Domino is a game played by two or more people with small rectangular wooden blocks, each bearing a number of spots or dots resembling those on dice. The other side of each domino is blank or identically patterned. The players alternate turns laying dominoes on the table and scoring points. The player who scores the highest total for a given number of rounds wins.
Nick developed a way to make his own dominoes using the woodworking tools in his grandmother’s garage. A drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw, belt sander and welder crowded his small workshop, but the finished dominoes proved to be worth the clutter.
The dominoes that he made were not only functional, but beautiful works of art as well. The small size allowed him to play them anywhere, and the intricate designs demanded respect for his craftsmanship. He did not set out to design a new game, but rather to create a new way of looking at a common, everyday object.
Like playing cards, of which they are a variant, dominoes come in many different suits. Each suit is distinguished by the arrangement of the pips on the dominoes, with one side of each being marked and the other blank or identically patterned. The first time a domino is played, it is placed so that the touching ends match (i.e., one’s touch one’s or two’s touch two’s). Subsequent tiles are laid at right angles to the first domino chain, forming snake-line chains that can become quite elaborate.
Typically, each player has seven dominoes in their hand at any one time during gameplay. If a player has fewer than seven, they must draw more from the deck and pass the turn to the next player. A player can also “chip out” by laying their last tile on the table, ending the current round of play.
The most popular sets of dominoes consist of 28 tiles. Larger sets exist and are often used for more complex games. In addition to traditional layout games, there are many other types of domino games that utilize the various suits of the pieces. These include blocking games, where one or more dominoes are played to block the path of other players’ tiles, and scoring games, where a sequence of matched dominoes is laid out in order to score points. These games are often played with a partner, with the winner being the partner whose combined sum of dots on their remaining dominoes is the highest after a specified number of rounds. These games are also sometimes referred to as domino rallies.