Dominos are small rectangular blocks used in games. They are marked with an arrangement of spots. The most common type of domino has six pips on each half of its face. There are also versions with fewer or more pips. Some games require players to match tiles to create a certain total. Others do not require matching. Depending on the game, tiles may be laid down in any direction.
Typically, dominos are made of rigid materials, such as wood, ivory or bone. However, there are some blank dominoes, which are not marked with pips. These are the ones that are most often used as toys.
When you play a domino, the goal is to make a tower stable enough to fall to the next player. If the tower falls, the game is over. If the player can’t make a tower, he or she must chip out. That is, replace one tile with another. Do not try to remove all the tiles, or the tower might tip over.
The first player lays a tile down, which is typically a double-six. Alternatively, a single domino is played. In most cases, a domino is placed in a line with the other tiles. Those tiles are then moved in a random pattern. It is possible to move all the tiles at once, though this is uncommon. Often, the tower will topple if the first domino in the line is knocked over.
The second player then plays a tile to the right of the 6-6. Normally, the third player then plays a tile. For example, a 4-6 tile is played. After the third tile is played, the fourth is played, a 5-5.
Before playing, the tiles must be shuffled. You should not be able to see how many pips are on the other players’ tiles. Then, the players must decide on a target score for the round. If the target is reached, the winner is the player who scored the most points.
Once the tiles have been shuffled, the players must place them on the table. Each side is marked with the number of spots. A player is allowed to place a double only if it has the same number of pips on each half of its face.
One player will then randomly move the tiles on the table. Generally, a player will take a smaller number of dominoes at the beginning of the game. He or she will then draw from the remaining unused tiles. Often, a player will choose a sleeping domino to use instead of one that is still occupied.
In some games, the winning player or players can only remove a few dominoes. In other games, a player can add as many tiles to the line as he or she likes. Similarly, a player can place more than one tile in a row, but only against the long side of a double.
While the origin of dominoes is unknown, there is evidence that the tiles came from China. Some people believe that they were brought to Europe during the 14th century, though others disagree.