What is Dominoes?


Dominoes are flat thumb-sized rectangular blocks with one side blank and the other marked with dots or pips similar to those on dice. There are 28 such dominoes in a complete set.

The player who draws the highest domino plays first. He may play any domino in his hand. The following players then follow his lead.


Dominoes are rectangular tiles marked on one end with a number of spots, like those on a dice, and blank or identically patterned on the other. Each domino is unique, with a combination of pips from one to six. A set contains 28 unique pieces.

Depending on the game-variant, a player may draw lots to determine who will make the first play of each hand. In many games the heaviest domino is used as the initial lead. Alternatively, a player may bye from the stock before beginning each hand.

Any double that is played as the lead must be a spinner and can be played on all four sides. Players must carefully check each exposed domino to make sure it is correctly matched before play continues. If a mismatched domino is discovered, players should call a UDL Official to resolve the situation. Players are also responsible for calling bogus plays when they notice them. The winner is the player whose remaining dominoes have the least number of total points.


Dominoes are a fun way to improve your hand eye coordination. They can also help you develop problem-solving skills and increase your focus. In addition, dominoes are a great teaching tool for STEM and STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

The dominoes that you find in most stores are made of urea or acrylic, but they come in a variety of quality levels and styles. The highest quality dominoes are made of wood and often feature intricate designs. These are considered works of art and can command hefty price tags.

Each domino has two square ends, each bearing a value of either blank, one, three, five, or six dots (or pips). A complete set contains 28 dominoes. Dominoes are usually twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to re-stack after use. The numbers on each side of a domino are counted, and the total number of pips determines its rank or weight.


There are a variety of variations to domino that can add to the game’s enjoyment. Some of these involve scoring and others are simply rules changes to the basic game. For example, some players allow the winner of a previous hand to start the next game. Another rule change involves the placement of doubles in a line of play – they can be used as spinners to allow the line of play to branch.

Another variation is to begin the game with a’stock’ or ‘bone pile’ of 28 dominoes. They are shuffled and then laid out on the table in a 4 X 7 grid. Each player then draws the number of tiles permitted by the rules of that particular game. If a player does not have a matching domino they may draw a new tile from the stock or pass their turn. This helps to reduce bloated hands and makes the game more exciting.


The scoring system in domino varies from game to game. Some use the number of pips on each exposed end to score the chain, while others count both ends. Blanks count as zero points. The player with the least number of unplaced pieces scores the difference between his and her opponent’s total points in the unplaced chains.

In a stalemate, the winner is awarded a number of points that is equal to the value of all the losers’ remaining dominoes rounded to a multiple of five. Players may also agree to use another scoring method.

The winning player can begin the next hand by drawing from the boneyard or by placing the heaviest tile in front of himself. Then the order of play is determined by seating arrangement or by the winner’s choice. This process continues until all players reach an agreed amount of points. Then, the player with the highest score wins. Alternatively, the winner can choose to draw lots to determine the first player.