The Basics of Domino


Domino is a game played with a set of tiles. Each tile has a number of pips on one side and is blank on the other. Players take turns placing a domino onto the line of play.

Blocking strategy is important when playing unique domino variants where points are scored for board counts that represent multiples of five. It is also useful near the end of a point game when your opponents’ chances of scoring are decreasing.


There are many different ways to play domino, and each game has its own rules. However, there are a few rules that are commonly used in the majority of games. These rules are designed to keep the games fair and balanced for all players.

Players must carefully shuffle their tiles before playing each round. During the shuffle, they must be careful not to expose any doubles or voids in suits. If they do, they must call a UDL Official to resolve the issue.

A player wins a game when they clear all of their dominoes and earn points equal to the total number of spots on their opponent’s remaining tiles. Depending on the game, a player may play several rounds until they reach a predetermined point limit.


Traditionally, domino sets have been made from various materials. Modern mass-produced dominoes are typically made from plastics, metals, and stone. Other materials used include foam (for domino yard games pictured here) and wood.

During the 19th century, basic aluminum was used for bulk domino manufacture. This was followed in the 20th century by Bakelite, a synthetic resin invented by Leo Baekeland. Plastic derived from petroleum replaced this in the later part of the 20th century.

There are two types of wood dominoes. The first type are inexpensive and mainly intended for use by children. The other type are high-end dominoes made by a master craftsman using multiple different kinds of wood and often with layers of lacquer. These are usually considered works of art and command a higher price tag.


There are several variations in domino that can affect the game. Normally, players play a hand until one player can no longer make any plays. This player is referred to as the set, the down, or the lead. The order of play is determined by the number of tiles in a player’s hand and according to the rules of the particular game being played. The winning team consists of those players who have the highest number of pairs.

A domino is a rectangular tile with identifying markings on one side and blank or matching markings on the other. The number of spots or pips on the ends determines their value. Increasing the number of pips on a single end increases the number of unique combinations of ends and thus of pieces.


Domino is a game that is easy in theory but requires calculation and strategy to play well. It is popular worldwide and enjoyed from the youngest of grand children to the oldest of grandparents.

The game probably originated in China in the 12th century long before arriving in Europe around the 18th century. The European version gave rise to the many games that we know today.

There is much dispute as to where the name domino came from. Some think it comes from the Latin word dominus meaning master of the house while others believe it is based on a black domino half-mask worn by Venetian Carnival players.

It is widely believed that a domino set was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and is now on display at the museum in Cairo, Egypt. There is also evidence that the game was played by the Inuits (Eskimos) in North America who made their own domino sets from colored bones.


In domino, maintaining the initiative is key to winning. Players must also keep a close eye on the board count and try to adjust it as often as possible. For example, in games where points are scored for board counts that are multiples of five, it is a good idea to play tiles that will alter the board count with those numbers.

In a game of domino, each player plays a tile on the table positioning it so that its ends touch: one’s touch one’s and two’s touch two’s. The exposed ends of the tile must total a multiple of five to be scored.

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