Dominoes are small, rectangular blocks used in a variety of games. They’re made of various materials, including wood and plastic. They’re marked with a line in the middle and two groups of spots on one side. The most common variant has six pips.
There are many variations of the game, but the basic rule is to try to score the most points by playing the least number of tiles. This usually involves awarding pips to the opposing player’s tiles. It can be played by either two or four players, depending on the rules.
The game begins with a platform of three or four dominoes. The first player chooses one tile from the stack. It can be placed on the table or on a ruler. The player must then match the number of pips on the second tile with the corresponding number on the first tile. If there’s no matching number, the player can select a sleeping domino. If it doesn’t work, the player must play the next one. The player may also draw a random tile from the unused tiles.
The game is then played in turn. The first player, who has the heaviest hand, decides who plays first. If it’s a double, the first player plays a spinner. If it’s a single, the first player plays a “stitch up”. If the first player’s domino has the same number on each end, the player is said to have “stitched up” the ends.
The second player should be careful to place the second domino on a ruler that has a hinge. If the second domino doesn’t have a hinge, the second player should use a taped holder to place the domino. If the first domino has a hinge, the second domino should be held by the player’s fingers.
Once the first domino is in place, the second player can begin to play. In most games, the second player must make sure that the pips on the second domino match those on the first. It’s also possible to play a double or a single by placing it in a layout that is perpendicular to the line. If the second tile is a double, the second player must place it across the chain from the first. If the first tile is a single, the first player must place it near the bottom of the chain, but not cross the line.
Alternatively, the second player can play a double by laying it perpendicular to the line and perpendicular to the middle of the first tile. In some games, the doubles are considered to be open on all four sides.
In addition to the basic game, there are also trick-taking and concentration variants of the game. In this version, players must reach a certain total number of pips, called the “concentration count.” The last player to place all of his or her tiles wins. In other versions of the game, the first player to put down all of his or her tiles wins.