Unlike traditional cards, the domino is a game of strategy that can be played by two or more people. The game is played with a set of tiles, usually made of bone or plastic. The goal of the game is to reach a specific score. Depending on the game, players may be rewarded with points for each tile they win. There are also variations in which players must block each other’s moves.
Traditionally, dominos are made from ebony, dark hardwood, or ivory. Bone, which is a material derived from sheep, cattle, or cow bone, was used to make dominoes in the 18th century. The first dominoes to be made from bone were those used by French prisoners of war. The first dominoes to be produced with black on one side and white on the other were made with thin pieces of animal bone attached to thin pieces of ebony. The first European dominoes were made around the mid-18th century in Italy.
The traditional Chinese domino set contains 32 pieces. Each tile has a number on each end. These tiles are usually shuffled face down on the table before playing the game. Players must agree on the target score before the game begins. They are then taken turns picking dominoes from stock. A common size is about 3/8″ thick. Depending on the number of players, players may draw 11 or 12 tiles.
When the game is played, the player with the highest double leads with a double-six. The player with the next highest double leads with a double-five. The next heaviest domino in the highest suit is then led with a double-four. This game is also called Tien Gow.
The game can also be played with a set of multicolored tiles called “Five-Up.” The player who has the most points wins the game. A number of rounds can be played until the player reaches the specified point limit. In some domino games, the winning team gets to pick the first domino of the game.
In the late 19th century, craftsmen discovered that tinplate could be used to make dominoes. Plastic was also used to make dice. Charles Lepage invented Bois Durci plastic in 1855, and the Parkesine plastic was created in 1856. These materials were used until the 1950s. The use of bakelite for dominoes was discontinued in the 1950s because of its high flammability. Tobacco companies gave away sets of dominoes with a logo on them.
Most games of dominoes award points based on the number of dots left in the hand of the losing player. In some domino games, points are awarded based on the number of pips on the dominoes of the losing player. Other games count the pips left on the losing player’s hand and add them to the winner’s score.
The game was first played in China around the 12th or 13th century. It was first described in a book by Zhang Pu in 1602. A modern version of dominoes was created in Europe in the mid-18th century. This version of dominoes has a set of numbers ranging from 0 to 6. Most modern dominoes have numbers from 0 to 6.
The most basic domino variant is the “Block game” for two players. In this game, each player draws a number of tiles from a double-six set and plays them face down against the other player.