Whether you call them pips, bones, tickets, or stones, dominoes are a popular game piece. It is a small, rectangular piece of rigid material, usually wood or plastic, with a mark on one side. These marks are called pips. The object of the game is to get a domino tile to fit into one end of a chain of dominoes. The chain is usually a number of tiles long. The player with the fewest pips wins. In some versions of the game, both players must chip out.
The most common type of domino games are scoring games, where players try to get a domino tile to match a number in a chain. Other games include concentration and trick-taking. In these games, the first domino to tip over will begin a chain reaction. In the concentration variant, players must make a total of 12 pips.
Some larger domino sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips. The name domino has two earlier meanings, one of which was an oblique case of dominus. The other meaning was a masquerade mask, which is believed to be the origin of the word.
The domino game first appeared in Italy in the early 18th century, and it spread to France in the mid-18th century. French prisoners of war brought the game to England, and the domino set eventually spread throughout the world.
The domino set typically contains 28 pieces. They are made of wood or bone, and are divided into two squares. In addition, each piece has a marked arrangement of spots. In most sets, one tile is blank on one side, while the other is a suit of either a six, nine, or twelve. In Chinese domino sets, a single tile may belong to two suits. The dominoes are traditionally made from mother of pearl oyster shell, silver lip ocean pearl, or bone.
Traditionally, the domino set used in European games is made of dark hardwood or ivory. During the mid-18th century, it was a common practice to make the dominoes with ivory faces. The European set is not divided into suits and lacks the Chinese suit distinctions.
The Western domino set first appeared in the mid-18th century in Italy and France. It was introduced to England by French prisoners of war in the 1790s. By the 1860s, dominoes were appearing in American literature. The most common domino set is a double six set, which contains 28 tiles. Other domino sets include a double twelve set, which contains 91 tiles, a double nine set, which contains 55 tiles, and a double-18 set, which contains 190 tiles.
Dominoes can be played alone or with friends. They can be stacked on end in long lines, or they can be knocked down in rows. Dominoes can also be lined up to form interesting shapes. There are numerous games that can be played with dominoes, including Pai Gow, Che Deng, and Tien Gow. Other types of domino games include trick-taking and solitaire.