Domino is a game of skill and chance in which players use tiles to form lines that will fall over and complete a chain reaction. It is played by two or more people and may have simple rules or intricate strategies. The goal of domino is to score as many points as possible, usually by building a line of squares or chains in one’s opponents’ territory. Some games have specific scoring methods, while others may allow players to bye tiles from the stock if they can’t play their tiles.
Dominoes are traditionally made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) or a dark hardwood such as ebony. In addition, some sets are carved in stone or soapstone, or made of metals such as brass or pewter. There are also sets made of other materials such as frosted glass or crystal. Historically, some domino sets have been designed to be more decorative or luxurious, and some have even featured a marble or granite top.
Most domino games require a set of numbered tiles that are used to form a series of open lines, or “pips”, with a total number of points equal to the sum of the numbers on each end of the tile. Typically, the tiles are laid perpendicular to each other so that the pips face each other. The first player then starts the chain by laying down one of his tiles with the number of pips on its end equal to or greater than the sum of the pips on the other tiles in the line. If the line includes a double, this tile is placed with its matching end to the side of the first tile.
Once the dominoes are arranged, a player draws one from the stock to determine his or her turn. In some games, the player who draws a domino with the highest number of pips goes first. If there is a tie, the tie is broken by drawing new dominoes from the stock.
There are numerous types of domino games, but most of them fit into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, and scoring games. Bidding games are the most common type of domino game, and they involve the use of a hand of dominoes to make bids for a particular turn. Blocking games are similar to bidding games but use different methods of play. They are based on the fact that a domino cannot be jumped if the value of the domino that has been jumped is equal to or greater than the value of the domino being blocked.
There are also scoring games, which are the most popular and most difficult to master. These games generally require a high degree of strategy and often a large amount of luck. Many dominoes have a specific purpose in the game, such as to mark a space for a move or to create an opening for a piece to enter.