The Basics of Dominos

Dominos, a game of strategy and skill played with rectangular tiles, has captured the imagination of people around the world for centuries. The game’s versatility has contributed to its lasting popularity. From simple block games like Draw and Set to complex domino systems such as Mexican Train and Matador, the game has many variations and strategies. This adaptability has made it a favorite pastime and a symbol of camaraderie and competition in many cultures throughout history.

A large number of domino games are played with the same rules, although there are slight differences in how the game is played depending on locale. This variety has aided in the preservation of the game’s rich heritage and helped to keep it alive.

While domino is an extremely simple game, its fundamentals are easy to grasp and the possibilities for creative play are limitless. As such, it’s a popular choice for educational purposes as well as entertainment.

The word “domino” comes from the Latin verb “domino” meaning “to lead.” This is an appropriate description because the first domino to fall in a line of dominoes sets the path for all others to follow. The fact that a single tile can affect the whole chain is what makes it so fascinating to watch and participate in.

When playing domino, the most important factor is the count. This is the total number of pips on the dominoes in a player’s hand. This figure is used to determine the winner of a hand or game. Various scoring methods may be employed, but most have one thing in common: the winning player is the one who has the highest count.

After the shuffle, each player draws a number of dominoes specified in the rules for the game being played. If there is a tie, it is broken by drawing additional dominoes from the stock until there is a winner. Then, the winner begins the next round of play.

In most domino games, players join the pips on each open end of a tile to form a line of play. The line of play is oriented either lengthwise or across the table; doubles are played with the line of play, crosswise, and singles are played lengthwise.

The most common domino sets have a maximum number of pips on one end. However, “extended” sets are available with more pips on each end, increasing the number of possible combinations of ends and thus of pieces. These larger sets are called double-twelve (91 tiles) and double-nine (55 tiles).

Before the first domino falls in a line of play, it has inertia and resists motion when there is no external force pushing on it. A tiny nudge, however, can push the first domino past its tipping point and cause it to fall.

For a writer, the domino effect is a useful metaphor for plotting a novel. If a writer does not make detailed outlines and plots scenes ahead of time, she will likely end up with a series of scene that–as in the example of the domino cascade–don’t quite fit together.