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Start a brain train with a set of dominoes

When it comes to classic table or floor games, perhaps nothing is as familiar as a set of dominoes. This game is easy to transport and share, no matter where you are. One of the great party games, dominoes are easy to learn and provide hours upon hours of endless fun. Whether you play traditional dominoes, train games or you just like to set them up on end and topple them over, these games are a great addition to any collection.

Traditional dominoes usually come in double-six or double-nine sets for small games with quick play. These small rectangular tiles feature dots, or pips, on one side that represent numbers. The goal of the game is usually to use all of your dominoes lining up the tiles end-to-end by matching the numbers or pips. It is a game of strategy and skill, as you must empty all of the tiles out of your hand while preventing your opponents from emptying their hands at the same time. Most dominoes today are made of some type of plastic or PVC blend, but high-end domino sets will be made of specialty wood and soapstone. Antique tiles are made from ivory and ebony, though this combination is rare today.

Variations on traditional dominoes are usually seen in train games, where each player attempts to assemble his or her own train. Trains can be made public if a player draws a domino that cannot be played and needs assistance from other players. This can also be a potential danger, as other players may empty their hands and still block you from emptying yours. Mexican train features a train that is completely public all the time, so that unwanted tiles have a place to go. Typically played using a larger, double-twelve set, train games allow for collaborative and competitive play, while encouraging extra strategizing along the way.

For those who prefer to play with domino tiles rather than play actual games of dominoes, domino rally is an excellent toy. This game features rows and rows of colored blank domino tiles that can be set up on tabletops and floors in a dizzying spectacle of designs. Some domino rally pieces offer a quick flip set-up, while others require you to delicately place your pieces without setting the whole domino chain off. This game tests your dexterity, fine motor skills and steadiness as you set each piece in place. Once everything is set up, just hit the end domino and watch them all fall.

For family fun, you can buy a wide variety of traditional domino sets themed to your favorite movies or TV shows. In fact, these themed dominoes make great learning toys since they teach children logic and numbers. Other children's domino sets function as math toys or reading and writing toys, requiring players to pair up equations and answers or word components in order to build a train. No matter what type of domino set you need, start your search at Kmart, where you will find a wide variety of dominoes for any occasion from family game night to billiards night with the boys.

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