Dominoes are small, rectangular tiles that can be stacked on end in long lines. When one domino topples over, it causes the next domino to tip over, and so on. This chain reaction is called the domino effect.
The most important strategy for winning a domino game is to drive down your opponents board count. This will make it harder for them to play their doubles and will prevent them from burying their own.
Dominoes are a game that require a great deal of skill and strategy. They are based on the ordinary six-sided dice but appear to have been invented independently in Europe and China. The name domino comes from the French word for hood and originally meant a long hooded cloak worn with a mask at a carnival or masquerade.
It seems that dominoes first appeared in Italy as early as the 18th Century, and later spread throughout the rest of Europe. They reached England in the latter part of that same century. A Chinese historical account called Chu sz yam (Investigations on the Traditions of All Things) stated that dominoes were invented by a statesman in 1120 AD and circulated worldwide under the reign of the Emperor Hui Tsung (1127 – 1163 CE). The history of the game is somewhat murky, however, as it appears to have several accounts of its origin.
Dominoes are double-sided, bearing a pattern of dots or spots on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. They are divided into a number of squares and each square is marked with a number of pips or dots. Each player draws the number of tiles he is permitted to take according to the rules for the game being played and adds them to his hand.
Each player tries to play a tile that makes an end of the chain touch another open end of the chain, or “closes” the chain. When a player runs out of pieces, he passes and the opponent scores the difference between his own and his opponent’s unplaced points.
Some games count the value of the losing players’ unused tiles (referred to as their trains) and award those points to the winner.
Dominoes may be used for many different games and have a number of variant rules. Some are very similar to others and have identical or nearly identical names, but differ in some important ways. These variations often involve the same concept of domino pips and their value.
Dominoes are normally referred to as “bones, men, or tiles”. Each domino has a line down the center that divides it visually into two squares with matching ends. The values of the pips on each end are called the rank or weight.
The player who holds the highest double begins play. In case no player holds the highest double, the player with the heaviest single is allowed to start. The winner of the last game may also open a new game.
Dominoes are a great way to develop children’s core math skills. They also help kids learn about patterns and shapes. Some of the games that involve dominoes can even help improve their artistic expression and hand movements.
Unlike playing cards, dominoes have a face that is divided into two parts, each of which bears a different arrangement of dots or pips (one to six) or blanks (zero). These identifying marks are known as values.
Modern mass produced dominoes are made of a variety of materials. The most common types are plastics and wood. Other types of materials include metal and stone. Some of the more unique dominoes are handmade from wood and created by true craftsmen, these tend to come with hefty price tags reflecting their time and labor intensive production.
Depending on the rules of a particular game, domino scoring can vary. Most domino games fall into one of two categories – blocking games or scoring games.
In a blocking game, players are scored by counting the number of pips on their opponents’ exposed ends. For example, a double played on the end of a domino chain is worth eight points, while a tile played to that same double but with a different number is worth two points.
In a scoring game, each player or team is scored by the sum of the number of spots in their opponent’s hands, rounded to a multiple of five. The winning player or team then adds the value of all their own tiles to their total score.