The Basics of Domino
Domino is a popular game played by two, three, or four players in which each player draws a set of dominoes and then shuffles the tiles together to create a chain. The first player to draw a tile, usually the highest double, plays that tile and continues to draw from his or her hand until the entire chain is full.
The goal is to be the first player to play all of their dominoes and win. The game is played over several rounds, and the winner of each round is the player who accumulates the most points.
A Domino is a rectangular, flat tile with pips (numbers on each side) on each end of the piece. The pips are arranged into the nine standard suits of numbers, from Ace to King. Each suit has a different number of pips, and the smallest number in each suit is called a “diamond.”
There are many types of dominoes. Some are made of polymer; others are of a variety of natural materials, such as woods and stones, ceramic clay, or frosted glass or crystal.
Some dominoes are inlaid or painted with contrasting color, such as black pips on an ivory or bone domino or white pips on a dark hardwood domino. These sets are considered deluxe and are often much more expensive than those made from polymer materials.
In addition, many traditional domino sets have a number of blank faces. These blanks were once used to represent the possible faces of two thrown dice, but have been largely replaced by numbered pips.
During the mid-18th century, the domino game began to spread rapidly from Italy to Austria and southern Germany. It eventually made its way to France where it quickly became a fad.
A domino is defined by its position in a row of six tiles, called a “chain.” The end of a chain may be closed, which prevents the insertion of other tiles into it. Or it may be open, which allows other players to place a tile into it.
When a domino is placed in a chain, it must be able to touch both ends of the chain. If it cannot, a double is placed instead. The double is then placed onto the other end of the chain, forming the next domino in the chain.
The end of the chain that touches a double is called its “head” and the end of the chain that does not touch a double is called its “tail.” A player can use this to their advantage, playing an end with its head in one direction while its tail in the other. This strategy increases the length of the chain and makes it more difficult to connect dominoes, but it also gives the player a large amount of room to maneuver the pieces around in their layout.
It is not uncommon for a domino to be inserted into a chain at an angle, so that it straddles the end of another tile. This can be done to create a diagonal line in the layout, or to connect several dominoes at right-angles.