The Basics of Domino

Domino is a game played with flat, rectangular tiles that have a line down the center of one side and an arrangement of dots, called pips, on the other. Often, the dominoes have the same number of pips on both sides. The value of a single domino is usually indicated by its position in the line of play, which can be either lengthwise or crosswise, depending on the game being played.

Most domino games fall into four categories: bidding games, blocking games, scoring games and round games. Several hundred different types of domino games exist, but most of them share a common set of rules. Some of these games are based on strategy and others on luck, but all of them depend upon the careful arrangement of a series of dominoes.

A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide, and it may have a central line or ridge that divides the face into two squares, with each end bearing a specific value ranging from six pips down to blank or none at all. The pips, or marks, on a domino are also called its rank or weight. If a domino is heavier than another, it can be used to block the other, which allows the player holding the heavier domino to make a play before the other player does so.

In many domino games, players draw tiles for their hands from a shuffled collection of dominoes called the stock or boneyard. The first player to do so starts the line of play by placing his first tile edge to edge against a previous domino, called the stack or rail. A player draws as many additional tiles for his hand as he can without exceeding the total amount allowed by the rules of the game being played. He then plays his tiles in the order required by the game’s rules.

If a player draws more tiles for his hand than he is permitted to, he must return the extras to the stock before the next person draws. In some games, overdraws may be passed (see Passing and Byeing) or even scored against the player who drew them.

When all the dominoes are arranged carefully, they can be set up to form straight lines, curved lines, grids that build pictures when they fall or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. When this is done on a large scale, it is possible for domino builders to create amazing creations before an audience of fans. These creations can be a dramatic display of artistic ability and the amazing power of the domino effect, where one small nudge causes a long string of pieces to tumble down with perfect timing and rhythm. Writing a good story is often like setting up dominoes in a row so that they fall smoothly, one after the other, until the climax of the narrative. If the narrative has any hiccups in logic, readers will quickly lose interest and stop reading.

By archplusdesign
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