Domino is a family of tile-based games played with gaming pieces (also called bones, cards, men, pieces or tiles) in which the players try to arrange and/or stack tiles to form patterns. The tiles in a domino set have a line dividing their face into two square ends, which are marked with numbers of spots, also known as pips or dots, and are blank on some faces.
The tiles in a traditional European domino set, for example, feature combinations of spot counts between zero and six. The backs of the tiles are indistinguishable from one another and are sometimes blank, or have a common design.
There are different sizes of domino sets, ranging from small (with 28 tiles) to very large (with 55 tiles). These larger domino sets make the game more challenging for beginners because identifying a single tile may be difficult. Some larger domino sets use more readable Arabic numerals rather than pips for their spot counts.
Some smaller domino sets use a more modern system of symbols, such as circles or lines instead of pips. These symbols are more reminiscent of the pips on a die, but they can be more difficult to read for people who aren’t familiar with them.
In addition to standard blocking and scoring games, there are also numerous other types of domino games. Some of these are adaptations of card games, some draw inspiration from other popular games, and others are entirely new kinds of domino games.
Layout games, for example, are a type of domino game where the goal is to place a certain number of matching tiles in a layout or tableau on the table. There are also scoring and trick-taking domino games.
When playing these types of games, each player has a domino in their hand. They must then match the number of spots on a tile with a pair in their hand. The first player to do this wins the game.
There are a variety of domino set sizes, from small to very large, and many types of materials. Some are made from natural materials such as stone, wood or metal, while others are more commonly constructed from polymer, plastic, glass or ceramic clay.
Some domino sets are more elaborate and can be quite expensive, if they are made from more exotic materials. Some of these sets are even made from frosted glass or crystal.
These kinds of domino sets are not purely for fun, but often serve a more serious purpose as well. They are sometimes used in a variety of educational settings, such as schools or classrooms, to teach children about the game and how to play it.
While the domino game is popular in many countries, it is not considered a traditional sport. In fact, it is widely thought of as a type of gambling.
The origins of dominoes can be traced to ancient Asia, where they were originally played in a similar way to playing cards. The tiles were arranged on a board and each player was awarded points when a certain pattern was formed.