A domino is a small, rectangular block that is used for gaming purposes. These tiles are usually molded in a rigid material such as plastic, wood or bone. They are then marked with a design and arrangement of pips, which represent numbers. Some versions are also blank. There are different kinds of dominos, including doubles and triominos. Most of these are available in any combination of color.
When the game first appeared in Europe, it was called the Cape, a term that was originally attributed to the long-hooded cloak of a Catholic priest. Originally the pieces were made out of ivory and black ebony. In the 18th century, the game moved from Italy to France and then to England. It was brought to Britain by French prisoners of war.
Dominoes are also called stones, men, or cards. Usually, the number of spots on the tile is a clue to the suit of that tile. The two suits are the blanks and the ones that have a number of spots. One suit includes the 0s and the others include the 2s, 3s, and 4s.
In a domino game, players must make a chain of matching tiles. Each player takes turns to add a tile to the game. Players can choose to play only the ones with the number at one end of the chain or to play all the matching tiles on the chain. After a chain is finished, the first player draws a hand.
During the game, each player must draw and place a domino on the table. Then, the next player must either match one of the tiles to a part of the first tile or chip it out. If the player chips out, the tower falls and the game ends.
Usually, the first player chooses a domino and places it in the middle of the table. The other players can see the face of the domino. But they cannot see how many pips are in the other players’ hands. This is why it is important to agree on a target score before the game begins. Depending on the rules of the game, players can also try to chip out all the unused dominoes from the board.
The first domino that is played is the “heaviest” one. In addition to being the heaviest, it has the highest value. Generally, the player who has the heaviest hand will determine the order of play. However, some domino games allow each player to choose his own order.
Another common domino game is 5s-and-3s. Here, players divide five or three into two tiles. Then, they can place them perpendicular to a line, which is created by the doubles. Alternatively, they can place them cross-ways in the layout.
Other domino games are played in a number of ways, from trick-taking to solitaire. There are even some games that require both partners to chip out. Although there are several different types of domino games, the most popular are the scoring games.