Known by many as “men,” “cards,” or “stones,” the domino is a small, rectangular block used in a variety of games. Traditionally, they are made from bone, ivory, or dark hardwood such as ebony. The first recorded Western dominoes were made in Italy and France in the mid-18th century.
In Western dominoes, each piece has a unique number and face. The piece that has the highest number is the “double.” Depending on the game, players can use the double as a spinner. Each face has six spots on each end, and the total of these spots is called “weight.” Some large domino sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips.
The basic rule of play is that each player draws seven tiles from stock. Then, each player lays out their tiles on a line, usually on an edge in front of them. They can then see their own tiles and the value of their opponents’ tiles. The tiles are played into a trick, and each trick counts as a point.
Each domino has a line down the middle, and is divided into two squares, which are sometimes blank. The dominoes are usually twice as long as they are wide. They can be stacked in long lines on one end or placed edge to edge against each other. When the first domino in line is tipped, the next domino in line will tip as well, and so on.
Dominoes were first introduced to England in the late 1700s by French prisoners of war. They quickly spread throughout Europe and became popular in France in the mid-18th century. In the United States, dominoes appeared in literature around the 1860s.
The game of dominoes is usually played in the form of a solitaire game, but it can also be played in a trick-taking style. The game is a variant of the game of cards. In this game, a domino can be tipped by flicking it, and once it tipped, it knocks the next domino in line over, creating a chain reaction.
Most domino games are adaptations of card games. The most popular games include 42, which is similar to spades. In this game, a player tries to score as many points as possible. Another popular game is Five-Up, which uses multicolored tiles. Unlike traditional Chinese domino games, such as Pai Gow, Che Deng, and Tien Gow, players do not need to match the tiles.
Dominoes are also used to study nerve cells. In fact, the word domino is derived from the Latin word dominus, which is a type of veil. Earlier, the term domino referred to a masquerade mask. It was also the name of a crude woodcut on paper that was popular among French peasants.
A variant called the “concentration” game is played with a double-six set. This set has 190 tiles, and the total pip count is 12. There are also some other versions of the domino game. One variant uses a double-18 set, which has 136 tiles, and another uses a double-19 set, which has 190 tiles.