Dominoes are pieces of plastic or wood that have a number of spots or pips on one end. They are usually twice as long as they are wide.
A domino can be played by two or more players. In a basic game, each player draws seven tiles from the stock, or boneyard.
Dominoes are one of the oldest games in history. They evolved through millennia of use, from ancient games that shaped social culture and military strategy to modern family fun and competition.
A game of dominoes is played by laying out tile pieces on a table, arranging them in a line to match the halves that are put down at the beginning of the line. The goal is to score points for each time five or three of the tiles on the ends of the line match a domino in the player’s hand.
The origin of dominoes is thought to be China, where they were first invented in the 1300s. They mimicked the results of throwing two six-sided dice by putting pips on one half and blanks on the other.
The rules of domino vary by game-type, but the main objective is to score the most points. Most games involve matching one face of a domino with an open face of another that has already been played.
In some versions, tiles can be matched end to end or across a line, called the layout or string. However, players must not match a tile that has the same number of dots as an opened end of another domino or play a double, which is laid perpendicular to the line and counted as one open end.
Alternatively, some games, such as the Mexican Train and Cuban Dominoes, allow players to draw dominoes from their hand whenever they cannot play a match. Scoring is done by calculating the value of the dominoes remaining in each player’s hand and adding them up to the total point count.
There are many different materials that have been used to make dominoes over the centuries. These include wood, bone, ivory, stone, and metals.
European-style dominoes are traditionally made of a dark hardwood, such as ebony. They are commonly adorned with contrasting black or white pips.
Modern commercial domino sets are usually made of synthetic materials, such as ABS or polystyrene plastics. They are often more inexpensive than wooden or stone dominoes, but may also be softer and less durable.
Some high-end domino sets are made of so-called vegetable ivory, which is actually a type of tagua nut. These close-grained nuts are hard and very close in color to mammal ivory, though a little softer.
A domino is a tile that bears identifying marks on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. Like playing cards, dominoes are used for a variety of different games.
In most domino games, each of the tiles has pips that are added or subtracted for scoring purposes. However, there are some games that rely exclusively on matching.
For example, many domino games require players to match the number of pips on one tile with an open end of a matching domino that has been played on the table.
Another popular variation is called “Muggins”. In this game, a player can make a play off the ends of the first double that has been played.
There are several ways to score dominoes. The most common is to add the number of dots on the dominoes held by your opponents. This can be done either before the game is over or after a blocked game.
Another method is to count the exposed ends of dominoes and if there are any multiples of five, you score those points. This version of the game is called muggins, and is played in many public houses in the United Kingdom.
Alternatively, there is an elegant scoring system described by N.W. Holsey and Ken Tidwell. It begins with two lines crossing to form a large X, and each line is worth 5 points. A small x is then played in each of the four spaces around the large X, each worth 10 points.