Do you know what the game domino is? This family of tile-based games has been around for centuries. Dominoes are rectangular tiles with square ends, and the ends are marked with numbers. If you aren’t familiar with the game, the basic concept is very simple: you want to move the pieces of the domino until they fall into a hole in the center of the board. In order to get a winning hand, you have to make the most moves with the dominoes you have, while avoiding the ones you don’t.
A domino game begins with the player laying down a tile on the playing surface and placing it so that it touches the end of a domino chain. There are certain rules, however, for placing a tile. The tile may only touch the end of the chain if it matches the number on one end. If the tile has the same number on both ends, that player is said to have “stitched up” the ends of the chain.
The most basic form of domino is the Block game for two players. Each player draws seven tiles from a double-six set. They alternate extending their lines of play. The winner of a game is the one with the most dominoes at the end of their hand, while the loser’s score is the total remaining pip count on the losing player’s hand. If a player can’t place a domino, he must pick up a sleeping domino.
The game of dominos has roots in ancient China. Originally, each domino represented one of the 21 possible outcomes of the throw of two six-sided dice. This set contains pips from one die and the second. However, Chinese versions have added duplicates of some throws and divide dominoes into two different classes. Chinese dominoes are typically longer than those found in European sets. You can play with a single domino or two dozen.
The word domino itself has an obscure origin. The word domino originally meant “long cloak, mask, or cape worn by priests.” Historically, the pieces of the game were made of ivory and black, which reminded some people of the capes worn by priests. In the 18th century, dominoes reached Europe through Italy. However, the game changed quite a bit during the transition from Chinese to European culture. The European version of the game includes seven additional dominoes that represent the six values of a single die throw, and a blank-blank (0-0) combination.
The game of dominoes continues until one player has blocked all of the tiles in their hand. If no legal plays are left, the game is called “sewed up” or “lock down.” If no legal plays are left, the player with the lowest hand wins the game. In team play, the team with the lowest hand wins. The rules of dominoes vary by the country. The game is played in pairs and fours.