Dominoes are rectangular pieces of wood or plastic featuring a pattern of dots called pips on one side and blank or identically-patterned sides, usually two times their width. When played, dominoes can either be stacked vertically with each domino touching its neighbor, or horizontally to form what’s known as a line or string of dominoes known as the Line of Play or layout; points assigned per tile determine its total value based on adding up their number of spots on both sides of a domino.
Dominoes can be arranged into straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls and pyramids – and there are rules governing their proper arrangement in order for them to fall correctly.
Dominoes can also be played as a verb, with each successive turn involving playing one or more dominoes in turn, either in a line of play or from hand to hand. “Set,” “Down,” and “Lead” may be used interchangeably when referring to the act of placing dominoes; those dominoes may either remain stationary on one surface, be moved between hands, or moved in random fashion between each gamer’s hands. Once all dominoes have been laid, those left standing are considered winners; once “Chip Out,” (the last domino that remains) is considered “Chip Out,” with this player considered as the winner.
While there are various varieties of domino games, most involve emptying one player’s hand while blocking their opponents’ play. Some, like Bergen and Muggins, involve scoring dominoes left in opponents’ hands with each winning player scoring by counting how many spots remain unchecked; other forms like Mexican Train or Chicken Foot involve blocking opponents from placing their last domino and winning by stopping their final placement.
A domino game can be enjoyed by anywhere between three and eight players. The rules of each domino game determine which dominoes can be selected as play pieces; when played as part of a partnership game, initial play pieces for both partners is determined by lot or draw; the partner with the highest pips has the option to select his/her seat at the table first before sitting opposite each other at opposite tables.
Some domino games require players to invest money, with their number of dominoes drawn being determined by how much is invested. Other domino games have rules about who begins play – for instance, some allow for the winner of the previous game to begin play while in others it could be determined by who draws the heaviest domino, double or single, either doubled up or singled off first from stock; should there be a tiebreaker situation it may involve drawing new dominoes from stock; other games may even specifying when or allowing players to choose their seats among several available ones available within each game.