A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block resembling dice, typically covered by dots or markings similar to dice. When used in sets with other pieces, called dominoes can be used in playing games where players take turns placing two dominoes edge to edge against one another until their total sides match or exceed some specified total value.
Dominoes is a challenging yet satisfying game of skill and chance, with numerous rules for different variations of the game. Teams often compete, while some soloists play solo – making moves before others can. The basic principles are that each player must make at least one play before another does and that each subsequent move must land on an open end of an existing tile.
Most domino games are positional, meaning each domino placed in a line by players is used to build up an ever-evolving sequence until one domino stands alone as a winner. Play order is typically determined through drawing lots or seating arrangements; some games may even specify who takes the first move – typically starting by setting one off from their hand to initiate play.
The basic domino set consists of twenty-eight tiles, each bearing an identity-bearing face and blank or identically patterned reverse side. Identifying marks typically consist of spots known as “pips,” similar to the dots on a die. However, some dominoes simply bear an X mark for identification purposes. Each pipped domino can have up to six nodes. Most sets also include an unpipped double-nine piece that features two nodes.
Not limited to traditional polymer-based sets, dominoes can also be crafted using other materials such as natural stones (marble, granite and soapstone); various woods such as walnut or ebony; metals (brass and pewter); ceramic clay; crystal; or other translucent materials. Although more costly than their polymer-based counterparts, such sets add elegance and class to any table setting.
Some dominoes are designed to be reusable, so that they can be rebuilt in their original patterns after each use. Different companies have produced designs like this and most are targeted toward hobbyists or specific purposes like puzzles or board games. Others serve as marketing tools – like the Domino’s pizza delivery vehicles which use domino-like systems to allow drivers to follow GPS routes while delivering individual pies; Domino’s has also experimented with robot delivery and drone delivery of its food as part of an effort to change its image.