The domino is a small rectangular block with two groups of spots, or pips, on one side. It can be played in different ways. Most games are played with the double-6 set. Larger sets are available to accommodate more players. For example, some large sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips. A number of new and popular party games have been designed to be played with larger sets.
The first player lays down the dominoes in an order that makes sense for the game. Depending on the version of the game, this may be a vertically aligned tile, or a tile that has all of its pips in the same direction. If the game is a matchmaker, the third tile is usually a vertical tile that has both of its pips in the same direction.
After all the tiles are shuffled and mixed up, each player draws nine or eleven tiles from the set. Each player takes turns drawing and laying down a tile. Once all the tiles are in the hands of the players, they are placed face down on a flat surface. They are then moved in random motion. Before playing, the players agree on a score and target. This is used to determine who wins the game.
In a normal game of domino, the goal is to create a tower that is stable enough for the next player to knock it over. When the first domino falls, the next player must place a tile that matches the open end of the domino, or at least the opposite side. Doing so will award the player a point. The player with the highest total score after the first round wins.
A skillful game of domino is played in pairs. Each pair tries to reach a set number of points. Ideally, each pair should have the fewest spots on their dominoes. Some versions of the game require both partners to chip off their tiles.
The simplest domino variant is the block game. In this game, each player draws seven tiles from the double-six set. Each tile has a unique identifying mark on one of its sides. These markings allow the player to distinguish each tile from the rest. The player can then randomly move the tiles to a position on the playing field.
Another variation on the block game is the domino cross. Both of these games are played the same way, except that the winner’s score is based on the total number of pips remaining in the loser’s hand. Since pips are the most valuable element of the tile, they are essentially the “magic number” in the game.
Domino puzzles were also common. One such type of puzzle requires players to play each tile onto the corresponding tile halves in order to form the picture. However, some versions of the puzzle do not require matching. Instead, a player can add a tile to any line of the domino puzzle.