A domino is a rectangular tile that is used in a number of games. It is made of a rigid material such as wood or plastic. The tiles are marked on one side with identifying spots or pips. There are two types of dominos: European-style and Chinese.
European-style dominoes are typically made of bone, ebony, or ivory. They are divided into two squares called ends. Some are blank on one end. In addition to the ends, each piece has a line down the middle that separates the tile from the other.
The first record of the name domino was in the 1771 Dictionnaire de Trevoux. At that time, it had two meanings, including a long hooded cloak or a masquerade mask. Eventually, the word came to mean crude woodcuts on paper.
By the late 1700s, dominoes began to appear in Europe and England, most commonly in positional games. French prisoners of war brought the game to England. Since then, it has spread worldwide.
The basic game of dominoes involves choosing seven tiles from a pile of stock. These tiles are then arranged on the edge of the table. One player starts the game by playing a domino. Each player then draws seven more tiles from the stock. This process continues until the dominoes are completely gone. After all of the dominoes have been drawn, the players can begin determining their score. Depending on the type of game played, the tiles are placed either on the edge of the table or in a row.
Many popular versions of dominoes involve scoring. However, many children also prefer to play dominoes as toys. For instance, they can be used to create a fun and interesting course.
Dominoes can also be a great way to study nerve cells. Their size and shape make it easy for them to be used as a tool to learn about their function. Specifically, they can be used to learn about how nerve impulses travel only one way. As a result, nerve cells need energy to redistribute ions to a resting state.
Traditionally, the Chinese domino set is used for trick-taking games. These types of games involve each player attempting to divide the dominoes in pairs. Because of this, the dominoes are not marked with a suit, unlike the European-style dominoes.
In a standard European domino set, each tile is a unique representation of the possible combinations of numbers. Two or three tiles can be matched and the player who wins is the one who matches the highest value. Several larger domino sets are designed with Arabic numerals instead of pips.
The European-style dominoes are traditionally made of dark hardwood such as ebony, or mother of pearl oyster shell. But other materials can be used.
When playing a traditional domino game, the players choose seven of their own tiles from a deck of 28. Alternatively, the players can use a set of twenty-eight or twenty-nine tiles. The most basic variant is two-player.