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A domino is a rectangular tile with one side bearing a number of dots, or pips, while the other is blank or identically patterned. A domino is used to form chains of matching tiles, called a “snake line”.
Players take turns playing their tiles against each other. The resulting chain of tiles is then referred to as the “boneyard”.
Dominoes are a type of game that originated from many different cultures at various times in history. They are a great way to bring people together and have fun. Whether you are playing the classic block games or a more complex game, there is sure to be one to suit your taste.
Dominos first appeared in the modern world in Europe, probably in Italy (Venice and Naples) in the 18th Century. They subsequently spread to France and Britain, where they were brought by French prisoners.
The word “domino” is thought to have come from the Latin for “hood.” It may also refer to the dark markings on the domino pieces that reminded people of a priest’s black hood worn over their surplice at a carnival masquerade ball.
There are many different types of domino sets in use throughout the world, and a wide variety of games can be played with them. The rules vary from game to game, but most are blocking or scoring games that pit two players against each other. Seating arrangements are typically determined by lot after the tiles have been drawn. In a partnership game, the partners sit opposite each other. When a player draws more tiles for their hand than they are entitled to, they must return them to the stock without looking at them, and the stock must be reshuffled before the players draw again.
The player holding the highest double begins play. Some games allow additional tiles to be placed on the open ends of a double. This creates enclosed spaces, known as cells, on the domino layout. One point is scored for each cell created.
There are many different domino games, from the very simple to the highly complex. Most are based on the basic block game. Some include matador, in which players must play a number that totals seven when added to an end, and muggins, in which the goal is to make the sum of all open-end pips on the layout a multiple of five. Most domino games are played until one player can no longer play a tile or until a set point is reached (depending on the game type).
The winner is awarded points equal to the number of dots on his opponent’s exposed ends. Typically, doubles count as either one or two (or both), and the double-blank may count as 0 or 14. Dominos can also be connected at right angles to a line – see the diagram on the right for an example.
Over the centuries domino pieces have been made of a variety of materials. European-style dominoes are usually molded from bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or ivory with contrasting black or white dots. They are typically twice as long as they are wide and the ends are rounded to prevent them from sticking together.
Most dominoes today are made of cheap plastic or wood that can be painted. A few sets are also made of urea or acrylic, which offer superior construction and quality and have much higher price tags.
Some dominoes are made of more luxurious materials, including agate and marble. Some sets are even made of ceramic clay or frosted glass and crystal. These sets are more expensive but they have a unique look and feel that makes them special.
A scoring system is often used in domino. Typically the total score is kept on a cribbage board, but pencil and paper work just as well. The number of points is accumulated as each player plays their tiles. The game ends when one player reaches a predetermined number of points.
In some scoring games, such as muggins and 5s-and-3s, the players try to finish their turns by attaching a new tile from their hand to an existing end of a chain. The exposed ends of the chains must match (one’s touch one’s and two’s touch two’s) and the value of both sides must be a multiple of five.
At the end of a round, the winner is awarded the sum of all the opposing players’ remaining spots rounded up to the nearest multiple of five. The first player to an agreed upon amount, such as 150 points, wins the game.