Domino is a tile game in which players lay out a set of tiles on a flat playing surface, dividing the tiles into two squares. The pips on each tile are used for matching purposes. These pips are usually marked with an arrangement of spots, and each spot is assigned a value. There are two types of dominos: European dominoes and Chinese dominoes.
Western dominoes are primarily used for positional games. They are traditionally made of ivory and dark hardwood. Some sets are blank, while others are designed to represent different combinations of thrown dice. Many of the newer party games are designed to be played with larger sets, allowing for a large number of people to play.
Chinese dominoes are more similar to card games than Western dominoes. They can be played in pairs or fours, with the aim of gaining the maximum number of points. Traditional Chinese domino games include Pai Gow, Che Deng, and Tien Gow.
When playing dominoes, each player has a hand of eight, nine, or ten tiles. Before the game begins, the players should agree on a target score. For example, if the game is being played between two friends, the team with the lowest number of spots in its hand is the winner. In a scoring game, the number of pips in a losing player’s hand is also counted. If the player loses, his or her partner will draw from the unused tiles in the hand.
European-style dominoes are normally made of bone or mother of pearl oyster shell. The earliest records of Western dominoes date to the mid-18th century, in Italy and France. By the 1860s, the domino game had become a fad in France. Although European dominoes typically have no distinctions between classes, there are some sets that do. One of these is the double-12 set, which has 91 tiles.
In a traditional European domino puzzle, the players would be required to place the tiles on a pattern. Some of the early games involved placing tiles on either the halves of a pattern or on the arithmetic properties of the pips. Other versions of the game involved chipping out the tiles.
Playing dominoes is much like playing cards, but the pips are arranged on one side. Each domino has a number of pips, and the number of pips on each side of a domino is considered its rank. A domino with more pips is called a heavier tile. Similarly, a domino with fewer pips is called a lighter tile.
In a scoring game, the total number of pips at open ends is considered. If a domino has the same number at both ends, it is said to have “stitched up” its ends. On the other hand, if a domino has different numbers at each end, it is said to be blank.
Most domino games are played with a set of double-6 dominoes. This set is often called a deck. It is the most common size set used in most domino games, but if the set is larger or smaller than the usual size, players can change the rules of the game.