How to Play Dominoes


Dominoes are a type of game that consists of a set of tiles that are divided into two squares and have an arrangement of pips on them. They are commonly made out of ivory, bone, or dark hardwood such as ebony. The game is often played on a table or a board. In addition to the standard dominoes, there are several other types of domino games. These include the Mexican train, the matador, and the chicken foot.

A domino game begins with a player placing a tile on the table. The player then takes a turn to place more dominoes in a vertical or horizontal position. After each round, the player’s hand is shuffled, and the new hand is picked. Depending on the game, players can score by awarding pips on the opposing player’s tiles. However, in some versions, the players chip out their own tiles.

Typically, the player will only play a tile if it has a number on one of the ends. If a tile has a number on both ends, it is called a combination domino. This type of domino is played differently from other types. For example, a double-18 is different from a double-six because the double has a fixed number of pips on both halves of its face.

Each tile is marked on one side with the number of pips it has. The pips are placed in an arrangement that makes calculating the value of each tile easier. When all the pips are accounted for, a player’s score is determined. Usually, a tile is counted as being heavier if it has more pips.

Players then alternately extend the line of play and take turns picking dominoes from stock. Before the game begins, each player must agree on a target score. Some games require that the target be at least 150 points, while others allow a maximum of 200. There are also variants that limit the number of rounds that can be played.

In some games, a player must match a particular number on his or her opponent’s tile, as well as the number of points awarded. Usually, a player wins if the number of points awarded is equal to the number of dots in the opponents’ hand. But there are other variants where the winner is determined based on the number of pips remaining in the loser’s hand.

Normally, the first tile played is a double-six. But, there are other variations where the first tile is a 6-4, a 5-7, a 6-3, a 6-2, or a 5-2. Whether the first tile is a single, double, or a pair is dependent on the rules. Other versions of the game call this procedure smacking down the bone.

Alternatively, a player can also take the initiative. During a winning team’s turn, they may play a domino from their hand. If the other team holds the domino, the bloated hand is penalized by more points. On the other hand, if the other team holds the domino, the opponent can play a domino in order to increase their chances of scoring.