Dominos (sometimes referred to as bones, cards or men) are small tiles featuring one side decorated with dots called “pips,” while the other remains blank. Pips generally represent numbers from zero to six; domino tiles typically measure twice their width in order to allow easy stacking on top of one another. Pips serve to identify and rank tiles; some sets even feature an optical separation line running down the middle for easier categorisation; their number on each end determines their value and are then compared against one another to determine who comes out on top.
A domino tile serves as the starting point of any domino chain game and serves to establish its starting point. Once started, its domino effect can build to produce another domino effect that topples several other dominoes – as shown in the photo on this page. According to physicist Stephen Morris, standing a domino upright stores energy as potential potential energy that stores in its position – this energy is then released when removed from its stand causing much of it to convert to kinetic energy which causes it to fall.
Layout, string or line of play refers to how dominoes are organized when being played by a player. A line may begin either lengthwise or crosswise and each domino matched and played against another must touch both ends of its opponent; an open end may be left alone or purchased (see “Passing and Byeing” below for more). A line may also develop into snake-lines when tiles are played across open ends on doubles for instance.
After the dominoes have been shuffled, the player with the highest double in his hand is granted permission to make the initial move. A tie can be broken by drawing new dominoes from the stock; those who win rounds of play receive points equaling either their opponent’s tile pips, or (depending on rules) 10 or 100 points as reward for victory.
Some domino games use various scoring mechanisms; for instance, one way might be that player scores are based on how often their tiles match up with a set or set(s) of other tiles, or score is determined by scoring more points over an allotted number of rounds; other times the winner simply scored the most overall points at any one time; additional rules may even prohibit buying tiles from the stock and award them all to one winner instead; although these additional rules would typically not be considered “score keeping,” many games feature some way of recording how much each player accumulated total score, which then adds up towards their winner’s winning total winning total total at victory time.