The Basics of Dominoes


A domino is a small, rectangular piece of rigid material, such as wood or plastic, that is commonly used for a wide range of games. It has several nicknames, including bones, pips, and tickets, and is often referred to as a card or tile. The name domino first appears in a French dictionary in 1771.

Dominoes are a type of game that can be played with friends, family members, or even a computer. A set of dominoes is usually comprised of a group of 28 pieces. These pieces are typically made from wood or plastic, but can also be a rigid material such as ivory or mother of pearl oyster shell. They are typically stacked on end, but can also be laid out in long rows.

In a basic domino game, each player takes a seven-tile hand and tries to score by matching the number of pips on the first domino with the number of pips on the second domino. If one of the tiles in the hand lands on an opponent’s tile, then the domino is tipped over, and a chain reaction of dominoes occurs.

One of the most popular types of domino games is 5s-and-3s, which involves scoring when five or three of the tiles in a hand can be divided into two tiles. Several other domino games exist, ranging from trick-taking games to blocking games.

Another popular variant is called the Concentration variant, which uses a double-six set. To play, each player draws seven tiles from a stock. Each of the tiles in the stock is of the same color. When each of the tiles is drawn, the total of pips in the set is tallied. The resulting sum is the weight, or value, of that particular piece.

There are also Chinese dominoes, which do not require a match between a player’s tile and an opponent’s tile. These sets are often used for positional games. Some of the more elaborate domino sets, however, feature Arabic numerals instead of pips, making identifying pips more difficult.

Dominoes are often used in study of nerve cells. They can be used to simulate the effects of spinal cord injury, and they are a great way to teach children about the function of neurons.

Other names for dominoes include cards, pips, bones, and men. However, the most common form of the word domino is a variant of the term ’tile.’ Originally, the word domino meant a masquerade mask worn by a priest. Later, it was used to refer to a crude woodcut on paper that was popular among French peasants.

Despite its obscure origins, dominoes are a toy that has stood the test of time. Playing them can be a lot of fun. Whether you play with a friend, or with a computer, you can find a range of games to enjoy.

Traditionally, European-style dominoes are made of dark hardwood such as ebony, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, or mother of pearl. Although there are some modern versions made of glass, plastic, and other hard materials, many of the original dominoes were made from bone, ivory, and ebony.