Domino is a game of chance or skill played with small rectangular wood or plastic blocks, each of which has an identity-bearing face that’s blank or marked with an arrangement of dots resembling those on a die. The other side is marked with a matching pattern, usually a series of squares, each numbered from one to six (although some sets have a different numbering scheme). The domino pieces are traditionally called bones, cards, tiles, or tickets. They may be used for a variety of games, from simple ones where the first player to “knock” or cover all of his or her tiles wins, to complex multi-round games where the winner is the person with the lowest total score after a given number of rounds.
The first player to lay a tile starts the chain of play. Each subsequent player must place a new tile on the table, positioning it so that its matching end touches the long side of the preceding tile. This creates a growing chain of dominoes that eventually becomes a snake-like shape. In most games, only the ends of a domino that match with another are considered “open,” meaning that additional tiles may be placed on them. Exceptions are doubles, which always touch each other, and blanks, which may be counted as one or two depending on the rules of the game (for example, a double-blank may be regarded as either 6 or 14).
Many players enjoy creating artistic layouts with their dominoes, whether they are making straight or curved lines or designing other shapes. For example, YouTube user Hevesh has gained popularity for her domino art, creating spectacular setups for movies, events, and even a live album launch for Katy Perry. The classic 28-piece set of dominoes that most people grow up with in their childhood is still very popular, as it allows for many different types of games and designs.
Dominoes are sometimes referred to by other nicknames as well, including dice and spinners, and are available in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and colors. Some people even use them to decorate their homes. Regardless of their name, most people can agree that domino is an excellent way to pass the time and have fun with friends and family!