Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that are used in a variety of games. The word domino was first introduced to English in the late 1700s, when French prisoners of war brought the game to England. They are also commonly called “bones,” “cards,” and “tickets.”
They can be set up in rows or in long lines. They are typically twice as long as they are wide. Each one is marked with spots on one side and a line in the middle. In addition, they are divided into two squares called ends. To play, players must lay them on the table so that at least two of the matching ends are adjacent.
The game of dominoes was popular in France during the mid-18th century. A number of players were also playing the game in Germany and Austria. However, the game was not widespread in Europe. It finally spread to the United States during the 1860s.
When played, the goal is to make a domino chain by laying out tiles, either in the form of a row, or a long line. When the first one falls, it triggers a chain reaction, starting with the next domino in the chain. This phenomenon is referred to as the domino effect.
There are many different kinds of dominoes, including Chinese and European. European sets are traditionally made of dark hardwoods such as ebony or ivory. But there are also versions of dominoes that are made of plastic or bone.
Traditionally, a single domino belongs to a suit. For example, a tile can belong to the suit of blanks, threes, or sixes. Alternatively, a tile can be part of a suit of two. Lastly, a single domino can be a part of the suit of zero.
If a domino is not marked, it can be referred to as a ticket or stone. Originally, each domino represented a result of throwing two six-sided dice. Eventually, the number of pips increased, so it became increasingly difficult to identify a single tile. Instead of pips, some larger domino sets use Arabic numerals.
These sets are often used for positional games, in which a player’s success is determined by the numbers that they have at their disposal. Another type of domino game involves toppling the set. Once a set has been toppled, it can be reused to create a new course.
A set can also be stacked on the ends of a long row, causing it to fall and start a domino chain. This can be a fun way to enjoy the game.
Although the origin of the domino has not been pinned down, the game has a complicated history. One version, called the doubles game, requires that the entire chain be perpendicular to the double at its center. Another variant, called the concentration game, requires the total number of pip counts to be 12.
Dominoes are usually composed of 28 pieces. However, some are blank, while others have a certain number of pips on them. Some have no pips at all.