Known as the men of the boardgame, dominos are small, rectangular pieces of wood, bone or plastic that are used to play various games. They can be played with a group of friends or against a computer. They have a line down the middle, dividing them into two squares.
Dominoes can be made of bone or plastic, and are marked with an arrangement of spots on one side. There are also blank dominoes, which are not marked. These can be used in place of the traditional ones, or can be made into fun shapes. Some games have rules that require dominoes to be lined up in rows. Others, like Concentration, require a player to get a certain number of pips on each tile.
Dominoes are used in many games, including scoring and trick-taking games. The games are usually played with two to four players, and the object is to get the highest number of pips on each tile. If the player gets a higher number of pips, he or she wins the game. Traditionally, a domino set has a piece for each possible combination of numbers. Larger sets are used for games that require more than one player.
In the game of 5s and 3s, players try to get five or three “ends” on their tile, and in Concentration, they must get a certain number of pips total on their tile. In Chinese dominoes, no blank faces are used. Each tile has six spots on one side, and a single tile has one or two spots on the other.
The most common domino set is a double-six, which contains 28 tiles. Other sets include double-12 with 91 tiles, and double-18 with 190 tiles.
There are also smaller sets, like a double-15 domino set, which has 136 tiles. They can be used in games of trick-taking and scoring, but most games use a larger set. They are also called “tickets” in some places. Other names include bones and tiles.
The name domino is derived from the French word domino, which is derived from the Medieval Latin word domino, which means oblique case of dominus. It first appeared in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux in 1771. Its other earlier meanings include a long, hooded cloak, a veil, or a masquerade mask. Its original purpose was to disguise the face of the wearer by covering it with a mask.
In the mid-18th century, the game of dominoes began to spread to England. Prisoners from France brought them to England. They were soon used in games of trick-taking, and they spread across the world.
In the United States, people call the pieces that are left behind after a game the boneyard. There are also variations on how the pieces are stacked on the table, like the double-ten set. Some larger domino sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips.
The game of dominoes is often played with friends and family. In some games, like solitaire, players draw a certain number of pieces, and the player with the highest number wins. In other games, players line up the dominoes to form fun shapes.