Traditionally, European-style dominoes are made of dark hardwood such as ebony and ivory. However, there are also some sets that are made of bone or silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell.
Typically, the dominoes are divided into two squares: one side is blank and the other has a number of spots. Depending on the game, the tiles may be played upside down, with the number on the other side, or at a 90-degree angle. The most popular domino set is the double nine, which has 55 tiles. If you prefer to play with a larger set, you can play with a double twelve, which has 91 tiles. These sets are commonly used for games with more than two players.
The first tile that is drawn is usually a double six. The second is a 6-5, the third is a 5-5, and the fourth is a 4-6. The fifth and sixth are a double, which counts as either one or two. A double is always placed in a cross-way at the end of the chain. The pips on both ends of a double are counted as part of the total.
Once the dominoes have been drawn, they are laid out on the table in a row or along the edge. If there are more than one player, each player draws nine tiles. The next player then draws seven tiles. The last player draws from the stock of unused tiles. If there are no playable dominoes, the player can draw from the unused tiles.
The next player then has to place one end of the domino in line with the bottom half of the first tile. They can also play the domino to the right of a six-6, or the left of a 6-6. There are other versions of dominoes, such as Five-Up, which is played with a multicolored set. There are also domino puzzles. These involve placing the tiles on a pattern, which is based on the arithmetic properties of the pips.
In addition to drawing a domino, each player also chooses a heaviest hand. This determines who plays first. The next player then takes one turn playing the domino. The player who is playing the last domino is the player who shuffled the tiles.
In most domino games, the player who first lays down a domino wins the game. In other domino games, the player who first reaches the target score wins the game. The target score is determined before the game begins. In most games, the score is earned by awarding pips to the opponents’ tiles. A multiple of five in the opponents’ hands is worth a point. A multiple of three in the opponents’ hands is worth a half point, and a multiple of four in the opponents’ hands is worth a quarter point.
The rules for many domino games are explained in “The Great Book of Domino Games.” These books are available for purchase on Amazon. The book also contains the rules for other domino games, including Mexican train, chicken foot, and matador.