What Is a Domino?
Originally, the domino was a mask or a long hooded cloak. It was worn by Christian priests in winter. It is thought that it was introduced to Europe in the 18th century by French prisoners of war. They brought it with them to England and eventually spread it across the country.
A domino is a small rectangular block that contains two groups of spots on one side. It is usually twice as long as wide. It is also marked with a line or arrangement of pips. It is used in many different games. The origins of the domino are a little unclear, but it most likely comes from the Latin word dominus.
Traditionally, European dominos are made from ivory, bone, and dark hardwoods. These materials are rigid, making them easier to set up and rotate in place. However, some versions of the domino use a plastic material.
Most domino games involve adding or subtracting tiles to a line. Players are awarded points for any tile that contains five or more dots. In a scoring game, any doubles count as a single or two. There is no rule that says a double can be counted as a multiple of 5. Generally, the sum of the pips counts as weight. Some games consider all four sides of a double to be open, allowing additional tiles to be placed on the long side. Alternatively, players can play only tiles with a number at one end of a chain.
Some domino games are designed to duplicate card games, like spades. The game begins by establishing a set of three or four dominoes. Each player takes turns placing the dominoes on the platform. They are then placed edge to edge against each other. If a player cannot place a domino, they must draw from the unused tiles. The first player to chip out all of their dominoes wins the hand.
The second player must then match one of the ends of the domino to part of the first tile. For example, if the second tile is 6-6, the first player must match the sixth end of the domino to the second part of the first tile. The third tile played is 4-6, resulting in an open end of 4 and 5. This is the beginning of the next round. The fourth tile is 5-5, resulting in an open end of 4 to 5. The fifth and sixth tiles are then played. Each of the seven tiles played counts as a trick.
The last player to play places the last domino. The game is then over when the tower falls. This is similar to the card game spades, except that the tower must be unstable enough to fall to the next player. A player’s score is based on the number of pips on the other player’s dominoes.
A variation of the domino game is called Muggins. It is played on the West Coast and is also a popular tournament game. In this version of the game, the first player chooses a double. The second player then plays off the ends of the first double, rather than the middle of the double.