A domino is a small rectangular block used for playing games. It’s made of wood or ivory, and is marked with pips, spots, or other identifying marks on one side.
A set of dominoes can contain up to twenty-eight pieces. Each piece is marked with its position and the number of pips on either side. The set is usually divided into two squares called ends. In most games, each player chooses seven pieces.
These pieces have a unique character, which explains the various names. Some people refer to them as men, bones, and tiles. There are even games that involve toppling them.
Dominoes are used for a variety of games, including scoring, trick-taking, solitaire, and blocking. They are also popular toys for children. Most sets are designed to be twice as long as they are wide.
Dominoes are most commonly used for games that require two or more players. For example, a game called Tien Gow, which involves a series of rolls and knocks, is played with a large domino set. Other traditional Chinese domino games include Che Deng and Pai Gow.
As the name implies, dominoes are also used in gambling. If a player wins, he will get to keep all of the pips on his domino. On the other hand, if he doesn’t, he will lose. However, the most popular domino games are scoring and blocking. This means that a player must get the most points to win.
When playing a game of dominoes, the first player draws the lead piece, which is the one with the most pips. That person then must draw a number of tiles that equals the number of pips on the lead domino. Alternatively, the player can choose to replace a single piece.
After drawing all of the necessary tiles, the player can play the domino. He or she must then try to tip the first domino in line. Eventually, if the domino tips over, the next domino in line will tip over, and so on, until all of the dominoes have fallen down.
The most basic form of domino game is played with a double-six set. Two to four players are involved in a game of dominoes. Another variation of dominoes is a concentration game. Players use a double-six set for the concentration game. The Concentration game requires that each domino contains the same total number of pips as the lead domino.
In addition to their game-playing uses, dominoes are a useful tool for studying nerve cells. During the mid-18th century, Western dominoes were introduced to England and France. One of the dominoes, which had a face made of ivory, resembled a priest’s cape.
The first known reference to the word domino in English comes from the 18th-century French dictionary Dictionnaire de Trevoux. It originally meant a masquerade mask, but later came to mean the long, hooded cloak worn by a priest.
Before dominoes were widely available in western societies, they were known in Chinese culture. Traditionally, they were made of mother-of-pearl oyster shell, dark hardwood, and bone.