The Basics of Dominoes


Dominoes are small, rectangular tiles with a line down the center and a number on each end. They are referred to by their numbers, which range from 0 (or blank) to 6 and are often arranged in sets called suits.

The most common domino set has 28 unique tiles, but larger sets with more pips on each end are also available for games involving multiple players. The smallest is the single-six, which has seven pips. A double-six is a heavier domino and the largest is the double-twix, which has eight pips.

A game of dominos involves players putting tiles onto a table in turn, with each player trying to win by placing the highest-valued domino on the board. In most cases, the first domino is tipped over by the second and the pattern continues until one player has a complete set of dominoes or the game is over.

Dominos can be played as a block game or a draw game, where each player starts with a certain number of dominoes and adds more when they cannot place any of their own. In the block game, each domino has a specific number of spots; in the draw game, a single domino has several different values.

There are many other types of games that use dominos, such as the layout game in which the tiles are arranged in long lines to make shapes or patterns. Some players also stack dominoes on top of each other, creating very complex designs that can be difficult to see when viewed from the side or from above.

This practice of building designs by stacking dominoes has its origins in the ancient Chinese game of ti-ran. During that time, ti-ran was often accompanied by a game of dominoes, where the tiles were tipped over one at a time until they fell over.

In the modern era, dominoes are often made from wood, porcelain, plastic, and other materials. They are a favorite of children and are usually crafted with a detailed design that will last for generations.

Some dominoes are carved from ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (MOP), or bone. Others are made of a dark hardwood, such as ebony. These pieces are usually inlaid with contrasting black or white pips.

Dominoes are popular as toys and can be used in a wide variety of games, including domino toppling, which is a form of entertainment where a group of dominoes is stacked on top of each other in a line. This type of play is very popular among young children and is often a fun way to learn about basic physics and inertia, the ability of an object to resist motion even when no outside force is exerted upon it.

The term domino effect is an American idiom that has its roots in the Cold War. The idiom is commonly used to describe an event that begins with one simple action and then causes much greater and more unexpected consequences.