Domino is a game played with a set of small rectangular blocks, each bearing from one to six pips or dots. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 such blocks.
Most domino games involve blocking opponents’ play and scoring points. The game also involves learning your opponent’s “tells,” which can be useful in predicting their next move.
The history of domino is somewhat uncertain, although the game seems to have originated in China around the 12th century. The first known manual of the game, Xuanhe Pai Pu, was written in this time. There is also evidence that the game developed into its modern form in Italy in the 18th century. It is not clear how the game made its way to Europe. The name “domino” is thought to come from the French word for hoods that were worn by Christian priests in the winter, which resembled the dark markings on the white domino pieces.
Many famous people have been fans of the game, including the famous explorer Marco Polo and President Lyndon B Johnson. There is even a domino set in the tomb of King Tutankhamen, which dates back to 1355 BC.
The domino pieces have a specific arrangement of spots, or “pips” (like those on dice) on both sides. The traditional set contains one unique piece for each combination of two ends with zero to six spots. The remaining sides are blank or identically patterned. Each turn, a player flips over a tile and places it into the layout if it can touch an open end with matching number of pips. It is important to note that doubles must be played cross-ways across the other piece.
The player who draws the heaviest domino makes the first play. Once all the tiles have been drawn, the players count up the value of their pips and the first to reach a preset score wins the game. In the case of a tie, the player who has fewer pips wins.
Dominoes are made of a wide range of materials. They are categorized into four main groups: Plastics, Metals, Stones and Wood. Some domino sets also include specialty materials such as foam for giant yard dominoes. The types of material used in a domino set affect its playability. For example, plastic dominoes are better suited for line constructions than field constructions because they have less friction between the tiles.
Traditionally, dominoes were made from cow and sheep bone. Ivory was later used to make them more attractive, but the trade in ivory has been banned since 1990. These days, dominoes are usually made of cheap wood or common plastic. They are available in a variety of colors and accessories, and can be purchased from various stores.
Dominoes have a number of variations. The most common variant uses a double-six set with 28 dominoes. These are shuffled and placed in front of players as a stock, or boneyard. Each player then draws seven tiles.
The first tile laid starts the line of play. Players then alternately extend it by playing a domino with matching ends. A double tile with the same value on both sides can be used as a spinner to allow new chains to start.
The game ends when one player plays all their dominoes or a hand is blocked and no more plays can be made. The winner then collects the dice of all opponents and counts their points. The number of points won depends on the total domino value.
There are numerous ways to score a game of domino. One scoring system involves counting the pips on each end of the exposed dominoes that are left in the player’s hands at the end of a hand or the game. Each time the pips on the ends total a multiple of five, the players or teams scores one point.
The first to reach a predetermined amount of points wins the game. Alternatively, players may play until a round is complete or until a set number of rounds (usually 150) has been reached. If the game is a draw, the player with the highest double begins the next round. Players may also agree to count the pips on the remaining dominoes in the losing players’ hands and add this total to the winner’s score.