The Basics of Domino

Domino is a tile-based table game. Players compete to place dominoes on the edge of a table so that they touch one another, creating a chain that gradually increases in length. Each domino has a number showing on it, which is used to identify and match it with adjacent tiles. The matching tiles are then flipped over, and the resulting domino chain takes its shape based on how it is matched up with other tiles.

Domino has a variety of variants that are played with different rules. Each game has its own objective, such as to win the most points by forming chains of dominoes that have a particular value. The first player to do so is declared the winner. The game also includes games in which the player must complete a set of objectives before the other player can do so. The game is often played on a large table, and some games involve scoring points in multiple ways.

The most common domino game uses a double-six set of 28 dominoes that are shuffled and form a stock, or boneyard. Each player then draws seven tiles from the stock, and each domino that is laid down must have a matching tile in his or her hand. These tiles must be paired with other dominoes of the same value, and the domino chain must reach a certain length before a player can play another tile to extend the chain. Some games allow players to ascribe a different value to the blank side of a domino, which is used to match it with a matching tile in the opponent’s hand.

Like playing cards, of which they are a variant, dominoes have identifying marks on one face and are blank or identically patterned on the other side. The identity-bearing faces are divided, by a line or a ridge, into two squares, each marked with an arrangement of dots, or “pips,” similar to those on a die, except that some squares are blank (indicated in the listing below by a zero).

Each domino has a number shown on it, which is used to match it with adjacent tiles. Each tile must be played so that it touches only one end of the chain, and a double domino must be placed with its two matching sides touching fully. The resulting chain develops into a snake-line shape. A player may only play a domino that has upon it a number which is either useful or distasteful to the opponent.

If a player plays a domino that has upon it pips which are both useful and distasteful, that domino will break up the chain by separating one end from the other. This is called a reversal of fortune. The other ends of the chain remain intact and continue to grow in length, and a new chain begins at the point where the two ends meet.

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