# Dominoes

A domino is a small, thumb-sized rectangular block, either blank or bearing from one to six pips resembling those on dice. A set of 28 such blocks forms a complete domino set.

When the dominoes are shuffled, each player draws a number of tiles specified by the rules of the game. The player holding the heaviest tile begins play.

## Origins

Dominoes are believed to have originated in China during the 12th century. In the Chu sz yam (Investigations on the Traditions of All Things), it is said that dominoes were invented by a statesman and presented to Emperor Hui Tsung.

They later made their way to Europe where they became popular in family parlors and pubs. In the early 18th century, dominoes were made of ivory for the wealthy and bone for the common people. There were also domino puzzles that required players to place dominoes edge to edge to match a pattern or form a specific total.

The word domino is probably derived from the Latin dominus, meaning “lord.” It was used in places where puritanical tendencies prevailed to refer to card games that were considered immoral.

## Rules

There are many different domino games, but most have the same basic rules. Players take turns playing dominoes to form a line of tiles. Each domino has two matching ends, and the pips on these ends determine the value of the tile.

Some games have the rule that all tiles in the stock may be bought, while others specify that only certain tiles can be purchased. Regardless of the specific rules, players must always keep track of their score.

When a player draws more for his hand than he is entitled to, this is known as an overdraw. These extra dominoes must be returned to the stock and reshuffled before any other players draw their hands. When the game reaches an end, it is scored based on the total number of points in the playersâ€™ remaining dominoes.

## Variations

The rules of domino can vary from game to game. Some allow blocks to be built, and other games are played with special rules for forming chains of tiles that produce particular numbers. For example, in fives and threes, one point is scored for each domino in the chain that is divisible by either five or three.

The number of pips on a domino can be increased by using “extended” sets such as double-twelve or double-nine. These larger sets are more suitable for play with more players, since they contain more tiles. The tiles can be laid in lines and angular patterns, but each player must ensure that the matching ends of two adjacent dominoes touch. A tile played to a double touching at a right angle can be used as a spinner, allowing new dominoes to branch off the line of play.

## Materials

Many types of materials have been used to make domino pieces over the centuries. The most common, however, are urea and acrylic. These materials are often molded to be more uniform than natural dominoes and come in a wide range of colors and designs.

Natural dominoes are usually made from bones, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), or a dark wood such as ebony. They are usually twice as long as they are wide and have contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted.

Most sets of dominoes come in a storage box. These boxes vary from simple cardboard to vinyl snap lock cases. Some companies also sell wooden boxes that can double as cribbage boards. Many players prefer to use a table with a felt surface to protect the tiles from scratching the table.

## Scoring

Dominoes are a set of small rectangular blocks with either no dots or pips. They are often twice as long as they are wide and may be stacked to form squares. Each domino has a value indicated by the number of dots or pips on its ends, which range from six to blank or none. These values determine the rank or weight of a domino.

In scoring games, players earn points both during play and at the end of a round. The player who reaches a target score wins the game.

The scoring system for Domino is straightforward and fast. The winning player subtracts the total value of the opponentâ€™s remaining dominoes from their own, and scores this amount rounded to the nearest multiple of five.