# What is Domino?

Domino is a game of chance in which players try to knock down a domino that matches a previously played one. It is a simple game with many variations, and it’s a great way to teach kids about numbers.

The chain reaction caused by a falling domino can be a useful mental model for making decisions in life. By prioritising the right tasks, you can move your goals forward.

## Rules

Domino games have a variety of rules, but all of them involve shuffling and drawing tiles. Each player draws a hand of seven tiles, and the player who did the shuffling draws last.

In some domino games, a line of dominoes is formed on the table as players make their plays, usually by matching the pips on an open end. This formation is called the line of play.

A domino can be placed on the line in one of three ways: by joining the matching halves of the tile, by placing the tile squarely in any direction so that the two matching ends are adjacent, or by placing a double. Normally, doubles are placed cross-ways across the end of the chain.

If a pair of dominoes has been split, one must check to see whether other pairs are also split and join them accordingly. If so, then the newly joined pair can be played as though it were a single number.

## Materials

Dominoes are made from a wide range of materials, including ivory, stone, metal and blown glass. They’re also used for a variety of different games.

The material a domino tile is made of has a major impact on how it topples. For example, plastic dominoes will topple differently on a polished floor than wooden tiles.

In addition to their material, dominoes can have a design element that makes them stand out from other tiles. For example, some modern dominoes use a unique color for each end value to help players find matching tiles more easily.

Another way to encourage the game’s fun and educational potential is to use pictures or letters from a particular event on each domino. Students can use this to practice vocabulary or learn a new skill, such as matching a picture with a letter or number.

## Variations

Dominoes are small, flat tiles with spots that represent numbers. In most games, the numbers on a domino are added or subtracted for scoring purposes.

Many variations of dominoes exist. They can differ in minor rules, but they are generally based on the same rules.

One common variation is ‘All-Threes.’ Two to four players start by drawing seven dominoes from a face-down boneyard and take turns laying matching halves end to end. Points are scored any time the open ends add up to a multiple of five.

In some versions, the highest double wins the round. However, this is not always the case.

Another variation is ‘Straight dominoes’, which starts much like Block dominoes, but the number of pips at each open end are used for scoring purposes. The total count is a multiple of five and one point is scored for each time that the number of pips at an open end is exactly divisible by 5 or 3.

## Scoring

Scoring can affect the outcome of a game in different ways. Traditionally, players try to play their highest scoring dominoes during each hand and the highest overall score is the winner.

However, many people prefer to use a different scoring system that is less dependent on a player’s ability to count their tiles. This can be done by calculating the number of pips on each remaining tile, and awarding points to the player or team that has the lowest total.

In British public houses and social clubs, a version of 5s-and-3s is used in which players are awarded one point for each time five or three can be divided into the sum of two end tiles. This is not a perfect science because players may have to consider all the combinations that result in a multiple of five.

Another system is a clever design whereby each domino has a line in the middle to divide it visually into two squares, called ends. The most interesting part of this design is that it can be re-stacked after use.