Originally referred to as a mask, domino first came to mean a monastic or masquerade hood. It then came to mean a cape worn by priests. During the early 18th century, the domino game started to spread in France. The game was then brought to England by French prisoners of war. The dominoes were originally made of ivory and dark hardwood, such as ebony. By the 1860s, dominoes had appeared in the works of American literature.
A domino tile is a rectangular piece that features a number on each end. The number on each end of the tile represents a roll of two dice. The tile is also marked with a line in the center. The player must place the tile so that it touches one end of a chain of dominoes. If the player accidentally touches the wrong tile before the next player’s turn, the player is forced to take back the wrong tile.
In most games, players take turns playing two tiles at a time. The first player chooses a tile and places it in the middle of the table. The second player then plays a tile to the right or left of the first tile. The third player plays a tile vertically or horizontally. In some games, players can play tiles to all four sides of the double. However, in other games, only the long side is open for additional tiles.
Traditionally, European dominoes were made of ivory or dark hardwood, but many modern versions are blank. Some versions of dominoes have been made in the shape of a silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell. The size of the tile is usually about 3/8 inch thick. A common domino is a double-six. The second player plays a tile to the right of a six. The third player plays a tile to the right or left, based on the player’s choice. The fourth player plays a tile that is five five or five six. The player who played the fifth tile is said to have “stitched up” his or her end.
During the game, players must try to keep all of their tiles in play. If a player’s tiles do not add up to twelve, the player is forced to draw from the unused tiles in their hand.
If a player has played all of their tiles and still has pips left in their hand, the player is awarded a point. The pips on a tile’s open end are awarded one point for every five pips on that end. Depending on the rules, some versions of the game will award a player a point if the open end pips on a tile are multiples of two. The player can also earn a point if all of the pips on the open end of a tile are multiples of three.
The game also can be played with a concentration variant. The concentration version requires players to get a total of twelve pips in their hand. In this variant, the goal is to make the sum of the open-end pips on a layout multiple of five.