Domino is a game played with small rectangular blocks called tiles. The pieces can be made from a variety of materials. These include ivory, wood, bone, plastic, and oyster shell. They are marked with a row of spots, either blank or pipped, on one side. The opposite side is also blank.
Dominoes were first used in the mid-18th century in Italy, France, and Austria. Their name was originally a masquerade mask, and the pieces were carved from ebony blacks. Their most common use is in positional games. However, they can be played for a variety of other games. In fact, they have been used as a study tool for nerve cells.
The most common set is a double-six set, which has 28 tiles. This is the basic version of the game. However, some players play with a larger set. A double-nine set has 55 tiles, while a double-nine-plus-one set has 91.
A more advanced version of the game is the 5s-and-3s game, which involves a series of “ends”. In this game, the player attempts to make a total of seven by combining a single tile with the number that totals the sum when added to an end.
Another common game is Five-Up. In this game, players create a layout multiple of five with multicolored tiles. The goal is to get the sum of open-end pips on the layout. The game is played with two to four players.
Other popular domino games are trick-taking, which is a strategy game for a single player, and matador, which is a two-player game. The most popular domino variant is a scoring game. The lead piece in this game is the one with the highest total pip count. The player who has the least pips wins the game.
The game can be quite complicated. It can be played with different sets of tiles, different characters, and even different skill levels. It can be played with various types of rules, such as scoring, blocking, and trick-taking. Most games are adapted versions of card games.
Some of the more obscure origins of the game are unknown. The word domino has been recorded in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux in 1771, but it may have been a different word at the time. The word was also derived from the French word dominus, which meant a mask, cape, or mask-like object.
The name domino was first heard in English in the late 1700s, and was also introduced to the United States by French prisoners of war. During this period, the game was first described in an American novel by Thomas Mitchell, and was mentioned in several 1860s American novels.
Despite its obscure origins, the game of domino has found widespread popularity throughout the world. It is most commonly played in the United States and Europe, but it can be enjoyed by anyone. Aside from its traditional use, dominoes are often used as a fun activity for children. They are usually played with a group of friends.