Dominoes are small rectangular tiles with a line down the middle to divide them into two square ends. Each end has a value based on the number of spots, or pips.

Before a game begins, each player draws a domino for his hand. Any extra dominoes should remain in the stock and be reshuffled before the players draw their hands again.


Dominoes is a popular game around the world and it is played by adults as well as children. It requires a certain amount of skill to play well. It is also a great way to socialize with friends.

The first known set of dominoes were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun and are now on display at the Egyptian Museum. Some believe that these were the first dominoes and others claim they were not.

There is also debate over the origin of the word “domino”. Some say it is derived from Latin’s ‘dominus’ meaning master of the house and others claim it was based on a black and white hooded mask that French priests wore. Regardless of its origin, the game has become a worldwide phenomenon.


The basic rules of domino are the same for most games. Players take turns playing a tile to the domino chain. Each tile must match with the adjacent end of the previous tile played. This pattern of the line of play is called a layout or string. The matching ends are called matching sides.

The domino chain can be joined to other players’ trains if the train has an open end. However, a player cannot add to other players’ trains unless they have a marker on their own train.

If a player can’t play, they continue to draw until they have a legal move. Then they count the value of their opponent’s remaining pips and score accordingly. This winner becomes the overall winner of the round.


There are a variety of domino games that can be played. Different games have slightly different rules but most of them use the same basic principles. The most common in the West are the Block and Draw games. These are normally played with a standard double-six set but they can also be used with a double-nine or even a double-twelve set.

The first player places a tile which starts the line of play. Players then extend the line of play by placing tiles that match an open end on an already played domino. If a player cannot make a matching tile, they pass their turn.

Some variants allow players to add to their opponents’ trains, but only within specific conditions. For instance, the Mexican Train game uses a special double-nine set with extra tiles called “spinners” that can be played on any side of the line of play.


Dominoes were originally made from animal bones or ivory. In the 19th century craftsmen began using tagua nut, a hard and close-grained wood that can almost pass for ivory.

Today, dominoes are manufactured from less-exotic materials such as common plastic and tinplate. They are also sometimes made of thick paper cardstock similar to playing cards. Some sets have colored dots (one color per suit) to make it easier to match them up.

Traditional dominoes have a molded or drilled face that is marked with an arrangement of dots, called pips. There are usually 28 such dominoes in a complete set. The pips are used to identify each domino. The manufacture of dominoes containing ivory is illegal since 1990, when the international trade in that material was banned.


Dominoes are shaped like an asymmetrical square with a line dividing the domino’s face into two ends, each with a different number of spots (pips). The value on each end is called its rank.

To score points in a domino game, a player must place one or more tiles in a line, positioning them so that the exposed ends match each other. A domino with two matching ends is known as a spinner. The sum of the pips on the exposed halves of the first domino played and the two ends of a spinner are counted to calculate the score.

If a player cannot play any more tiles, his or her hand is considered “blocked” and the losing player is awarded the total number of pips in the winning player’s hand rounded to the nearest five. Similarly, in partnership games the winning partner is awarded the sum of his or her teammate’s pips.