How to Play Dominoes


Dominoes, also called bones, cards, tiles or stones, are a type of game where players try to lay down or knock down tiles in order to win. They can be stacked in long rows or placed in squares. They are made from a variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), ivory or ebony.

They can be used in many different games, but the two most popular are Block and Draw. They are both played with a standard domino set of 28 tiles and can be played by any number of people.

In most versions, players select a tile that has a certain number of spots or pips. For example, a domino with six pips is known as a “double.” It is possible to buy sets with more than twenty-eight pips or more than sixty pips; these are called “extended” or “extended-length” sets.

The game begins with the player picking seven or eight tiles and placing them in a line along one of three sides of the table, each side being marked with a different color. If a player cannot place a tile, they “knock” the board and play passes to the next player, who will pick another domino and repeat until all the tiles have been picked or a player has “chipped out” by playing the last domino in their set.

If the player does not have enough dominoes to complete the line, they will choose a “sleeping” domino and add it to their set. They will then try to lay a domino that has fewer pips than the sleeping domino they have selected.

Some people prefer to play a game where the goal is to build a chain of dominoes that stretches across the entire table. The end of each domino must touch the previous domino on either side. In most games, it is rare to see a tile that does not touch a matching domino on its own end or on a neighboring end; this is sometimes referred to as a “safe partial” tiling.

In most of these games, it is the player who lays down their dominoes first that wins the game. The opponent can then play to block the first player’s line or attempt to score points by adding their dominoes to their own.

For a more complicated version of the game, players can create a “chain” of dominoes by stacking them in a row or placing them in squares. They can also create a single large domino by laying down several smaller ones in a row or in squares.

These larger versions of the game can take much longer to play than the “standard” version. They require more strategy, though, as the player must keep track of how many pips are on each domino and how they will need to stack to reach a total of five pips by the time the game ends.

Some people have even built entire 3-D domino structures. Hevesh Monaghan, founder of the Domino’s Pizza company, is a master at making these complex structures with her family’s garage tools. She plans out what types of dominoes she’ll need for each structure and then uses a formula to determine how much of each type is needed before she starts building.