Dominoes are small rectangular blocks used in a variety of games. Some dominoes are blank, meaning that they can be placed in any direction. The most popular dominoes are 3/8-inch thick, and have a number on each end. In some larger sets, the pips are Arabic numerals.

Dominoes are made of ivory, dark hardwood, or bone. European dominoes are usually made of ebony, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, and mother of pearl. There are also Chinese dominoes. Most are used for playing traditional games, but some are used for adaptations of card games.

Dominoes are typically played by a group of people. One person draws a hand of tiles, and the other players take turns laying them down. Each player must place a tile so that it touches one end of the chain. For example, if a player has a 6-6, the next player must play a tile that is 6-5 or 4-6.

The object of the game is to make a domino tower stable. A domino game can last for hours, and it can be quite difficult to set up. Players must agree on the target score before the game starts. Typically, the winner is the player who reaches the goal by the end of the game. However, there are other variants of dominoes, including trick-taking games. Other games include the Mexican train and the matador.

Players draw a hand of nine or twelve tiles. They are then mixed up. Depending on the number of players, a domino set can range from a double-12 set with 91 tiles to a double-nine set with 55 tiles. As the set gets larger, it becomes harder to tell pips from numbers.

Once the dominos are mixed up, each player chooses a tile. That player must then play it on the table. After that, the player’s turn is over. Another player can then start the process again. If a player cannot match the part, he or she must say, “Go,” and the game is over.

Dominoes can be played in two ways: to the left of a six-six or to the right of a six-six. To play to the left of a six-six, a player must place the second tile in the corresponding spot on the first tile. Usually, this is a 6-4 or a 5-5.

To play to the right of a six-six, he or she must place a tile perpendicular to the double. This tile must be paired with the double at the center. In some versions of dominoes, an additional tile may be placed on the long side of the double. Regardless of whether a player plays a 6-4 or a 5-5, the pips on the second tile are counted as a single or a pair.

If a player plays a domino that has the same number on both ends, he or she is called a “stitched up” player. The pips on the opposite side of the double are counted as a double, too.