The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game of skill, luck, and strategy. It is one of the world’s oldest games. It is played by laying a series of domino pieces in careful sequence, so that they can topple with the nudge of just one. Players win by scoring a specified number of points within a certain number of rounds. Points may be awarded for matching the pips on opposing player’s tiles, for filling in an entire row of squares, or for forming a specified shape with the dominoes. The first player to reach a target score is the winner.

The most common domino set is the double-six set, which has 28 tiles. Larger sets exist, but are typically used for games involving more than two players. Most dominoes have an arrangement of spots or pips on one side and are blank (or identically patterned) on the other. Each end of a domino is labeled with its value, from six pips down to none or blank. The sum of the values on both ends of a tile is its rank, or weight.

European-style dominoes are normally made from 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 on. They can also be made from ceramic clay; metals such as brass or pewter; other types of wood, including ash and oak; and even crystal and frosted glass.

A molded plastic or wood set is also available, which can be less expensive than an authentic bone or mother-of-pearl set. These sets are usually more colorful and a little heavier than traditional wooden or bone sets.

There are many different rules for domino, but most involve the same basic concepts. The most important is the rule of precedence, which states that a piece must be placed in its correct position before another piece can be added to it. This rule is important because it determines which player has the opportunity to play a particular tile and which ones are left for others to use.

The most popular domino games are layout or blocking games, where the goal is to build a row of dominoes or other shapes before the opponent, either by drawing tiles from the stock or removing them from play. Some other popular games are racing to place dominoes, where the player is rewarded for each new piece he or she places in the line before the opponent.

Dominoes can also be used to make patterns or structures, such as towers, castles, or homes. These creations are often constructed by competitors in domino shows, where builders compete to create the most complex and imaginative domino structure before a live audience. This type of show is becoming increasingly popular on television and the internet, with many shows featuring elaborate domino formations created by professional builders.