The Basics of Domino

Domino is a popular game that can be played by two or more people. The rules vary slightly from place to place, but most domino games fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games. The earliest documented use of the game dates back to around 1814, but it was likely invented much earlier.

The small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic that comprise a set of dominoes are marked with an arrangement of spots, or “pips,” identically on both sides. Each pips represents a number, either positive or negative, from 0 to 10, and the pips are divided into four quadrants (one horizontal and three vertical), which can be used as squares to build a sequence of numbers. Dominoes have a long and rich history of cultural significance, dating back to the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow.

Unlike playing cards, which are played by individuals, dominoes are typically played in teams. Each player is assigned a color and has the right to start a chain. The first person to complete a sequence wins the game.

Each player places his or her tile onto the table, positioning it so that it touches a matching end of a previous domino in the line of play. Depending on the rules of the particular game, a tile may be placed square with its matching end, or it may be played diagonally (crossways to the domino) if it is not a spinner. Generally, doubles are placed crosswise in the line of play, while singles are played lengthwise.

If a player plays out of turn, that is, before the next person has finished playing his or her tile, it is called a misplay. The misplay must be corrected by the player who is out of turn, and it usually results in a loss of points for that player.

In some domino games, the pips on all of the tiles in the line of play are counted for score. This is done by establishing that the entire line of play has been completed in some way, for example by a spinner or an odd-number ending. In addition to counting the pips, some games also include additional rules such as:

For example, if a person makes his or her bed each day, it may become a habit that affects other aspects of his or her life, such as maintaining a clean house. In this case, the initial act may be a domino that causes a shift in one’s self-image, or identity. A similar effect occurs when someone begins a new task, such as starting a diet or going on a workout regimen. The initial act can be a domino that leads to positive effects on other areas of one’s life.