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Learn to Play Dominoes

Check out info on the history, rules and strategy of dominoes.
Dominoes
Picture of a set of dominoes.
Domino Set

Dominoes is one of the world's oldest strategy games. Find out more about this ancient game right here.

Dominoes - History

It's not totally clear when or where the game of dominoes was invented. Many historians believe the game was invented by the Chinese some time around 1100 AD and it eventually arrived in Europe some time during the 18th century. A game similar to dominoes was also found in Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt, which dates all the way back to 1355 BC. Wherever dominoes may have been invented, it remains a popular game around the world. Each set of dominoes has 28 dominoes or tiles. Each rectangular tile has a line dividing its face into two square ends, which are each marked with a number of black spots or a blank space. The word "domino" is French for a black and white hood worn by priests, which is probably where the name of the game comes from.

Dominoes - Strategy and Rules

There are many different versions of dominoes but here are the rules for the most basic game.
  • The dominoes are laid face down and mixed up.
  • Each player then draws seven dominoes and sets them so that opponents cannot see the dots or spots.
  • Each player plays one domino in turn by matching one of their dominoes with the open end of a domino already played.
  • If one player cannot play or is blocked, the opponent goes on until a domino is placed that the blocked player can match.
  • The game ends when one player has played all their dominoes or when both players are blocked.
  • The winner is the one who goes out first or who has the fewest spots on the player's remaining pieces.
  • Dominoes - Did U Know?

  • The first World Domino Tournament was held in November 2005, in Las Vegas. The tournament featured the top players from more than 40 countries.
  • The world record for the most dominoes set up and toppled is 4,002,136! The record was set at Domino Day 2005 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands on November 18, 2005.
  • While dominoes are played all over the world, the game is most popular in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries.
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