A domino is a set of rectangular black and white pieces, marked on one side with a line down the middle. Dominoes are used in a variety of games. They can be played in long rows or lined up into fun shapes. Most games involve drawing from a set and playing with opponents. You can even play online.
Traditionally, dominoes were made from ivory or bone. European style dominoes are also made from dark hardwoods such as ebony and mother of pearl oyster shell. In the United States, they are sometimes called “boneyard” or “tickets”. Other materials are used, including plastic. During the mid-18th century, the first domino sets were recorded in Italy and France. After the Napoleonic Wars, prisoners of war brought dominoes to England, where the game spread. It soon became a popular fad.
Dominoes are also known as tiles, stones, or bones. The most common variant has six pips, but there are other versions. Some larger domino sets have Arabic numerals instead of pips.
Dominoes are used for a wide variety of games, from trick-taking to scoring. If you have never played a domino before, you might be surprised at how complicated it can be. There are many variations of the game, but most involve the drawing of seven tiles from a stock. Each player draws a different number of tiles, and the second player must match the number of pips on the first domino.
Dominoes are normally twice as long as they are wide. This allows them to be stacked in a row, knocked down, or pushed forward with an increasing force. Eventually, they tip over, causing the next domino to do the same. Flicking or tugging on a domino can cause it to fall.
Typically, each domino contains 28 tiles, but larger sets, such as double-21, can contain as many as 253 tiles. These larger sets are suited for games with several players.
Unlike standard cards, dominoes have a unique piece for each possible combination of numbers. Traditional Chinese domino sets are made up of 32 tiles, each representing the face of two thrown dice. Chinese dominoes are used in a number of traditional games, such as Tien Gow and Pai Gow.
Although the exact origin of dominoes is a mystery, the name is believed to have come from the French word “dominois,” which means a masquerade mask or hooded cloak. However, the word was also used in its earlier meaning as a wooden block or crude woodcut on paper.
The concept of a domino is based on the idea that changes within one area will have a direct effect on nearby areas. For example, the removal of a domino mimics the effects of a severe nerve injury. But the speed of the nerve impulse that travels through the body is independent of its size.
Besides playing a variety of games, dominoes have been studied by neurologists for their potential to stimulate neurons. The pips on dominoes are similar to the pips on a card.