Originally known as a mask, dominos are used in many different games. They can be played against friends or against a computer. They are a small, rectangular block with identifying markings on one side. Players take turns placing tiles in the playing area. Each player has a certain number of tiles, usually three, which they draw from the deck. They are then mixed together before drawing their hand. Depending on the game, the tiles may be flipped back over.
When a player is ready to begin, he/she must choose a tile, then place it on the table in the middle of the playing area. Then the next player must match one end of the domino to a part of the first tile. If the domino has the same number at both ends, the player has “stitched up” the ends.
The first tile played is typically a double-six. The second is a 6-6 and the third is a 5-5. The fourth is a 4 and 5. The fifth is a 5 and 5. Lastly, the last tile is a 6 and a 7. The winner is the player who can reach a target score.
The game can be played with two, three or four players. The number of tiles a player has to start with varies, but in general, each player starts with fewer than the number of players. If a player doesn’t have enough dominoes, he/she has to draw from the unused tiles. The goal of the game is to create a tower that is stable enough for the next player to place his/her tiles on it.
The game is most popular in Latin America, but it has been adapted to several other parts of the world. The most popular in Texas is 42, which is a version of spades. In the game, four players form teams and compete against each other. The winning team is the one with the least spots on their dominoes.
Some games, including a variant called concentration, are played with a double-six set of dominoes. The total number of pips on the dominoes is a prerequisite for this variant. Then, a player has to find a pair of dominoes that add up to twelve pips. This is the basis for the concentration variant.
Traditionally, European-style dominoes are made from ivory or dark hardwood, such as ebony. Some players also use bone or plastic. Unlike Chinese dominoes, European dominoes do not have a distinction between suits.
The first domino is flipped with the finger. If the second tile is a double, the pips on both ends are counted. The player must then place the second domino so that it touches one of the ends of the domino chain. Then, he/she can either knock or lay it onto the table. The player who can knock and lay the domino is the winner.
If the first player cannot play the domino, the other player must pick a sleeping domino. If the other player has not picked a sleeping domino, then he/she must pick a sleeping domino and move the remaining tiles.