Domino is a game in which players place domino tiles side-by-side in long lines. When one domino is tipped over, it causes the other dominoes in the line to tip over as well. The result is a chain reaction that continues until all the dominoes have fallen over. This game is popular among children because it can be played with just a few dominoes. Domino is also used to create art, such as curved lines that form pictures when they fall or stacked walls.
Dominoes are made of a variety of materials, including clay, ceramics, marble, soapstone, wood, and polymers. Each type of domino has its own unique characteristics, and each is suitable for different games. For example, dominoes made of bone are heavier and more durable than those made of polymers. They also have a more traditional look. In contrast, dominoes made of silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl) or ivory have a more luxurious appearance and feel. These sets of dominoes are generally more expensive than those made from polymers.
The first player to play a domino in a game is known as the setter, downer, or leader. He should place his tile face up in the center of the table. Other players will then draw a tile from the remaining stock and place it on top of the previously placed domino. This second domino is known as a double. It may be played on either end of the line of play, depending on the rules of the specific game being played.
If a player has no more legal plays, he “knocks” or raps the table to stop play and pass the turn to another player. Alternatively, the player may continue to play until the total combined sum of all the pips on his remaining dominoes is less than that of any of his opponents. The winners of the game are the partners whose total number of pips is least.
A number of different rules and variations govern the playing of domino. Many of these games have similar names but differ in how they are played and scored. For example, some games may allow players to count only the pips on the ends of the dominoes left in their hands at the end of a hand or game, while others may include all the pips on a single double. Some games also require that all a player’s doubles are played before he can score, while others allow him to play any double on his turn.