# The Basics of Dominoes

Dominoes are a variation on playing cards. They bear identifying marks on one side, and are blank or identically patterned on the other.

Dominoes are usually marked with an arrangement of pips, like those used on a die. However, some larger domino sets use more readable Arabic numerals instead of pips.

## Rules

Dominoes is a game of skill and strategy. It is played with a shuffled deck of dominoes, each tile showing a number on one end or the other.

When the round is complete, a player with the highest score wins. Depending on the rules of the domino game, rounds may be played until a point limit is reached.

Players take turns, moving clockwise. The first player to play a domino makes the first play of the game, called “the set” or “the down.”

Once the player has made his/her domino, all other players must play a matching end of a domino in the same turn, adding their tiles to the free ends of a domino already in the line of play. The free end of the tile must have a matching number of pips to the free end of an existing domino.

In some variations, a player can play a double as a “Chicken Foot.” This is when a player plays the two pips on both ends of a domino to create an arrangement that looks like a chicken foot. This is usually not allowed in most games, but some variants allow it.

## Variations

There are many different kinds of dominos, and each can be used in a variety of ways. Some are made from wood and others from plastics. Some are more durable and long-lasting than others.

The most common type of domino is the double-six set. Each domino has a number of spots or pips on it, and the sum of those spots is 12 (see Table 2).

Players start the game with seven tiles from a double-six set, each of which starts a line of play on the table. Each player extends the line of play by placing a tile at one of its ends and plays a new domino on it.

Some domino games also have a spinner, which is a tile that can be played on all four sides of the line of play. These can be used to spin the table or to get a higher score.

## Materials

Dominoes are a set of small, flat tiles used in various games. They are also called bones, pieces, men, and stones, depending on the material they are made of.

The earliest dominoes were made from animal bones or ivory. However, they have since been manufactured from a variety of materials including wood, plastic, and even aluminum.

They are typically twice as long as they are wide, and feature a line or ridge in the middle to divide them into two squares. Each end is marked with a number of spots or pips, similar to a die.

These numbers range from six pips on one end to none or blank on the other. Tiles with the same value on both ends are called doubles; those with different values on either end are singles.

A good domino game table has a green felt surface to prevent the tiles from skidding or flipping over. In addition, a layer of baize on the surface provides some friction to help keep them in place. It also helps to cushion the table and mutes sound.

## Scoring

The scoring system in domino is one of the most important decisions a player must make. If the score is not in your favor, you can be beaten by a better opponent or a superior strategy.

A good scoring strategy is to play to your strongest numbers, while being mindful of the competition. This is particularly true if you are playing in teams where there are many players competing for your attention.

It’s also wise to consider how you are going to position your tiles and what numbers you have available. This will affect your choices and may even determine whether you have the right domino to match an opponent’s number.

In the grand scheme of things, the most impressive feature of domino is the way in which the tiles are arranged on the table. This involves a number of balancing acts and often takes the form of snake-line development based on the whims and constraints of the playing surface.