Domino is a generic term for a set of rectangular blocks with a line in the middle and a number of identifying marks on each side. This set of tiles is used for a variety of games, including scoring and positional games. It is also sometimes called bones, tickets or spinners.
Dominos can be lined up in long rows, which allows for fun toppling. The falling dominoes start a chain reaction. When the first domino in the line tips, the second domino in the row will tip too. Eventually all the dominoes in the set will tip.
Dominoes are usually about twice as long as they are wide. They are made from ivory, ebony or bone. A domino set may vary in size, but generally is comprised of around thirty-eight pieces. Each of these pieces has a different value. For example, a domino with six spots on each end would be the highest value piece in the set.
Some sets are blank. In other cases, the number of spots on one or both sides of a domino is the value. Other large sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips.
Most domino sets are used for scoring and positional games. Games like Five-Up and Solitaire are popular, but there are also traditional Chinese domino games, such as Pai Gow and Tien Gow. These games require more skill than other domino games.
In many traditional domino games, each player draws seven tiles from a stock of dominos. If a player has to replace one of the tiles, it can help to have someone else do the replacing. Several different types of dominoes exist, including those with no pips and those with two, four, and six pips.
Dominoes are traditionally made from mother of pearl oyster shells, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shells, and ebony. Today, dominoes are also available in plastic and metal. There are several kinds of domino sets, but the most common are double-six and double-nine.
Traditionally, European-style dominoes were made of ivory, ebony, or dark hardwood. These dominoes are often called “double six” sets, as each domino has a unique tile for every possible combination of numbers.
While the Western style of dominoes was first recorded in France, Chinese dominoes were known for centuries. Both the French and Chinese versions are similar, though the Chinese version does not have the same distinctions as European dominoes.
Chinese dominoes do not have a line down the middle. Instead, the ends are blank. However, the Chinese domino set has a total of forty-four faces, and each face can be arranged in three suits.
Unlike the Chinese dominoes, European dominoes do not have duplicates. However, they are still marked with an arrangement of pips and spots on each side. Usually, each face of a single tile is associated with one of the suits of a particular number.
During the mid-18th century, the domino game was a fad in France and Austria. Later, it began to spread to England. By the 1860s, dominoes were also appearing in American literature.