A domino is a small, rectangular tile that is used in games. It is often marked with spots or pips on one side. The object of the game is to knock off one tile to start a chain reaction.
Dominos are commonly used in board games. They are stacked on end in long lines. Players draw the tiles they need for a particular game. Once they have drawn their tiles, the next person may replace one of them.
Some of the more common types of domino games are scoring games, blocking games, and trick-taking games. To play, each player draws seven tiles from the stock. Each of these tiles is divided into two squares, called ends, which are either blank or filled with a specific number of pips. These numbers can range from zero to six, with the highest total pips corresponding to the lead piece.
While these are the most common forms of domino games, they are not the only ones. Many traditional Chinese games, such as Che Deng and Tien Gow, are played with dominoes.
The origins of the domino are unclear. Traditionally, the pieces were made of ivory, bone, and mother of pearl oyster shell. European dominoes are often made of dark hardwood such as ebony.
In the West, the domino game first appeared in Italy in the mid-18th century. Later, it was brought to England by French prisoners of war. Soon after, the domino game spread to southern Germany and Austria. By the 1860s, dominos began to appear in American literature.
The game is very similar to playing cards. Like cards, dominoes are divided into two squares, called ends, and are marked with spots or pips. However, the number of pips on a domino can vary, and each tile in the set has a value. As the set grows, identifying pips becomes more difficult.
Some of the more basic versions of the domino game are based on the double-six set, which contains 28 tiles. Another is the concentration variant, which uses a double-six set and requires a total of twelve pip counts.
Dominoes are a type of game that can take a long time to set up. This is because it requires a significant amount of energy to reset the set. Depending on the number of players and the size of the domino set, each player draws the tiles they need for a game.
Unlike playing cards, dominoes have a line in the middle. Normally, the domino is twice as long as it is wide. If the domino is too far away from the edge, it can fall. Therefore, it is important to keep the number of pips on each tile close.
Dominoes are also used for studying nerve cells. Because each domino is marked with a spot and an arrangement of pips, a single tile can belong to two suits. For example, a tile that has a number of spots in a suit of threes is worth a certain amount.