Types of Dominoes
Dominoes are a set of rectangular pieces, divided by a line down their middle, that have either blank or numbered spots, called pips. They are typically used to play domino games, but can also be played as a form of entertainment in its own right.
Often, a set of dominoes is referred to as a “domino set” or simply a “domino.” The pieces can be divided by a ridge, like dice, or they can be stacked in a long row on end. When placed properly, they will tip over and fall one after another, creating a cascade of events that can result in the toppling of larger dominoes.
There are several different types of dominoes, including Chinese dominoes, European dominoes, and Western dominoes. They all share a number of similarities, and some variations have evolved over time.
In the United States, the most common type of dominoes is the block-and-draw game for two to four players. This type of dominoes is a variation on the traditional double-six domino set that has 28 tiles. A player draws seven tiles from this stock, and each player’s turn consists of playing a single domino from the stock.
The first player to draw seven tiles wins the lead and then draws for the second, third, and so on. The game is normally won by the player who lays down the most dominoes on their turn, but it can be won by the second player if they are the last player to lay any of their tiles.
Some variants of the block-and-draw game include doubles, where each player has an extra tile to play against their opponent’s. This doubles version of the game was originally introduced in England by French prisoners of war in the 18th century.
A popular variant of the block-and-draw game is “5s and 3s,” a variant that uses multicolored dominoes to play a positional game where players try to attach dominoes edge-to-edge so that their adjacent faces are identical (i.e., 5 to 5) or form a specified total. This can be a fun and challenging game to play with friends.
These versions of the game can be played with either a traditional double-six domino set or with a larger set that combines traditional double-six dominoes with additional numbers, such as six pips on each side. Some sets contain up to 190 dominoes, and some have as many as 450!
Other variations of the game use multi-colored tiles. Some are played as a blocking game where the goal is to keep the opponent’s hand full while emptying your own, and others are played as a scoring game where each player has a specific total to score by attaching their dominoes to.
There are also variants where a dominoes set is divided into two or more groups, and each group has a special function. For example, in some Chinese dominoes sets, the military and civililian suits differ, and the same domino can have either a military or civilian suit, and sometimes duplicates are included.