Domino is a small, rectangular block used in many games. They are usually made of dark hardwood such as ebony or ivory. The pieces have a identifying mark on one side. However, they are also often made of a rigid material such as plastic or bone.
Although the origin of the domino is somewhat obscure, it is believed that it originated in the early 18th century. It first appeared in Italy, Austria, France, and southern Germany. Later, it began to spread worldwide.
While there are many games played with dominoes, the most common are score games. The goal of these games is to empty the hand while blocking an opponent’s hand. Players must use a certain number of tiles to win. In this way, the game can be very complicated.
To play a domino game, players draw the number of tiles needed for the game and then place them face-down on a table. In the case of a domino game with more than two players, the players draw from a larger set of tiles. As a rule of thumb, each tile is twice as long as it is wide.
Most dominoes are arranged in rows or lines. When the first domino in a row is knocked down, the rest of the dominoes will fall. This is called the domino effect. If one domino is flipped, the next one will also flip, and the dominoes will continue to flip until all the dominoes are flipped.
Dominoes were known in China as far back as the 17th century. During this time, Chinese domino sets lacked duplicates and had no blank faces. Each tile was marked with an identifying number or suit. Some large domino sets were marked with Arabic numerals instead of pips.
Western dominoes have their roots in Italian dominoes, which were first brought to England by French prisoners of war in the mid-18th century. By the late 1700s, dominoes were introduced to England, France, and Germany. During this time, the game was a fad, and dominoes could be found in literature.
Dominoes were later developed into an array of games, which can be grouped into four categories. Two of the most popular are scoring games and blocking games. Both have different characters and require different techniques. There are also a few variations of dominoes that can be played with other objects. Children prefer to play the games as toys.
Another popular variation is Hector’s Rules, which is predominantly played in Singapore. These rules award bonus play after a double tile has been played. One piece of the set is flipped with the finger, and the other is flipped with a ruler.
Finally, there is a specialized type of domino game called Tien Gow. This type of game is played with tiles that are multicolored. Unlike the traditional Chinese game, the player must lay out the tiles in a specific order.
Despite its obscure origin, the domino has become a favored game among children. While it can take a lot of effort to set up, the game is fun and can teach valuable lessons.