The Basics of Domino
Domino is a game in which players attempt to place tiles end to end, with the matching sides touching. They may play a single tile at a time, or multiples of each other. The resulting snake-like chain of dominoes can develop into an array of shapes at random, depending on the player’s imagination and the limitations of the playing surface.
There are many ways to play a domino game, and each set of dominoes has its own unique rules and strategy. The most common set is the double-six, with 28 tiles that vary from 0 (blank) to 6 (the number of possible faces on two six-sided dice).
A domino tile (also called a bone or domino) is a small rectangular ceramic tile with a line down the center and a number pips on each end. The numbers range from 0 to 6 in the most popular sets, but some larger sets have more pips or Arabic numerals.
These pips on the tiles are used to identify a particular domino when it’s placed on the table in front of the other players, as well as when identifying them when they are drawn from the set. The number of pips on an end is also the only way to know if any tile is a double or not, as it cannot be played unless it is a double.
When a player starts a game of domino, the first tile is placed on the table with its matching ends touching. Then, each player places the next tile on top of the first, placing the matching ends on top of the first and so on, until a tile is played to a double. Then the next player plays a tile to the double, then the third, and so on until a player has played all of his tiles.
The first tile that a player places on the table is usually a six-number domino, which may be played to any of the other players’ tiles, allowing all of those players to score points. The second tile, if placed to the left of the first, will have open ends of 5 and 6, and so on.
Each player can then place additional tiles to the original tile in a manner that produces any number of pips, resulting in a total of seven pips on each side of the original tile. As with all domino games, the player’s strategy is based on knowing which side of the initial tile is a double and how to position it in relation to other tiles.
Once a player has placed all of his tiles, he may then start laying them down in any order, but he must always make sure that all of the sides of the domino are matching, and the two exposed ends of each tile must touch fully. In most cases, the player must also place a double squarely on each of the other two matching sides, so that a square will be formed in each direction.