Dominoes are small, rectangular pieces of material used in gaming. They are made from wood, plastic or bone. The most common domino set is a double six, containing 28 tiles. Another common set is the double nine, with 55 tiles. There are also large sets, such as the double-nine and double-18, with 190 and 136 tiles, respectively.
Traditionally, European-style dominoes are made of ivory or dark hardwood. However, they have also been manufactured from mother-of-pearl oyster shell or silver lip ocean pearl.
The game of dominoes was first recorded in Italy in the mid-18th century. It became popular in France and England during the following decades. Originally, each domino was a result of throwing two six-sided dice. The first domino in a line would tip over, causing the next one to tip over and so on.
While Western dominoes are generally played for positional games, Chinese dominoes are often used for trick-taking games. These dominoes are known as “dotted cards.” Unlike Western dominoes, Chinese dominoes do not contain blank faces. Rather, each tile in a domino set represents all the possible faces that can be thrown with two dice.
When playing, the goal is to create a series of links from one domino to the next, forming a specific total. To do this, the player must place each tile in its row on its edge in front of the other players. Then, he or she can see how many tiles each player has and what the value of each tile is.
Players can also set up their dominoes in a long row. The most common dominoes are usually twice as long as they are wide. In some games, a player can arrange the tiles to form a variety of interesting shapes.
One popular type of domino game is solitaire. Each player draws seven tiles from a stock of tiles. A single tile in a suit, such as five-up, is worth a certain number of points, whereas a pair of tiles in the same suit is worth no points.
Another popular type of domino game is blocking and layout. During this game, players try to eliminate other tiles from the table. Unlike blocking and layout, each player may replace a single tile. As a result, the game can take an extended amount of time to play.
Dominoes are used in a number of games, including the traditional Chinese games Tien Gow and Pai Gow. But the most popular version is a scoring game, where the goal is to score points. This can be a fun way to play with friends or family.
For more information on dominoes, visit the Webster’s New World College Dictionary website. All examples are chosen automatically and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HarperCollins or Webster’s.
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