How to Play Dominoes


Domino is a game in which the players place domino pieces on end in lines, with one or more open ends facing each other. When a domino is tipped over, it causes the rest of the line to fall. The result is a sequence of actions, each building on the previous and resulting in greater and more complex results. This is known as the Domino Effect. Dominoes can be used to build curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

Dominoes are traditionally made from a material such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting white or black spots inlaid or painted on each piece. They can also be made of ceramic clay, metals and other materials. They can be purchased in sets, with the tiles arranged in various configurations. The size and shape of the tiles can vary; most are cylinder-shaped, though some are square, rectangular or even hexagonal.

Most domino games involve emptying a player’s hand while blocking opponents’ play or scoring points, with the latter usually determined by counting the number of pips on the losing players’ tiles at the end of a hand or the game. However, there are also many other ways to play the game, including blocking, scoring, and trick-taking games. Some of these are adaptations of card games and were popular in areas where religious restrictions on playing cards prohibited their use.

Some people have made domino art, using the pieces to create intricate designs that look like walls or trains. Lily Hevesh, a 20-year-old who has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers, has taken her domino collection to the next level by creating elaborate setups that she then films for her domino art channel. Her videos demonstrate how to make curved lines, stacked walls, 3D structures and more.

Another way to enjoy domino is by simply flicking a single domino onto the table, then watching the whole line topple over one after the other. This is a fun and relaxing activity, especially for children.

Dominoes can be played in groups of three or more, and there are rules governing seating arrangements. In a three-person game, the person who draws the domino with the highest number of pips has first choice of seat. The player who draws the next-highest domino then seats himself, and so on. A tie may be broken by drawing extra tiles from the stock, or by a process known as buying. A player who cannot seat himself may draw a domino from the stock and take the next available seat.