Dominoes are a type of small, rectangular block used in a variety of games. Its origin is a bit unclear. However, it is most likely derived from the Latin word dominus. The word originated as a term for a long, hooded cloak worn by Christian priests during winter. Eventually, the name morphed into dominie.
Dominoes were made from ivory or bone. Traditional European sets are dark hardwood such as ebony or mother of pearl oyster shell. These are usually used for positional games. There are also several other types, such as blocking and layout games.
In most games, players will receive points if they hit a certain number of pips on an opponent’s tile. Typically, the game will stop when a player chips out. Depending on the rules of the game, they may only chip out their own tiles or they may have to chip out the other player’s tiles. Some versions of dominoes require both partners to chip out.
A domino’s chain can be long and thin or short and wide. Usually, each domino is twice as long as it is wide. One end of each domino is marked with an identifying mark. Depending on the particular type of domino, a chain can be stacked on end or in long lines.
When playing a domino puzzle, it is customary to place the tiles on a pattern or on the arithmetic properties of the pips. This is usually done by placing one of the tiles face up on the center of the table.
Another variant, the Concentration variant, is played with the double-six set. With this variation, the numbers on the doubles are counted as a single or two. Each of the pips on either side of the double is counted, as are the tiles that are perpendicular to the line on the double.
Another common variation is the trick-taking game. This is a type of domino that involves adding or subtracting tiles from a line or tower in a specific order. Before play begins, the players agree on a target score. They will then draw the tiles they need to reach that number. During the game, the first player determines which of his or her tiles will be the first to be drawn. Afterwards, the other players take turns adding or subtracting tiles from the line, until one of the players reaches the target score.
Other domino variations include the Mexican train and the chicken foot. These games are similar to the Western game, but use an entirely different set of tiles.
The game was brought to England by French prisoners during the war. By the mid-18th century, it had spread to France and Germany. Later, the game was popular in the United States. Several variants of the game appeared in literature by the 1860s.
Currently, dominoes are most popular in Latin America. However, they are also played in Europe, including Italy, Austria and France. Often, these games are adaptations of card games.