Domino is a game played with small rectangular blocks marked with two groups of spots (pips) on one side. These pips can range from 0 to 6 in number, and may be colored differently. The tiles can be used to play a wide variety of games, including blocking and scoring games.
In block dominoes, each player draws seven tiles from a double-six set and then plays them in a line. Then the second player places a tile on the table, and so on. If the first player cannot extend the line with a matching tile, he or she passes. If both players can extend the line with a matching tile, the game is won by the player who played their last tile.
The origin of the word domino is unclear, but it seems to have originated in France shortly after 1750. It was derived from a hooded cloak or cap worn by priests at masquerades. A fad for the game spread throughout Europe. It was later used to refer to a wooden block with ebony blacks and ivory faces.
Another possible origin of the name is that it refers to a type of woodcut print formerly popular among French peasants. However, this is not as clear as it might seem.
Several different games can be played with dominoes, and each can vary significantly in rules. There are some that are easy to learn and others that can be quite complex.
Some games are played with two or more players, whereas others are played for points or for a winner. Generally, the rules are the same in each game, except that each player must play a single tile in each turn. Some variants allow the player to play as many tiles as he or she wishes.
For most games, the tile used is called a domino or a bone. The number of pips on each tile varies, and it is not uncommon for a single domino to have as many as six or seven pips.
If a player can’t match the number of pips on a tile, they can’t take a turn. This is sometimes referred to as lock down or sew up.
The most common types of dominoes are double-six sets, which contain 28 tiles. These are usually the smallest sets available for commercial sale, although larger sets can also be bought.
These large sets are more difficult to read than smaller ones, so some larger sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips to indicate the number of pips on each tile.
A player can count the pips on a tile and calculate its value to determine how many other pips it has. For example, a tile with 3 pips on both sides is worth 3 points, while a tile with 1 pips on both sides is worth 0 points.
Various domino games can be played using these tiles, and some of them are quite popular. The most common is a block game, which requires a double-six set and is played with two or more players.