Domino is a game played with small rectangular wood or plastic blocks, each with one or more faces bearing numbers resembling those on dice. They are typically arranged so that one end of the domino touches another, forming a chain of dominoes with the number showing on either of the ends. The first player to play all of their dominoes wins the game. Dominoes may be used to form straight or curved lines, and they can also be used for other purposes, such as building structures or making sculptures.
A domino set usually consists of 28 tiles, although larger sets can be made. The traditional materials for dominoes are bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted. More recently, plastic and composite materials have become common.
Some domino sets are referred to as “classic” or “old style”, while others have more modern graphics and colors. In the latter case, the pips are colored to match the background color of each individual domino. Some sets, especially those based on the classic 28-tile set, are molded from natural materials such as marble or soapstone, and they are more expensive than sets made from plastics or other synthetic materials.
Depending on the rules of the game, some players will draw more than 12 tiles for their hand, and these extra dominoes must be returned to the stock before any other player draws. When a player does draw more than their share, it is known as an overdraw and the extra tiles must be taken by the player to his right. The player should not look at these extra dominoes before returning them to the stock, and the deck should be reshuffled before any other players draw their hands.
Most games of domino involve blocking the opponent’s plays and scoring by accumulating points. Some games also involve putting down dominoes in a particular pattern, such as a line of alternating doubles and singles, or in a circle. Some games require a certain number of matching dominoes to be played before a player can begin scoring, while others only require that the player have the heaviest set in his hand.
The most popular and widely used game of domino is twenty-one, which can be played with any two-player combination. The rules are simple: the player who has a pair of twenty-ones starts scoring and then continues to score until he has scored enough points to win.
The first domino must be placed adjacent to the other dominoes already on the table, and then each additional tile is played by putting it on top of the previous one so that it forms a new pair of twenty-ones. The first pair of twenty-ones played must be both a double and a spinner, and the resulting chain can continue to grow until it becomes too large to move or block any further plays.