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Each domino tile has two numbers, one on each end, which represent the roll of a
pair of dice. In a standard set of dominoes, the numbers range from 0 (blank) to
6. There are twenty-eight unique tiles in a set, one for every possible number combination.
This standard set is called a “double-6” because the double-6 tile is the highest.
Dominoes or dominos, generally refers to the individual or collective gaming pieces
making up a domino set. Standard domino sets consist of 28 pieces called bones,
cards, tiles, stones, spinners or dominoes. Each bone is a rectangular tile with
a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number
of black spots or is blank. The spots are generally arranged as they are on six-sided
dice. Standard domino sets have ends ranging from zero spots to six spots (double
six set), but specialized sets might range from zero to nine (double nine set),
zero to twelve (double twelve set), zero to fifteen (double fifteen set), or zero
to eighteen (double eighteen set). We will use Double Six Set in this article.
Instructions to play original dominoes Things You'll Need:
Dominoes (If you want)
How to play original Dominoes
Count that there are 28 dominoes, from double blank to double six.
Place them facedown on the table and shuffle them until they're random.
Allow your opponent to take seven dominoes, and take seven for yourself.
Allow the player with the highest double to go first.
Lay a domino with like value next to the first domino (it doesn't matter
which end). Make sure like values are always touching.
Pick from the pile if you don't have a domino that corresponds to the ones
on the layout. Keep those dominoes concealed from your opponent(s).
Pass if no more dominoes are left in the pile.
Win the session if you're the first person to run out of dominoes.
End the session if everybody passes, in which case the winner is the person
with the lowest score.
Count your score by the number of dots on the tiles remaining in your hand.
End the game if someone reaches 50 points in a game with two players or
100 points with three or more players. The lowest score wins.
Tips & Warnings to play original Dominoes
If you're playing with three or four players, each player should take five
If more than two are playing, play rotates clockwise.
If no double is held by any player to determine who will go first, the domino
of the highest value is counted.
Keep the largest assortment of different numbers in your hand as long as
possible. If you have a choice of playing the 5-4 or 5-3 on an open 5, you should
choose according to whether or not you have other 4s or 3s in your hand.
If you lay a double, the layout then forms a T shape and play can continue
from any of the exposed ends.
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(or "dominos") generally refers to the individual or collective gaming pieces
making up a domino set (sometimes called a deck or pack) or to the games played
with these pieces. (In the area of mathematical tilings and polysquares the word
domino often refers to any rectangle formed from joining two squares edge to edge.)
Standard domino sets consist of 28 pieces called bones, tiles, stones or dominoes.
Each bone is a rectangular tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends.
Each end is marked with a number of black spots (also called pips) or is blank.
The spots are generally arranged as they are on six-sided dice, but because there
are also blank ends having no spots there are normally seven possible faces.
Standard domino sets have ends ranging from zero spots to six spots (double six
set), but specialized sets might range from zero to nine (double nine set), zero
to twelve (double twelve set), zero to fifteen (double fifteen set), or zero to
eighteen (double eighteen set).
Common domino games
Most domino games are block games or draw games. In draw games, players draw
from the bone yard when they have no matching bone. In block games, players pass
and forfeit the turn when they have no matching bone. Otherwise, there is no difference.
Both generally consist of several hands of dominoes played until one of the players
accumulates an agreed upon number of points and wins the series. Points are generally
earned only by the first player in each hand to go out (play his or her last bone,
also called to domino) and win the hand. The primary object is thus to play all
ones bones before an opponent does.Kids online
There are many existing rules for determining which player is the leader (or
downer), the player to make the first play of the hand. In some rules, the lead
is determined by lottery. The bones are shuffled face down on the table, and each
player draws one bone. The player with the highest double, or heaviest bone, or
other agreed upon prize is designated the leader. By this rule, the leader then
reshuffles the bones before the final deal. By other rules, the final deal determines
the leader. Playing the first bone of a hand is sometimes called setting the first
bone, leading the first bone, downing the first bone, or posing the first bone,
and the bone so set, led, downed, or posed is called the set, the lead, the down,
or the pose. After the first hand, the winner of the previous hand is usually the
leader for the next. By some rules, however, the lead rotates player to player across
After the final shuffle the bones are dealt; each player in turn draws the number
of bones required. The stock of bones left behind is called the boneyard, and the
bones therein are said to be sleeping. If the leader was determined by lottery,
the leader sets by placing any bone face up on the table. If the leader was not
determined by lottery, the player with the highest double leads with that double,
and if no player has a double, the hand is reshuffled and redial.
The next player, and all players in turn, must play a bone with an end that matches
one of the open ends of the layout. Play continues until one of the players goes
out (and calls "out!" or "domino!") and wins the hand or until all the players are
blocked. If all the players are blocked the player with the lightest hand wins.
In block games, players who cannot match on their turn must forfeit the turn
by knocking (passing)--accomplished by rapping twice on the table or by saying,
"go" or "pass". In draw games, players who cannot match must draw bones from the
boneyard until obtaining a playable bone. According to most rules, the last two
bones in the boneyard may not be drawn. If the boneyard is exhausted (only two bones
left), the player knocks.
The winning player scores a point for each pip on each bone still held by each
opponent. If no player went out, however, and the win was determined by the lightest
hand, the winning player sometimes scores a point for each pip on each bone still
held by each opponent, and sometimes only the excess held by opponents. A game is
generally played to 100 points, the tally being kept with paper and pencil or on
a cribbage board.
