How to Win Dominoes


Dominoes are rectangular tiles with a pattern of dots, called pips, on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. They are used to play a variety of games that involve laying dominoes edge to edge, with matching ends touching: for example, two’s touch one’s or four’s touch three’s. The game originated in Italy and France in the 18th Century, arriving in Britain via French prisoners toward the end of that period. It became a popular game in the inns and taverns of that time.

Domino is played both in the home and on domino competition circuits, where builders compete to see who can create the most elaborate domino effect or reaction before a live audience of fans. These domino shows are an entertaining mix of acrobatics and skill, as well as a good way to learn how to set up a complex domino display from the ground up.

As with any kind of competition, there are several different ways to win a domino game. The most common way is to be the first player to get all of your pieces to fall. You do this by laying the heaviest domino in your hand, which is called an “opening double” because it sets a standard for all other pieces to follow. Then, each player plays a piece of the same type to that opening double (one to the right and one to the left of it). If the exposed pips on the adjacent ends total some number, the player earns that amount of points.

You can also play a domino game that involves positional play. In this variant, each player picks up seven dominoes and then places them in their hands. Then they alternate picking dominoes from the stock until they have a complete hand of dominoes. Generally the heaviest domino in their hand is selected to be the opening double, and after that, they continue placing their pieces in their hands until they have an entire set of seven dominoes. When that happens, the game is over and the player wins the game.

Another way to win a domino game is by being the first player to place all of your tiles on the table, or “go out.” You do this by playing all of your dominoes in a row, beginning with the opening double. Then, each player places the remaining tiles in their hands on top of the completed domino line, or “stack.”

There are also domino puzzles and games that use all of the different shapes and sizes of the pieces. These are usually more challenging, and require that you use a certain amount of strategy to solve them. These types of games can use straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, or 3D structures like towers and pyramids.

If you’re a pantser writer, that is, you don’t make detailed outlines of plot ahead of time, you might find yourself with scenes in your story that are not adding to the tension or the overall impact. You might call these “domino actions” because they are the high leverage actions that can trigger a series of following scenes—like a single domino tipping over a whole bunch of them. To help avoid this, consider using scene cards to guide your writing.