What Are Dominoes?


Dominos are small, rectangular blocks of plastic or wood used in gaming. The pieces have a series of identifying marks on them. They can be lined up to form long lines or knocked down. In some cases, the entire set can tip over until all are knocked down.

There are several different types of domino games. Many of the most popular are scoring games. The objective of a domino game is to empty your hand while blocking your opponent’s. If you lose, you score based on the number of pips in your opponents’ tiles. A player who has the fewest pips wins.

Another common type of domino game is a trick-taking game. In this game, the players choose seven tiles from the stock. Each player then has to match the number of pips on the first domino in their hand with the same number of pips on the other player’s.

Dominoes are typically made from wood or plastic, though they may also be made from bone or ivory. Traditional European-style dominoes are carved from ebony or mother-of-pearl oyster shell. Chinese-style dominoes are not carved but rather represent each face of two thrown dice.

Western dominoes are most often used for positional games. These games require the dominoes to be set up in long rows. When a domino tips over, it triggers a chain reaction that leads to other dominoes falling down.

A double-six set, for example, includes 55 tiles. The tiles are divided into four suits of seven: blanks, 0, doubles, and threes. Some sets, such as the double-12 set, have 91 tiles.

Dominoes are a great way to spend a little time with friends and family. They are a great toy that stands the test of time. However, they can be confusing to play. Choosing the correct pieces can be difficult. It can be helpful to know what the pips on your own tile are and what the pips on your opponent’s tiles are.

Dominoes can also be used to play a variety of other games. One of these is Five-Up, which uses multicolored tiles. This game is similar to the popular solitaire domino games. Other popular games include Che Deng, Pai Gow, and Tien Gow.

The word domino originates in French. It originally meant a long-hooded cape worn by priests. Later, the word was associated with a masquerade mask. Before the 18th century, the word was used in a more obscure sense.

In the mid-18th century, dominoes were brought to England by French prisoners of war. By the end of the 1700s, the domino game was gaining popularity in Europe and later the United States. The game spread to Austria and Italy.

Today, many children prefer to use dominoes as toys. They can make a unique course or set of dominoes to play.

The most basic version of a domino game is called block-and-draw. For this game, each player draws a lead piece, then draws six other tiles from the stock. The lead piece has the most total pips. Players then line up their dominoes, beginning with the lead.