How to Play Dominoes
Originally a mask worn by Christian priests during the winter months, dominoes are small rectangular blocks with two groups of spots on each side. Unlike a playing card, a domino can be positioned in any direction. A player plays the domino by laying it down on the table and then matching the end of the domino to part of the first tile played. In some versions, the tile is then joined to all four sides of the domino.
In modern western dominoes, the number of pieces is often 28. These dominos are divided into two squares, with the lower number usually listed first on the domino. To win, a player must match two dominoes to add up to 12. Often, points are awarded to the player with the highest number of matching dots. The game can be played for several rounds, with the highest score determining who wins. Common point limits are 150 and 200.
There are many different types of dominoes. Often, they are called the “descendants” of dice. Most modern dominoes are a flat, rectangular block with two groups of spots on one side, but some are blank. A few variations are also played, including scoring games, blocking games, and layout games.
In the first round of a domino game, players take turns adding dominoes to a platform. The first player chooses a tile and then lays it in the middle of the table. If the first player does not have any dominoes, the player must draw from the pile of unplayed tiles. If the first player draws a double, he or she must lay it perpendicular to the other doubles. This is called the “Chicken Foot” tactic. In this game, a player who plays a domino that has the same number on both ends is said to have “stitched up” the ends.
During the game, players will often shout and giggling will be heard. The goal of the domino game is to make the tower stable. In order to do so, a player must play the tile so that the open end of one domino is next to the open end of another domino. If the tower falls, the game is over. If the tower remains standing, the player must continue building off of the tiles.
In some domino variations, a player may only play a domino with a number on one end. However, some games allow players to play a tile with any number at one end of the chain. In other versions, a player may play a tile that is joined to all four sides of the domino.
Depending on the number of players, the number of tiles drawn will vary. Three, six, or nine players will draw 11 tiles, while seven and twelve players draw 10 tiles. In some games, players may also draw tiles with a blank end.
The first domino that is played is usually a double-six. The player draws a domino and lays it on the table. This is the “heaviest” domino. Typically, the player who drew the first tile has the advantage, as the player can then play the second tile, which is a 6-6.