Originally, dominoes were a type of masquerade mask worn by Christian priests in winter. They were made with ivory or dark hardwood, such as ebony, and were shaped to resemble a priest’s cape. However, they were also produced in a variety of other colors. They were first known in Italy, then moved to France, England, and Austria.
To play a domino game, players take turns drawing from a set of seven or eight dominoes. They then place the tiles in a random order, usually face down, on a flat surface. There are no penalties for playing a wrong tile, but players must be careful not to flip it over. If a player notices that he or she has played the wrong tile before the next player has a turn, he or she must take it back and draw from the unused tiles.
The first player decides who plays first by drawing lots or by determining the heaviest hand. The winner of the previous hand picks the first domino. If there are no dominoes in the player’s hand, the player draws from the unused tiles. If there are no doubles in the player’s hand, the tile that is played first will be a blank.
The player then takes turns turning over two tiles at a time. The player who turns over the first tile will play the second tile, and so on. The player who turns over the last tile will play the first tile of the next hand. This is called downing the first bone. Often the player who is leading is called the leading player.
Before the game begins, each player will decide how many points they would like to achieve. They will then set a target score. The player who reaches this goal will win. Often, the target score is 61 or 63. However, there are variations to the game that allow players to reach different numbers. For instance, a concentration version of the game requires that players have a total of 12 pips. They will then score one point for every pip on each open end of their tiles. These pips can be the same number as the target score, or they can be a different number.
The goal of skillful dominoes is to reach the target score. The most common variant is the double-six game. Each player draws seven tiles from the double-six set. The first tile is usually the double-six. The second tile played is a double-five. The third tile played is a double-four, and so on. Each tile played is perpendicular to the line, so it must touch one end of the domino chain. The fifth tile is a 5-5, and so on.
The game is played by placing dominoes edge to edge against each other. Each player has a hand of dominoes and each player takes turns turning over two tiles. Once the player has played two tiles, he or she can knock. The next player must place a tile to match the first tile. In some versions of the game, the tiles may be joined together on all four sides. This varies from set to set. In some versions, the tiles are placed in a grid with a 4×7 grid, forming a domino train.