How to Play Dominoes

The domino (also called bones, cards, men, or pieces) is a game with a simple goal: to arrange and then knock down a series of tiles that form pictures, walls, or 3-D structures like towers or pyramids. The first person to play all of their tiles wins the game. There are many different games that use dominoes, but they all depend on a basic rule: if a player can’t play a tile, they must pass the turn.

A domino is normally twice as long as wide, with a line in the middle that divides it visually into two sections. Each section has a number of dots, or “pips,” which are usually colored black or white, although there are other colors as well. The pips are used to determine the value of each side of a domino.

Most domino games require a certain amount of strategy. If you want to win, you need to know when to block your opponent and when to play the tiles with higher values. You also need to plan ahead and consider how other players might respond.

Dominoes can be played on a variety of surfaces, but a hard surface is preferred because it makes it easier to stand the dominoes on edge in front of you. You should also play on a smooth surface, so that the dominoes won’t slide off the table.

The most common domino sets contain 28 tiles, or “double-sixes.” These are shuffled and form the stock or boneyard. Each player draws seven tiles from the stock. The tiles that remain in a player’s hand are known as his dominoes. The players then make plays in the order specified by the rules of the particular game they are playing.

There are many games that can be played with a single set of dominoes, but most of these are based on positional play. This means that each player adds a new tile to an existing line of play by placing it on one of the open ends of a previously played tile. The new tile must match in number and color with the existing ones, or it must be able to be joined to a tile with a matching number of pips on its adjacent end.

Some players may prefer to play a game that involves adding or subtracting the value of each domino. In these games, the dominoes are arranged to represent an addition problem or equation. This helps students to understand the commutative property of addition, which states that the total number of addends can be written in any order. This type of activity is best conducted once students have internalized the dot patterns on dominoes and can apply them to written problems.