The most popular type of play are layout games, which fall into two main categories, blocking games and scoring games.
Most domino games are blocking games, ie the objective is to empty one's hand while blocking the opponent. In the end, a score may be determined by counting the pips in the losing players' hands.
In scoring games, the scoring is different and happens mostly during gameplay, making it the principal objective.
The most basic domino variant is for two players and requires a double-six set. The 28 tiles are shuffled face down and form the stock or boneyard. Each player draws seven tiles. The remainder is not used. Once the players begin drawing tiles, they are typically placed on-edge in front of the players, so each player can see their own tiles, but none can see the value of other players' tiles. Every player can thus see how many tiles remain in the opponent's hands at all times during gameplay.
One player begins by downing (playing the first tile) one of their tiles. This tile starts the line of play, in which values of adjacent pairs of tile ends must match. The players alternately extend the line of play with one tile at one of its two ends; if a player is unable to place a valid tile, they must keep on pulling tiles from the stock until they can. The game ends when one player wins by playing their last tile, or when the game is blocked because neither player can play. If that occurs, whoever caused the block gets all of the remaining player points not counting their own.
Players accrue points during gameplay for certain configurations, moves, or emptying one's hand. Most scoring games use variations of the draw game. If a player does not call "domino" before the tile is laid on the table, and another player says domino after the tile is laid, the first player must pick up an extra domino.