Domino’s Rules – How to Play Dominoes

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Whether they are being played on a bustling city square or in quiet village homes, dominoes are an enduring part of many cultures. The game connects people across linguistic and geographic boundaries, and its simple rules speak to our innate human desire for connection and community.

The most common domino set consists of 28 tiles, each with an open end that is matched to the other end of a tile. These tiles are arranged on the table in a configuration that is called the line of play. The player who makes the first play may be referred to as the setter, downer, or leader. Once a player makes his or her first move, all other players must follow the basic rules of the particular game being played.

There are many different games that can be played with a domino set, and the exact rules of a particular game will depend on what kind of rules have been written for it. However, most of the games that can be played with a domino are divided into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games, and round games.

A key to a successful domino game is establishing the order of play, which will vary from game to game. The players should agree upon an order before starting the game, and then stick to that order throughout the duration of the game. The order of play will affect the outcome of the game, so it is important to make sure that everyone understands what their role in the game is.

Once the order of play has been established, each player must draw seven tiles for his or her hand from the stock. The player who draws the heaviest tile will make the first play. If there is a tie, the tie can be broken by drawing new tiles from the stock. There may also be a surplus of tiles in the stock after all the hands have been drawn. These extra tiles should remain face down and, depending on the rules of the game, can be bought (see Passing and Byeing below) later in the game.

When a player makes a mistake during his or her turn, the error must be corrected before the next player takes his or her turn. This is called a misplay and the incorrect tile must be removed from the line of play.

Some domino games require a set of specialized tiles that have been painted or otherwise marked to make them easier to identify. Such tiles are called specialty sets, and are usually more expensive than other domino sets. In addition to standard polymer dominoes, specialty sets are often made of natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, and a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips.