The Basics of Dominoes


The domino is a small rectangular block used in games. It is marked with pips and is usually divided into two squares, called the ends. It may be set up in rows or in a long line, depending on the player’s preference. There are many types of dominoes, and a number of different games can be played with them.

The most common type of domino game is the score game. Each player starts with a certain number of pieces and must draw and lay them so that they fall in order. When all the pieces are laid out, the player with the least number of pips wins the game.

Most dominoes are made of bone, ivory, or plastic. The traditional European dominoes are made of dark hardwood such as ebony. They are also available in a variety of colors, and some are even blank. There are no Chinese suit distinctions in these types of domino sets.

In Europe, the domino was first introduced in the mid-18th century. It was popular in Italy, France, and Austria. It later spread to England in the late 1700s. It was also played in the United States in the 1860s.

The traditional domino set is composed of unique pieces for every possible combination of two ends with zero to six spots. The number of pips on each domino is usually referred to as its weight.

When a domino falls, it creates a chain reaction. It can tip over, and when the next domino in the line tips over, it causes the first domino to tip over. The falling dominoes pulse is like a firing neuron. The energy does not lose as it travels along the chain.

The most basic version of dominoes, for two players, involves drawing seven tiles. The highest number of pips in the total count is the lead piece. It is usually placed on the end of the chain. The next player can take a tile, but they can only play the tile with the same number on one side of the chain.

Some large sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips. These can make identifying pips in a large set more difficult. If the number at both ends of the domino is the same, the player is said to have “stitched up” the ends.

Some people play with a double. A double can either be a spinner or a branching domino. The double is always placed cross-ways across the end of the chain. If the double touches the middle of the chain, the tiles are placed perpendicular to it.

In some games, the two partners chip out together. This is often done when someone cannot go. However, in many games, each player can see their own tiles and can see the value of the tiles of the opponents.

The origin of the name domino is uncertain. Some sources say it is derived from the French word for masquerade mask. Other reports say it is derived from a crude woodcut on paper. In fact, it is possible that a priest’s cape was the original source of the name. The word was first recorded in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux in 1771.