How to Play Dominoes


Domino is a game that involves playing a series of tiles, called dominoes, one at a time. The tiles are arranged in a line, and each tile has an arrangement of dots, or “pips,” on one side that corresponds to the number or symbol on another piece of domino. The other side of each tile is blank or identically patterned to the opposite side of another piece. These two sides join to form a single domino. A domino may be matched with another domino of the same type or with a different kind.

There are many games that can be played with dominoes, and the exact rules of each game vary from place to place. Nevertheless, most of the games can be divided into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games.

Before starting a game, players should determine who will make the first play. This is usually done by drawing lots or by seating a player in the order that he will play in during the game. Once the player who will be the first to make a play has been determined, the next step is to set a domino. The player who sets the domino is often referred to as the “setter” or the “downer.” The setter should begin the line of play by placing his domino on the table with its matching number facing up. The next player should then place his domino on the line of play, either by putting it adjacent to the setter’s domino or by playing it across the line of play. If the double is a spinner, it may be played on all four sides; however, if the domino is not a spinner, it should be played lengthwise.

In some games, a player’s turn is interrupted by the arrival of another player with a matching domino. In these cases, the players may choose to bye (take a set of dominoes from the stock) from the other player’s hands, if allowed by the rules of that game.

Domino art can be made in a variety of ways, from straight lines to curved or stacked walls that create shapes or pictures when they fall down. Some players even create 3D structures, such as towers and pyramids. A person can also use dominoes to make patterns on a floor, such as a design of stars or hearts. Some artists are known for creating domino art that resembles stained glass. Some of these pieces of artwork are displayed in museums and private collections. Others are used for promotional or charitable purposes.