How to play dominoes

There are many domino games, but most of them are variations of the basic draw game. All domino games use a set of 28 rectangular tiles made of bone, ivory, plastic, or wood. These are the bones, or dominoes. The face of each bone is divided by a center line into two ends. Each end is marked with dots, or pips, in the same way as dice, although a few ends are blank. The number of dots indicates the value of the bone. A blank is zero.

Place all the bones facedown on a table and mix them thoroughly. Draw seven bones from the facedown pile, or boneyard, while your opponent does the same. (If there are three or four players, each draws five bones.) Hold the bones in your hand or stand them on edge facing you.

If you find that you have the highest doublet (a bone with both ends of the same value), place it on the table faceup. Your opponent must then lay down a bone with a like half touching it. For example, if you played a double six, your opponent must play a bone with a six at one end. Place a doublet crosswise. Place other bones end to end unless there is no room on the table, in which case place the next bone at a right angle.

Turns rotate. If you haven’t an appropriate bone to play, you must draw from the boneyard until you get one. When the boneyard is used up and you cannot play, you pass. If you get rid of all the bones in your hand first, you win all the points still in your opponent’s possession. The game can be 50 or 100.