Acquire a domino set. A standard set contains 28 rectangular tiles marked with between 0 and 6 dots on each end of the face side. The back side is blank and smooth. Most domino sets are inexpensive; many also come with a carrying case for easy transport.

  • Thrift stores and yard sales are great places to find cheap domino sets. Dominoes last more or less forever, so don't worry about the age of the set.
  • If you don't have the money to buy dominoes yourself, consider asking friends and relatives if you can borrow a set. Often, someone you know will have an extra set stored away somewhere that they will be glad loan you.
  • There are also larger domino sets with numbers from 0 to 12 or more, all the way up to 18. The game is played more or less the same way regardless of numbering, but this article assumes you have an ordinary 0 to 6 set.
Pick a place. A game of dominoes requires a flat surface with a decent amount of space. DominoQiu Large tables, such as those found in cafeterias and libraries, are usually a safe choice.
  • Make sure that you pick somewhere that allows at least a moderate level of noise; dominoes clack when they're set down.
  • A kitchen table is a fine choice if you are playing with friends. Clear off any centerpieces or dishes first.
Shuffle the dominoes. Turn the tiles face down on the table, then move them around with your hands, being careful not to flip any over. Once the tiles have been sufficiently mixed, scoot the pile to one side so that your play area is clear.
  • The collection of shuffled tiles is often called the "bone yard," since one of the most common nicknames for dominoes is “bones.”



Playing The Game

Draw an opening hand. Take seven dominoes from the bone yard and stand them on the table so that your opponent can't see their faces
Decide the order of play. There are a few ways to do this; choose whatever method you and your partner can both agree on. The most common methods are as follows:
  • Each player picks one extra tile from the bone yard. The player who draws the tile with the highest total value goes first.
  • Each player reviews his or her hand and reveals the tile with the highest total value. Whoever has the highest number goes first.
  • Each player reveals a double (a tile with the same number on either end) from his or her hand, and the player with the highest double goes first.
  • One player flips a coin and the other player calls it. Whoever wins the flip goes first.
Lay the first domino. It is customary for the first domino to be a double tile (a tile with the same number on both ends), if possible; otherwise, any tile may be used. The orientation of the domino doesn't matter.
Take turns adding dominoes. Using your hand of seven tiles, add one domino to either narrow end of the first domino. You can only add a domino to the board if it has a number that matches a number on one open end of the domino board. For example, if the first tile is a pair of 4s, you can only play a domino that has one end marked with a 4. Place the dominoes together end on end to show that they are matched.
  • Once the end of a domino has been placed on the end of another domino, those ends are closed and no further dominoes can be attached to them.
  • There are never more than two ends open anywhere on the board. These are always the outside ends of the domino chain.
  • If you can't play onto either end of the board, you must pass your turn.
  • If you are placing a double tile, it is customary (but not necessary) to set the tile perpendicular to the tile you are playing onto. Regardless of orientation, only one side of the double tile (the side opposite the touching side) is considered free.
  • If you run out of space, it is acceptable to play a domino onto the appropriate side of the open tile so that the line of dominoes turns. This has no strategic value, and is only done to save space.


End the round and award points. Whoever plays all 7 of his or her dominoes first wins the round, and receives points equal to the total of all the dots on the opponent's remaining tiles.
  • If neither player is able to finish, both players reveal their hands and add up the total of tiles in each one. Whoever has the lowest total wins the round, and receives points equal to the difference between his or her total and the opponent's total.
    • In the case of a tie, the victory goes to whichever player has the tile with the smallest sum total.
  • Whenever a set number of total points (usually 100 or 200) is reached, the game is over.