What is Domino?

Domino is a game played with a set of small rectangular blocks. The players place these tiles edge to edge on the table. The line of play is determined by the rules of each specific game.

This game helps your kid to develop spatial awareness and colour recognition. It also improves their fine motor ability and hand-eye coordination.


Dominoes are a type of playing card-like tiles that have an arrangement of pips on one end and a blank or identically patterned side. They are played by two or more players in partnership/teams or individually. The game is won by the player or team whose hand contains the least total of pips at the end of the hand.

The first player begins by laying one of their dominoes. Each subsequent player must match one of their tiles to part of the first tile in such a way that there are four open lines on which they may play. Dominoes are joined in this line of play (or string) in two ways: 1) with a double (only doubles) placed cross-ways on the line of play; or 2) by placing a tile adjacent to the first tile played and touching it at both ends.

If a player cannot play a tile and does not have a spare domino in their train they must pass, placing a penny on their train to indicate this. They can then draw a new hand and continue the game.


Dominoes are typically made of a material such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with white or black dots inlaid or painted on each side. The identifying marks are called pips and are uniformly molded or drilled.

While dominoes may seem a bit like toys, they have an important role in helping children develop core maths skills, including counting and pattern recognition. This game also encourages motor skills and spatial thinking. It is also a great way to build a child’s patience and focus.

A traditional European domino set has 28 tiles and is normally twice as long as it is wide. They are normally grouped into suits, with each suit consisting of one to six numbers. Each number has a suit identifier, and each tile can belong to more than one suit. Historically, the two most common suits were military and civil.


Many different games can be played with a domino set. The most common ones are based upon blocking and scoring. In these games, players place a tile from their hand onto one of the free ends of those already played, and then score whenever the sum of the open-ended pips on those tiles is divisible by five or three.

In some of these games, players can also add to other players’ trains, though the amount they can add is usually limited to one tile per train. In other games, such as Matador and muggins, players must always play a number that totals seven or more when added to an end.

Many of these game variants use a special double tile known as a spinner to allow the line of play to branch. This can be a challenge for some beginners. The best way to avoid penalties is to count revealed tiles and those in your hand before making a move.


The winner is determined once all rounds have been played or a specified point limit has been reached. The player with a higher score is declared the winner.

In some variants a player scores points only when the number of exposed ends on a domino line is divisible by five, for example eight for a double four and two for a two. In addition, a player must count their own and their opponent’s unplaced tiles when scoring.

In some games the player with the heaviest tile begins play. In others, players draw new hands if they hold no double and then the player who holds the heaviest single starts play. In other games, the winner of the last game begins the next hand. Players may also bye tiles from the boneyard, a collection of unplayed dominoes. This increases the total score and is only allowed if it is specified before the game begins. However, byeing can cause penalties if the tiles are not added to the winning player’s hand.