What Is a Domino?


A domino is a type of game piece with a rectangular shape. These pieces are used to play a number of games. They are usually made from dark hardwood such as ebony, ivory, or mother of pearl oyster shell. The tiles are often marked with pips or other identifying marks.

In traditional Chinese dominoes, the game begins with a 32-piece set that represents the possible faces of two thrown dice. However, there are many different versions of the game.

Players take turns drawing one tile from the set and laying it on the table. Before starting the game, the players must agree on a target score. For example, a team of three can try to win by having the fewest spots on their dominoes. Alternatively, the first player to put all the tiles down wins.

A standard domino is one inch wide and two inches long. It is also half as thick as its width. This makes it easy to stand on its edge without falling over.

Doubles are a common type of domino, but a double-6 is different from a double-5. Each double has two pips, while a six has six. Another important rule is that a double is always laid perpendicular to the line. If a tile is laid perpendicular to the line, it will count as a single, while if it is laid perpendicular to the line and touching the middle, it will count as a double.

Depending on the game, the goal is to keep the tower of dominoes stable. Once a tower falls, the game ends. Some types of dominoes have a time limit for each turn. Other variations have bonus conditions for achieving certain scores. There are also solitaire dominoes and trick-taking dominoes.

Most dominoes are played by drawing a tile from the set, placing it on the table, and laying it down. Occasionally, players can team up to calculate their score. Normally, points are awarded based on the number of pips left on the other player’s tiles.

Traditionally, dominoes are made from ebony, ivory, or mother-of-pearl oyster shell. However, they are now made from a variety of materials. Several of the larger numbered sets are too large to play in most domino games. Therefore, the most popular types are the double-six and the double-nine.

In most games, the winner is the one who has the most points. To determine this, the player must keep track of how many pips remain on his or her opponents’ tiles. If a player holds a double during a losing round, he or she will be penalized with additional points.

The most popular domino set is the double-six. It has 28 tiles, which is a manageable number of tiles. Because of this, it is recommended for players who want to play higher-score games. The second most popular set is the double-nine, which has 55 tiles.

During the mid-18th century, the domino game became a fad in France. It eventually spread to other European countries and then to Austria and southern Germany. Today, most dominoes are played as adaptations of card games. Several of the traditional Chinese games are still played with dominoes, including Pai Gow and Che Deng.