The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are small pieces of wooden with numbers or pip marks attached, typically used in various games as dominoes that fall cause others to follow in an orderly or random pattern predetermined by game rules. When one falls it sets off an ongoing chain reaction. The first domino to fall causes all subsequent ones to follow suit creating either an unpredictable pattern or one with predetermined rules governing its playability.

A domino set contains all of the pieces required to play a particular domino game, from single rows or rows arranged around a circle or square to open or closed ends on certain pieces, depending on which game they’re being used for. Each domino piece’s pips determine its value within that specific game.

Each domino stores potential energy based on its position. When placed upright by a player, it lifts against gravity to store this potential energy; once knocked over by another domino or another force, much of this potential energy becomes kinetic energy, or motion energy.

The game of domino first emerged during the mid-18th century. While its exact roots remain unclear, domino may have come from Latin dominum meaning “tyrant.” Additionally, this term had roots in French as it denoted long hooded cloak worn with mask for carnival season or masquerade events.

Domino games fall into four general categories, namely bidding, blocking, scoring and round games. Each variation comes with its own set of rules and regulations for winning; to remain eligible to do so.

Prior to each game, a player must shuffle the tiles face down on a flat playing surface and evenly mix them using his hands. This may be done individually by each player or collectively; typically the winner of one game will shuffle for the next.

As each player takes turns placing dominoes atop previously played tiles, their open ends must match either the color or numerical value of previous tiles – forming an arrangement called a layout, string or line of play that corresponds with those previously laid out – whether lengthwise or crosswise – regardless of length, each domino must match that number on its matching tile and form an orderly chain that goes lengthwise across.

For some domino games, determining who wins can be as straightforward as counting the total pips on any remaining tiles held by losing players at the end of a hand or game; this score then adds to their own total. When counting doubles containing spinners or non-spinners separately, counting their pips both ways should take precedence over counting just one side at once.

In most domino games, each player may only draw the number of tiles allowed from the stock. If he draws more than allowed, he must recall any excess and return them back into stock; otherwise it would constitute misplay and must be corrected prior to engaging another player in play.