How to Play Dominos

When a domino is placed on a table, it may begin to accumulate pips or “marks” on its surface. These marks, called spots or pips, indicate the value of that particular piece in a domino game. The more pips a piece has, the higher its value and the more it can be used to form chains or scoring lines in the game. Most games of domino fall into one of four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games or round games.

While playing a game of domino, the players must in turn place one of their tiles on the table positioning it edge to edge with another domino. This makes a chain of connected dominoes, sometimes called a line of battle or a long train. The ends of the dominoes must show either matching numbers (e.g. 5-1 or 3-5) or some other combination, such as three and five, which is called a spinner.

Typically, a player will play the first tile by placing his or her hand on the domino in such a way that it covers the pips or marks. Some players also refer to this as “setting up” or “taking the lead”. In a bid to gain more points, a player will often try to place his or her tile in a position such that the connecting edges of the domino touch. This is called setting up a chain or linking up the ends of the chains, and it is often done by placing a double on its side.

A common method of scoring in a domino game is to count the total number of pips on the losers’ remaining tiles at the end of a hand or a game and add this to the winner’s score. This is a popular scoring system, but there are many other methods of counting the pips and the scores can vary between different games.

Dominos have a unique property that makes them the ideal object for a variety of different games. They are small enough to fit into a workshop but detailed enough that they demand respect for the craftsman who created them.

When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy — energy that is stored based on its position. However, when the domino is played and begins to fall, much of this potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion. This change is what causes the domino chain to continue to grow as more and more pieces are pushed onto it. The physics behind this is quite simple.