Domino is a game in which players place dominoes so that their adjacent edges match and form a sequence of numbers, called a chain. The first player to complete this chain wins the round. Domino games can involve a single player, two or more, and are played on both flat and 3D surfaces. In addition to a traditional set of dominoes, there are many specialty sets available, including curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and stacks of blocks that can be used for building structures.
Domino is one of the most popular table games in history and it has enjoyed worldwide popularity since its emergence from its European roots in the 18th century. Domino is a variation of a number-matching game and it can be used to teach basic mathematics, including counting and simple multiplication and division. The most common domino sets have 28 tiles, although larger sets exist to accommodate varying number of players and more complex games.
There are several different types of domino games, but they can generally be classified into two broad categories, blocking games and scoring games. Blocking games are those in which the object is to empty a player’s hand before his opponent and scoring games are those in which a total is calculated from the pips on the winning dominoes. The latter were once popular in certain areas as a way of circumventing religious prohibitions against playing cards.
The name domino comes from the Latin word dominum, meaning “heavy” or “great.” It is also suggested that the name was inspired by a black and white hooded cape worn by priests. The earliest known domino was made from ebony blacks and ivory faces, a design that may have helped to evoke the image of the cape.
Most of the games played with dominoes involve matching pairs of tiles and laying them out in a line. Some also include the use of “wild” tiles, those with a blank face that can be assigned a value by the player. Players often choose to play on a hard surface because the dominoes are more easily stood up on their edge.
In most domino games, each player begins with a set of seven dominoes. Then, as a turn is played, the dominoes that cannot be placed are moved to the boneyard, from which they are drawn at the end of the round. Depending on the game-type and setting, the rounds may be limited to a predetermined number of rounds or played until a specific point total is reached, usually 150 points or 200 points.
Dominoes are available in a variety of colors, though white and black are the most common. Some have a single color on both sides of the tile, while others are etched with multiple colors on one side and one or more colors on the other. Each domino is marked with a series of dots, called pips, in a uniform pattern. The number of pips on each domino varies, with more pips indicating a higher value.