How to Play Domino

The Domino game is an exciting, fun and engaging family or group activity. It can be played in many different ways depending on the players and the desired outcome. The objective of the game is to be the first player to score a set number of points. Each player draws a hand of dominoes and places them on the table. Then they play their tiles so that the open ends of their domino chains match up with each other (either lengthwise or crosswise). As a tile is played on an existing chain, it becomes part of it and the next player must join it to one of its exposed, uncoupled ends with a tile of equal value. If the open ends of a domino chain add up to a multiple of 5, that player scores the amount of points specified by the rules.

Once the players have drawn their hands of tiles, they must keep them hidden from the other players and not reveal the values of any of them. This is known as sleight-of-hand and is essential to the success of the game. When a player is unable to lay any of the dominoes in their hand, they must pick up tiles from the stock until they draw one that can be laid. This is called byeing and, if done correctly, can give the player an advantage.

There are a number of types of dominoes available, including small, medium and large ones. The sizing depends on the type of games that are being played, how many players are playing and how much space is available on the table. The sizing also affects the manual dexterity required to handle them and how easy they are to read.

Generally, the player who holds the highest-value domino is the first to make a play. This can be determined by drawing lots, a majority vote or by who has the heaviest hand. If no player has the highest-value domino, it is picked from the stock by each player in turn until an opening double is found. Once that occurs, play begins.

In most cases, a player must make a play on the spot. However, there are certain situations in which no play can be made and the game must end. These situations are called blocked games and are usually caused by a player “chipping out” (playing their last domino). In block games, the players that have the least combined total of all spots on their remaining dominoes are the winners. If there is a tie, the winner can be decided by a coin toss. A common strategy is to try and get rid of all the tups on your hand before this happens.