The origin of dominoes
Dominoes are descendants of dice. The two ends on each of the original Chinese
dominoes represented one of the 21 combinations that can occur with the throw of
two dice. Modern western dominoes, however, have blank ends on them as well and
so the number of dominoes is generally 28. Dominoes were apparently unknown in Europe
until the 18th century and may have been invented in their modern form in Italy.
The dark spots on light faces apparently reminded people of masquerade masks with
eyeholes (called dominoes) and thus gave the playing pieces their name. Chinese
dominoes do not have blanks, but some whole tiles are duplicated..
Other uses of dominoes
Other than playing games of strategy, another common pastime using domino tiles
is to stand them on edge in long lines, then topple the first tile, which falls
on and topples the second, etc., resulting in all of the tiles falling. Arrangements
of thousands of tiles have been made that have taken several minutes to fall. By
analogy, similar phenomena of chains of small events each causing similar events
leading to eventual catastrophe are called domino effects.
Domino tiles and suits
Bones are generally named for the number of spots on the two ends of the bone.
A bone with a 2 on one end and a 5 on the other end is called the 2-5, for example.
Bones that have different numbers on the two ends are called singles, and bones
that have the same number on both ends are called doublets or doubles. Bones that
share a common number of spots on one end are said to be of the same suit. In a
double-six set, for example, 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, and 1-6 all belong to
the suit of one. All singles belong to two suits. The 1-2, for example, belongs
to the suit of one and the suit of two. All doubles belong to one suit only.
The ranks of domino pieces
The value of each end of a bone is determined by the number of spots on the end,
with zero (blank) being the lowest and six being the highest. The rank of a bone
is determined by the combined number of pips on the two ends. This rank is sometimes
referred to as the bone's weight so that a higher ranking bone is called a heavier
bone while a lower ranking bone is called lighter.
Playing a domino piece
4-6 played on 4-5The bones that are face up in play are called the layout, chain,
or line. The layout will have one or more open ends that are available to be played
upon. In most games, there are two open ends--one at each end of a line of bones.
In some games there may be more, or there may be varying numbers depending upon
the circumstances of play. In some games, the first doublet of each hand, often
called the "sniff" or "spinner", forms the intersection of a cross in the layout.
This usually means that there are four open ends once the doublet has been played.
When only a single bone has been played, the two open ends are generally the
two ends of the bone. If Player A played a 4-5, for example, there is a 4 on one
open end and a 5 on the other. The next player must usually play a bone with an
end that matches one of the open ends. Player B, therefore, must play a bone with
either a 4 or a 5, and the matching ends must touch. If Player B plays the 4-6,
the new bone is placed with the two 4 ends touching so that the new open ends are
5 and 6. Doubles are placed crosswise and sprouted (played upon) crosswise. As the
layout grows, the two ends of the layout generally form the two playable ends.
Other domino games
Dominoes is a game for 2 players consisting of 28 dominos, each player gets 7
dominos. There are 3 versions of online domino games: Five-Up (aka Muggins or All
Fives), Draw and Block. Object of the Game is to be the first person to attain the
agreed-upon number of points (100 - 500). Points may be awarded during the play
of the hand by making the exposed ends of the chain total to a multiple of five
(in Five-Up). The winner at the end of each hand also scores points for all the
pips remaining in the other player's hand. Players can also select between 7-bone
hand and 9-bone hand.
Tile games of some form have been found from around 1120 AD in China. Chinese
dominoes are longer than Western ones and are divided into two types and were originally
carved from bone or ivory with the indented pips made of ebony. Each Chinese tile
represents one of the twenty-one different permutations of throwing two cubic dice
although there are a total of thirty-two tiles since certain dominoes are duplicated.
A set of Chinese tiles is divided into two categories - Military and Civilian. The
Civilian tiles are the set of tiles that have duplicates while the Military tiles
are those that are unique. A variety of different games were and still are played
with these tiles and the much more modern tile game of Mah-Jong evolved from Chinese
The game appeared first in China in in the 14th Century but the first recorded reference
in Europe is from Italy where they were played in the courts of Venice and Naples.
The tiles were originally constructed by gluing and pinning two sheets of ebony
on either side of the bone tile. This prevented cheating by being able to see the
pip value from the back of the tile in certain lights. It also served to produce
nice contrasting white pips on black background by allowing the bone to show through
holes in the ebony. The pin through the middle of the tile became known as the "spinner",
for obvious reasons. Although tiles have not been constructed in this way for centuries,
tradition has maintained the spinner which can still be found on many modern sets.
Many players feel that it is still of benefit since it makes the tiles more easy
to shuffle and protects their faces.
Although domino tiles are clearly of Chinese inheritance, there is debate over whether
the game played by Europeans was brought by the Chinese to Europe in the eighteenth
century or, in fact, was invented independently. European dominoes are shorter than
Chinese ones and there is a single tile for each permutation of the throw of two
dice or a blank making a total of twenty-eight tiles. This is the standard or "double-six"
set and, as in China, various games can be played with it. Double-twelve sets (91
tiles) are popular in America and Double-nine sets (55 tiles) also exist.
The game arrived in Britain in the late 18th Century from France (possibly via French
prisoners of war) and quickly seems to have become popular in inns and taverns at
the time. The word "Domino" is French for a black and white hood worn by Christian
priests in winter which is probably where the name of the game derives from.
Dominoes or variants of it are played in almost all countries of the world but it
is most popular in Latin America. The National English Domino and Cribbage Championships
has been organized by Keith Masters annually in Stoke on Trent since 1985. The British
National Domino and Cribbage Championships has been organized by Keith Masters (no
relation of the author) annually in Stoke on Trent since 1985. Here are the current