How to Play Dominoes

How to Play Dominoes


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic with an identifying mark on one side and a blank or identically patterned face. The identifying mark is called a pip, and it is an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. Unlike playing cards, dominoes are typically used to play games with long lines of domino pieces that fall in a rhythmic sequence. This sequence is called the “domino effect.” It is also common to see dominoes stacked on end in long lines, with the first domino being tipped ever-so-slightly to cause the next piece to tip over, and so on until all of the pieces have fallen.

Hevesh’s work involves constructing mind-blowing domino installations in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs. She makes test versions of each section of her creations and films them in slow motion, so she can make precise corrections if something doesn’t work. She then builds the sections together, starting with her largest 3-D designs and working her way down to the smaller ones. She follows a version of the engineering-design process, including brainstorming ideas for images or words she might want to use in her installation.

When playing a game of domino, there may be a surplus of tiles left in the stock after all of the hands have been drawn. These extra tiles should remain face down in the stock and, depending on the rules of the game being played, may be bought (see “Passing and Byeing” below) later in that game.

If a player draws more tiles for his hand than he is allowed to, it is called an overdraw and he must return the excess tiles to the stock before drawing another hand. Some players, however, may choose to buy the additional tiles and add them to their hand.

In some games, there is a rule that if a player draws a tile and it is not a double, it must be passed to the player to his right. This is called byeing and it gives that player the option of playing a double or passing the turn to the player on his right.

The first player to place a domino is known as the setter, the downer or the leader. He should draw the number of tiles permitted by the rules of the specific game being played and then place his domino in front of him, facing away from the other players. If he is the winner of the last game, he may open the next game. If not, the player holding the heaviest domino begins play.