A domino is a small rectangular block used in games. These blocks are often made of wood, plastic, or a rigid material. They are divided into two squares called ends and can be lined up in long rows. In some cases, the ends are blank.
Although the origin of dominos is not clear, they are known to have been invented in China and Italy around the 18th century. They were brought to England by French prisoners of war. During the early 1800s, they began to spread in France, Austria, and southern Germany. As time went on, they were used for a wide variety of games.
The most popular type of domino game is the scoring game. Players try to get as many points as possible by playing the lead domino. To score points, players must place the domino edge to edge against one another. If they can do this without a pipped domino falling on the table, they win.
Another form of domino is the block and draw game. This game is played by two to four players. Each player draws seven tiles from a stock. Depending on the size of the set, they can choose either the double-six set, the double-nine set, or the double-18 set.
Some people also play a variant of the domino, called the concentration game. The rules of this game are the same as the double-six set, except that the total number of pips is 12. Since the concentration variant is played with a double-six set, it’s often considered to be the basic domino variant.
The name of domino was first recorded in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux in 1771. It’s believed that the word was initially meant to refer to a masquerade mask. Later, it was associated with crude woodcuts on paper that were popular among the French peasants.
The Chinese and European dominoes are usually made from ivory or bone. Other materials are commonly used, such as ebony and silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell. Many children use them as toys.
Most traditional domino sets have a unique piece for each combination of numbers. Generally, the pips on each domino are arranged in the form of a six-sided dice. However, some larger domino sets use Arabic numerals instead.
Traditionally, European-style dominoes were made from ebony or dark hardwood. They were traditionally marked with a line down the middle. Unlike the Chinese dominoes, European-style pieces did not have any suit distinctions.
The domino game was introduced in France shortly after 1750. By the mid-18th century, the game was spreading across Europe and the United States. It had become a fad in France and had reached Austria, Italy, and southern Germany by the end of the 18th century.
During the late 1700s, the domino game was introduced in England. During the 19th century, it became popular worldwide. In some countries, the game was used to break the religious proscription against playing cards.
Today, dominoes are available as online games. There are also various versions of the domino, such as trick-taking games and solitaire domino games. You can play the games with your friends or even against the computer. Regardless of which version you choose, a domino is a fun and interesting toy that will stand the test of time.