# The Basics of Domino

A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with one to six pips, or dots, on each side. A full set of dominoes consists of 28 such pieces. A domino is used as the base for a variety of games played by two or more players. Some games involve building a line of dominoes, while others are scored by matching the ends of dominoes in lines or angular patterns.

When a domino is tipped over, much of its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion. That energy travels to the next domino, providing the push it needs to fall. A chain of dominoes can continue in this way, gaining momentum with each passing moment. This is an example of what is known as the domino effect: when the smallest change causes a larger impact.

As with any game, the rules of domino vary widely. Some games require a certain number of tiles to be drawn, while others allow players to draw as many as they want. Some games also have specific rules regarding the order of play. Generally, the player with the highest double begins play, although some games allow the player with the heaviest single to open the game.

The rules of a particular domino game also determine seating arrangements. If the game is for two players, each draws seven dominoes from the stock and places them on edge in front of him. This makes it easy for him to see his own pips but impossible for the opponents to see the pips of their own tiles. The players sit opposite each other, or if the game is a partnership, they seat themselves according to the number of pips in their tiles.

While some games are based on luck, others require strategic thinking and planning. The most popular of these are bidding games, blocking games and scoring games. The majority of domino games are scored by adding up the total number of pips in each player’s end zone.

In addition to the rules of each game, there are some basic guidelines that all players should follow. First and foremost, it is important to always keep the table clean and free of debris. It is also helpful to play on a hard surface, as this makes it easier to stand the dominoes on their edges. Players should also remember that they must not touch their opponent’s dominoes unless they are going to make a play.

In addition, it is important to be polite and courteous when playing domino with other people. This is especially true when dealing with older people. Finally, it is a good idea to have a rule for the game that prohibits talking while playing. This will prevent distractions and acrimony. While this rule is not necessarily enforceable, it does help to keep the game fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.