Domino is a game of chance and strategy, often played with sets of dominoes. The object of the game is to score points by matching pairs of identical tiles. Like dice and playing cards, dominoes are rectangular pieces with a line down their middle, dividing them into two squares called ends. Each end is either blank or has a number of spots–called pips–that determine the value of that tile. The most common set of dominoes has a single piece with a total of six spots on each end, but more extensive sets have a greater number of pips on some or all of the ends.
The domino game originated in China. In Chinese games, the pips are arranged in military-civilian suits; Western dominoes lack these distinctions. They also feature duplicates, which are not found in Chinese dominoes.
A domino is a rectangular piece of wood, plastic, or bone, ranging in length from eight inches to 12 feet (21 to 40 inches). They are commonly referred to as bones, pieces, men, and tiles. They are normally twice as long as wide, making them easier to stack.
They are usually marked with a number of spots or “pips,” but some are blank, and some have no pips at all. The sum of the pips on a single tile is the rank or weight of that tile.
When you play a game of dominoes, you draw one domino at a time from a deck or pack. The heaviest domino has the highest total number of pips. The player who draws the first domino wins the game.
The game originated in China, where it is mentioned as early as the 10th century. It is believed to have spread from there to Europe in the 18th century. The name domino does not appear before that time, but it is possible that the word was derived from a variant of the Chinese word for a masquerade mask.
There are many different types of domino games, all of which involve matching combinations of pairs of identical tiles. They include blocking and scoring games as well as games of a different character, such as solitaire and trick-taking.
Blocking games are played with traditional dominoes and are most popular, although a variety of other types are available. Some blocking games use a different set of tiles than traditional dominoes, such as a hexagram or a grid. Other blocks, such as a diamond or an equilateral triangle, are used to form the layout of the board.
Most blocking games are based on a standard set of dominoes, which range from double six (28 tiles) to double nine (55 tiles). The most basic block-and-draw game requires only two players and is played with a “double six” set.
In other domino games, the rules are more complex. For example, in a “concentration” game, players try to place all the tiles in the same suit by matching two matching tiles with a single tile of the same suit.