Domino is a table game in which players place tiles on the table in a line. The tiles have a pattern of spots, or “pips,” on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. Each player, in turn, then plays a tile placing it so that its matching end touches either another tile or an open end of the previous domino on the line of play. This creates a chain of tiles which grows in length as the players continue to play their tiles. The way in which the tiles are placed provides a small part of the entertainment value of the game.
The word domino is also used for a system of game rules or strategies that govern the play of the game. These rules are generally accepted and understood by all players, and the game is played according to these rules. Many games have variants that alter the basic rules, but all of these variations adhere to the standard rule for forming the plural of the noun domino:
A very common variation is to use different colored tiles in place of the white ones, with each color representing a certain point value. This allows players to more easily track their points, and can be particularly useful in the case of multiple losing hands.
The other major variation is in scoring methods. Normally, the winner is determined by counting the total number of pips left in the losers’ hands at the end of a hand or the game. However, this method of determining a winner can sometimes cause a tie between two players, in which case the score is determined by adding up the points of the dominoes played by each of them (including those on their doubles) and then subtracting that amount from the total number of pips in the winning player’s hand.
Another method of scoring a domino game is to count the number of dots on the two matching ends of a domino, with the player having the higher total claiming the victory. This method is a good alternative to the counting of pips and can be more easily used with multiple players, as each player has a distinct set of dominos in his or her hand.