Dominoes are small rectangular pieces used for various games. They are also commonly called cards, bones, or men.
Dominoes are made of hard materials like bone and wood. Some are blank and some have pips. The pips on a domino indicate the value of that side.
The most common set of dominoes is a double six with 28 tiles. There are more complicated sets such as a double-18 with 190 tiles. However, the most basic domino variant is to draw seven tiles from a stock of tiles.
Another type of game is to play five-up with multicolored tiles. Players are given the first tile to place on a line and they must place the next tile in line with the highest total pip count. These games are usually played with two to four players.
Other popular games include Pai Gow and Che Deng. Chinese dominoes do not require matching. A single tile can be part of two suits, such as red and black, or it can be one of the three colors.
The domino has been around for centuries. In Europe, the pieces were traditionally made of ivory or dark hardwood. The game became popular in the mid-18th century in France. Later, it was introduced in England by French prisoners of war.
Traditionally, dominoes are made of ivory, mother of pearl, oyster shell, or dark hardwood. Many children use them as toys. Unlike dice, dominoes have a number of identifying marks on each end, as well as a line down the middle.
Dominoes can be found in both European and Western style sets. European sets are made of ivory, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell, or dark hardwood. However, a traditional European domino set contains only seven tiles, and the pips on each of the seven pieces are arranged in a specific way. Unlike Chinese dominoes, European sets are not marked with a suit or numbers.
Dominoes can be stacked in long lines, making them ideal for fun games and courses. When one domino falls, the chain reaction begins. If a domino falls in the middle of a row, the first domino in the line will tip over, causing the next domino to tip over.
Dominoes are often used in scientific research, such as neuroscience. This is due to their ability to simulate the nervous system. Since nerve impulses move through long bodies of individual nerve cells, dominoes can be used to study the way nerve cells transmit information.
Traditionally, European dominoes have been made of dark hardwood such as ebony or ivory. Using this material provides rigidity. On the other hand, lighter-weight plastic or wooden dominoes are more flexible.
Western dominoes are primarily used in positional games. Players are grouped around a spinner or wheel and each person draws a certain number of tiles from a stock.
Most domino games are adaptations of card games. However, there are many others. Typically, a domino is divided into two squares, known as ends. Depending on the rules of the game, the first player to play the highest domino wins the game.