The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game of skill, strategy and chance. It requires a good understanding of the basic rules and a desire to experiment with different strategies. Some players prefer to play strictly by the rules, while others use their knowledge of the game to create artistic layouts or build 3D structures. Domino art is often displayed in public, as part of a game or simply for decoration.

A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block, each bearing from one to six dots or pips. A set of 28 such blocks constitutes a complete domino. The word domino may also refer to a game played with the tiles, or to the figurative effect of a sequence of events that cascade from a single small trigger. The idiom domino effect has been used to describe political scenarios as well as personal ones.

When a domino is set, its two matching ends must touch each other fully. Each end may have a number value, either blank, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, as shown on the diagram below. The number values are called pips, and they indicate the rank of the tile.

The heaviest domino is the first to be drawn for a hand, followed by any tile with a higher value than the heaviest double. When a player draws more than he or she is entitled to, the extra tiles are placed face down on the table and returned to the stock before the next player draws his or her hand. This is sometimes known as an overdraw.

If a player cannot make another move, he or she passes the turn to the next player. Some games, however, require that the player to his or her right take all of the tiles in the heaviest hand. If the player to his or her right has a double, he or she must place it on the line of play in a way that enables it to touch a new tile when the line is extended.

In addition to the standard sets made of polymer, some companies produce dominoes from natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood like ebony. These sets tend to be more expensive, but they offer a unique look and feel.

A domino is usually twice as long as it is wide, which makes it easier to re-stack after play. A domino is normally divided visually into two squares, with a value on each. The values are usually numbered from 6 to 0, but some manufacturers use other symbols on their dominoes, such as stars or hearts.

Many people enjoy playing domino with friends, and there are a variety of games available for this purpose. Some of these are team games in which each player has a partner, while some are solo games. Some of the most popular are Draw-the-Highest-Domino, Domino Poker, and Blockbuster. When playing a team game, it is a good idea to practice with your partner before the game begins.