Canada, they are played with bones.

A common domino is about one inch wide and three-eighths of an inch thick. It has a line down the center and a marking of pips on both sides. This makes it possible to recognize each tile. Although some are blank, other sets have a line or pattern along the bottom or a number at the top.

Most domino games involve a player taking turns adding dominoes to a platform. Before the game begins, players must agree on a target score. Once a player reaches that score, the game ends. Other domino games include blocking and trick-taking. When a player loses a hand, the game counts pips on the losing player’s tiles.

For a domino to be played, it must be placed so it touches one of the two end chains of the domino. If a domino has the same number on both ends, the player is said to have “stitched up” the ends. As the set gets larger, it becomes harder to identify the pips on each domino.

The first domino to be placed on the table is a double-six. This means that the first and second tiles each have a 6 and 5. To play to the left of 6-6, the third tile must be a 5-5. Players can also play to the right of 6-6.

After the first player’s turn, the next player draws a domino and places it in front of him. He or she then matches a part of the first tile to the corresponding part of the domino. All of the rest of the tiles must be face down. If a player does not have any dominoes, he or she must draw from the pile.

In this variant, the players are not allowed to see the pips on the other player’s tiles. Instead, the player who is losing can see the total number of the other player’s tiles. Alternatively, the game is played with a double-six set. Each player must have nine tiles at the beginning of the game. However, the concentration variant requires all players to have at least twelve tiles.

Another variant is called the rap. During this game, a player can only rap the table after a player has knocked the first two tiles of the chain. At that point, the tower must be unstable enough for the next player to knock.

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