Domino is a rectangular block used in a variety of games. These pieces are usually made from a rigid material, such as wood or plastic. Some are blank and others have a number of pips. Most dominos have a line down the middle. The line separates the ends into two squares, which have a number of pips.
The first known use of the word domino was in 1771 in the Dictionnaire de Trevoux. Later, in the 1860s, the word was adopted by American literature. In France, the game began to spread in the mid-18th century. It became popular in certain parts of Europe, and was eventually introduced to England.
Dominos are usually composed of 28 tiles. They are generally two to four times as long as they are wide. Typically, the number of tiles in a domino set depends on how many players are playing. For example, a double 12 set has 91 tiles, while a double 18 set has 190 tiles.
There are a variety of types of domino games, including solitaire and trick-taking games. Games that have a scoring element are the most common type. However, there are other types, such as five-up.
The most basic domino game is played with a double-six set, which has a total of six pips on each end. Each player starts the game by drawing seven tiles from the stock. During the game, the player with the lowest total of pips wins.
Other domino types include the Concentration and Five-Up variants. The Concentration variant requires a total of twelve pips. Players are allowed to branch out, which can be done by having more than one piece of the same suit. Similarly, Five-Up is played with multicolored tiles.
A traditional Chinese domino set contains 32 pieces. The pieces are designed to represent all possible combinations of the results of throwing two six-sided dice. Unlike European sets, they do not have a blank face. Instead, the spots on the face are designated as numbers. Traditionally, Chinese dominoes are used for trick-taking games.
In the United States, a domino is sometimes called a “bone” or a “ticket”. The name comes from the French word domino, which originally meant a cape worn by priests. Many children prefer to play dominoes as toys.
Originally, dominoes were constructed from ivory or ebony. Some were also made from mother of pearl oyster shell. By the late 1700s, these dominoes were being made in England. Earlier, they were known in China as “dotted cards.”
Dominoes are commonly played in different types of games. Most domino games are adaptations of card games. Traditionally, they were used for games such as Pai Gow and Tien Gow. Occasionally, they are used in layout games and blocking games.
Dominoes are also used to study nerve cells. The pulse of a falling domino is akin to a firing neuron. When a domino falls, it starts a chain reaction. Depending on the forces applied, it may tip over or it may knock over other dominoes.